Wasatch Film Festival

By Holly Vasic

The 3rd Annual Wasatch Mountain Film Festival has begun featuring documentary films “telling inspiring stories about adventure as well as cultural, environmental, and political issues” the festival’s website states. Film times vary from four minutes to 100 minutes and screenings are set up to view some of the shorter and longer films in one sitting. Screening locations will vary from Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort to Sandy and even, new this year, online.

Holy River, directed by Jake Norton and Peter McBride, telling the story of the great Ganges River of India and its beauties and complexities, has been nominated for multiple Wasatch Mountain Film Festival awards. It is also one of the nominees for best feature film.

“While much of the outdoor world consists of short films each year we receive feature length films that blow us away. This award is to celebrate those films that are a bit longer and more complex to create” the Wasatch Mountain Film Festival website explains. Other nominees for the feature film category are The Eyes of God, Paul’s Boots and A to B Rollerski.

The Shane McConkey award, in honor of the late skier and base jumper from British Columbia, represents the short film category. Nominees this year include Holy, When We Were Knights, Fledglings and Dodo’s Delight.

Holy, also nominated for the festival’s Cinematography award, directed by Lindsay Daniels has a special connection to the Wasatch Mountains. The synopsis reads “when opportunity knocks, a middle-aged man told he should never run again defies doctors’ orders and ends up finding himself doing 100-mile mountain races. More importantly, he finds a holy awe in the Wasatch mountains and through thoughtful poetic writing shares what he sees and feels as he runs with his dog Echo.”

Other category of awards are the Environmental Awareness Award, Social Awareness Award, People’s Choice and George Mallory Award. The George Mallory Award was created in honor of the late George Mallory who pushed the boundaries of exploration. The Festival Awards page on their website elaborates, “this award is given to an individual who has consistently worked to push the boundaries of exploration and adventure.”

Over 60 films will be part of the festival this year including the novel addition of virtual screenings. “Each year we receive far more incredible films than we can possibly screen in person at the festival. That is why this year we have included a virtual only selection of films” the film festival’s website describes.

Though Utah is home to other film festivals, such as Sundance, the Wasatch Mountain Film festival is attempting to captivate artists and adventures who appreciate nature, the human experience, and of course the mountains. The festival also focuses on “showcasing the spectacular outdoor environment so many of us call home” according to the Wasatch Film Festival homepage. The local and global outdoors community are celebrated in the films selected and the festival’s chosen venues.

Single screening tickets are available as well as passes for the full festival. Screenings begin Monday, June 19 and run until Saturday, June 24. More information and tickets available online at www.wasatchfilmfestival.org

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