On March 5, our friends at Wasatch Magazine held the third annual Faultline Film Awards ceremony at the S.J. Quinney College of Law. For a few hours on a Tuesday night, locals gathered to watch films, visit booths from the event sponsors and enter raffles to win prizes. Among the prizes were PROBAR packs, outdoor gear and tickets to Odyssey Dance Theater’s “Shut Up and Dance.”
Wasatch Magazine editorial staff members and guests from the film industry judged a total of 14 films. The festival screened nine of the 14, all of which were under 15 minutes in length. All shared some sort of local connection — some featured Utah landscapes, while others were from Utah filmmakers. The selection pool was small, so some of the films were inevitably subpar in comparison to others. As former Wasatch editor Carolyn Webber explained in her opening speech, however, their goal was to celebrate local passion projects rather than gain popularity by expanding beyond the state’s borders.
The films were distributed into three categories: “Big Thrills,” “Environmentalism” and “For the Love.” Each category featured three films. The first and least impressive of these was “Big Thrills,” which aimed to present adrenaline-inducing adventures. Although the purpose of sharing outdoor-centered films is to inspire others, this category starred only males. In addition, the first couple of shorts portrayed people who seemed relatively unenthusiastic to share their stories.
The “Environmentalism” category was the strongest of the three. The purpose of these films was to encourage others to protect our backyard, but each film took a unique approach in tackling relevant issues. “Dark Skies” focused on light pollution and how it is both affecting us physically, emotionally and spiritually. The winner of this category and one of the highlights of the night was “Wild Utah: America’s Red Rock Wilderness.” This film was inclusive and shared diverse perspectives of people’s relationships to nature. It also provided actionable steps for audience members to change the ways our public lands are treated. Unfortunately, the dimensions of its display were off during the showing, so the subjects’ eyes were not on the screen in this documentary-style short, but Webber handled the situation professionally and promised all attendees a link to watch the film in its original version.
“For the Love” presented another entertaining trio of films that told more personal tales. The winner in this category was “A Grand Journey,” which told the narrative a girl who summited the Grand Teton with a prosthetic leg while using yoga breathing to calm her nerves. Her story was a classic one of perseverance through failures, but she told it with humility and authenticity.
The hosts were passionate about their jobs and promoting the outdoors, and the overall atmosphere of the night was positive. With such a low turnout, it was difficult to get an entire film festival experience, but the event is expected to continue growing over the coming years. Most of the films offered novel takes on outdoor experiences, appealed to the greater population or told moving and insightful stories. The Faultline Film Awards only occur once per year, so keep your eyes peeled next spring for details.
Below is a list of the films that were screened.
“Survival Fit: Mount Rainier”
“The Abbey” (Winner)
“Wild Utah: America’s Red Rock Wilderness” (Winner)
For the Love:
“A Grand Journey” (Winner)
“Ogden Boaters,” “The Abbey,” “Wild Utah: America’s Red Rock Wilderness” and “Ski Photographer” are all available on YouTube.