SALT LAKE CITY — Filming in Utah is a time-honored tradition. Many John Wayne westerns, “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” and the new movie “Need For Speed” were all filmed here.
Saturday at The Grand Theater, the 3rd Annual Filmed in Utah Awards gave prizes to the best of the best that were filmed in Utah.
The big winner of the night was “The Saratov Approach,” based on a true story about LDS missionaries who were kidnapped and held for ransom in Russia. The film won six awards, including Best Feature Film.
Sean Astin, star of “The Freemason,” won Best Actor.
“I’m waiting for that phone call that says you’ve got your next movie, I’ve got my next part, and I can get on a plane and come back to Utah,” Astin told The Daily Herald.
Marshall Moore, director of the Utah Film Commission, presented the award for Best Director.
“The Filmed in Utah Awards provide a showcase for the best-in-Utah made film and gives the Utah Film Commission the opportunity to show our appreciation and support for the filmmakers that choose Utah as their creative destination,” Moore told the Daily Herald.
Warren Workman spearheaded the awards, another arm of his “Filmed in Utah” show that highlights TV and movies filmed in the state. Filmmakers submit their work to be evaluated by voters from Academy Award winners to movie critics to film studios.
“This year the Filmed in Utah Awards brought several filmmakers, family and friends together to celebrate the accomplishments of each other,” Workman said. “Our theme was the ‘Pursuit of Excellence’ and all the filmmakers this year truly did pursue excellence. As filmmakers prepare their films in 2014 for next years award show, I hope they continue to pursue excellence to create amazing stories that capture the world's attention.”
Other winners from the evening included “Ephraim’s Rescue,” “Imagine,” and “The Hanging Tree."