For the die-hard cinephile living in Salt Lake City, it can be difficult to track down foreign films playing in theaters. Yes, occasionally Century 16 and other megaplexes screen some. However, when the big film houses show foreign movies, they choose those with a larger marketability, which is why Salt Lake City moviegoers are extremely grateful for the Salt Lake Film Society.
Founded in 2001, the Salt Lake Film Society sponsors several events for the film-going community. Coming this Friday the 13th, and continuing through Sept. 19, the society brings back its Global Lens series by featuring 10 films from 10 different countries. All can be seen for the price of $10.
Broadway Centre Theatre manager Andik Wijaya revealed the series has become a time-honored tradition.
“For the past 5-6 years, we’ve had a small collection of foreign films that won’t be screened elsewhere, by young and unknown filmmakers,” Wijaya said.
Each year, the Broadway books 10 films from The Global Film Initiative for The Global Lens series. This year’s lineup boasts a wide variety, not just in the countries where the films originated, but also in movie genres.
From Iraq, the political drama “About 111 Girls” tells the story of a government official who carries the president’s letter across Kurdistan in hopes of stopping the suicide of 111 young women in protest of the conditions that left them spinsters.
Out of China comes “Beijing Flickers,” an existential drama that paints the picture of a young man who has lost everything, leaving him to wander the streets of Beijing.
Direct from Egypt is the human drama “Cairo 678.” It depicts the lives of three women who join together in defiance of the sexual harassment each have dealt with. Wijaya compared the film to 2004 Academy Award winner of Best Picture “Crash” since it follows multiple characters.
In addition to these three films, Global Lens will showcase films from Central America, South America, Eastern Europe, South Asia and the Middle East. Here is the lineup of the additional seven films.
From Mexico, is the B-movie-inspired fantasy “The Fantastic World of Juan Orol.”
From Chile, we are given the dark comedy “Life Kills Me.”
Again from Iran, comes the film Wijaya claims as his personal favorite of the group — the film noir thriller “Modest Reception.”
From Serbia comes another of Wijaya’s favorites, “The Parade,” which follows a gay pride march.
All the way from India is the film “Shyamal Uncle Turns Off the Lights.”
Straight from Brazil is the dreamlike experimental film “Southwest,” which Wijaya thinks will be challenging for the audience to understand.
The last film, all the way from Kazakhstan, is “Student.” Wijaya calls it an interesting take on Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment.
In a landscape where it’s increasingly difficult to access small foreign films, the Salt Lake Film Society believes it’s important to take advantage of opportunities like this. Wijaya is very proud of what the Salt Lake Film Society is able to offer to the community in this aspect.
“We have over 200 exclusive screenings per year to Salt Lake City of foreign films. It’s very important to have smaller movies play that will otherwise never see the light of day in Salt Lake City,” Wijaya said.