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Salt Lake City Film Center

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Geralyn Dreyfous has always been interested in visual nonfiction storytelling. Prior to moving to Utah some years ago, she worked with a Harvard professor, helping to publish a magazine devoted to photography, nonfiction writing, poetry, and documentary films.

At the time she moved to Utah, the independent film genre was just beginning to take off at Sundance. She felt Salt Lake City was in need of a venue for both independent films and documentaries so she founded the Salt Lake City Film Center.

The center started out small, offering monthly screenings, but early on, Geralyn realized the Salt Lake City Film Center would have a broader purpose. She started connecting film content to needs she saw in the community, particularly for underserved populations such as ethnic groups underrepresented in the mainstream media. This led to a series on African refugees and to greater outreach efforts for Utah's Hispanic population.

Today, the Salt Lake City Film Center provides more than 220 programs in 14 venues throughout the state. These films are part of a series so they normally feature a group discussion to go along with the film, which allows attendees a chance to participate in important community issues. The center also has an advance screening program in which it presents films before they are released to the public.

Geralyn feels the center has done a great job of targeting different markets for the films it offers, reaching out to those hungry for the content. She was pleased with the good attendance of this year's environmental series, which dealt with both sustainability and food manufacturing. Within the Hispanic market, any films dealing with immigration are always packed. And cultural presentations, complete with food are also popular.

The Salt Lake City Film Center is unique in the diversity of ideas it brings to the market and its inexpensive programming so anyone can attend.

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