Youth film festival: Tumbleweeds gives the people what they want
The unofficial motto of the Tumbleweeds Film Festival just might be "You asked for it, you got it!"
The audiences who attended the local children's and youth film festival in its first two years asked for more movies for older kids.
"So we've programmed films for teens and tweens 12 and up," said Patrick Hubley, artistic director of the Utah Film Center and director of Tumbleweeds, which returns Friday, March 15.
Audiences also asked for movies for younger kids.
"So we've got films for kids ages 4 and up," Hubley said. "People were asking, 'Will you be showing some films made by kids as well as films for kids?' So we've added those this year, too."
The films have changed, but the spirit of Tumbleweeds remains the same. These are movies for kids and teens that will also appeal to their parents and grandparents.
"Tumbleweeds isn't just for kids," Hubley said. "These are great films that are accessible to a younger audience and an older audience."
The selections include animated films, documentaries and live-action scripted dramas. There are domestic films as well as movies from France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia/Estonia and the United Kingdom.
And then there's "Gottu,"an Indian film that will screen in Hindi with English subtitles.
"It's a really wonderful coming-of-age film where a young orphan wants to become king of the skies over his village the best kite-flyer in town," Hubley said. "In the past, we've shown a lot of European films. Films from the U.S. and Canada. This is the first Indian film we're showing."
The festival will open with "Monster in Paris," a French animated film.
"It's a film we wanted to show last year, but we weren't able to get it," Hubley said. "The animation is spectacular. And we thought it was a great film for all ages."
The films-by-kids category includes "Girl Power," a collection of short films that focus on girls' perspectives including a couple of locally produced shorts and "Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adapation."
"This is what some people call the greatest fan-boy tribute ever," Hubley said. "It's a shot-by-shot re-creation of 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' that was started in 1981 by a bunch of 12-year-old boys in New Jersey."
The boys worked on the film for seven years, and director Steven Spielberg gave it his stamp of approval. This will be the first screening in Utah.
This year's films are:
Alfie, the Little Werewolf • A 7-year-old boy turns into a werewolf. (The Netherlands, subtitled; 95 minutes; ages 8+) Saturday, March 16, 2:30 p.m., Black Box
Brooklyn Castle • Brooklyn schoolchildren go for a chess championship. (USA, 102 minutes, ages 11+) Saturday, March 16, 7 p.m., JeannÃ© Wagner
Eliot and Me • A 10-year-old girl dealing with her parents' breakup rescues a dog from a shelter. (Ireland, 52 minutes, ages 6+) Saturday, March 16, 12:30 p.m., Black Box
The Famous Five •Three siblings, their cousin and a canine companion become summertime sleuths. (Germany, subtitled; 89 minutes; ages 7+) Saturday, March 16, 4:30 p.m., Black Box
Gattu • A small orphan dreams big and aims to win the kite battle. (India, subtitled; 79 minutes, ages 6+) Sunday, March 17, 1 p.m., JeannÃ© Wagner
Lotte and the Moonstone Secret • Three boys take three stones from a secret temple but the stones are the only way for the Moon Rabbits to make it home. (Latvia/Estonia, English; 73 minutes; ages 4+) Saturday, March 16, 11 a.m., JeannÃ© Wagner; Sunday, March 17, 3:30 p.m., Black Box
A Monster in Paris •A shy movie projectionist and a colorful inventor find themselves embarking on the hunt for a monster that's terrorizing citizens. (France, English; 90 minutes; ages 6+) Friday, March 15, 7 p.m., JeannÃ© Wagner
Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation • In 1982, three 12-year-olds begin filming a shot-for-shot remake of "Raiders of the Lost Ark." (USA, 100 minutes, ages 10+) Saturday, March 16, 3 p.m., Park City Library; Sunday, March 17, 7 p.m., JeannÃ© Wagner
Shakespeare High • Teens who have to deal with poverty, gangs and drugs prepare for a high-school drama competition. (USA, 81 minutes, ages 12+) Sunday, March 17, 3 p.m., JeannÃ© Wagner
Will • A soccer-obsessed English boy's life is turned upside down when his father suddenly reappears with tickets to a huge match in Istanbul. (United Kingdom, 102 minutes, 8+) Saturday, March 16, 1 p.m., JeannÃ© Wagner; Sunday, March 17, 3 p.m., Park City Library
Zarafa •A 10-year-old on the run from a slave trader sets off with a giraffe in this animated tale. (France, subtitled; 78 minutes; ages 8+) Sunday, March 17, 5 p.m., JeannÃ© Wagner
Adobe Youth Voices Shorts Program •A collection of short films from various Adobe Youth Voices programs from around the world. Saturday, March 16, 5 p.m., JeannÃ© Wagner
Girl Power •A collection of short films that focus on girls' perspectives. (Ages 12+) Saturday, March 16, 3 p.m., JeannÃ© Wagner
Shorts Program 1: Amazing Animations •Animated short films from around the world. (Ages 4+) Saturday, March 16, 9 a.m., JeannÃ© Wagner; Saturday, March 16, 1 p.m., Park City Library; Sunday, March 17, 1:30 p.m., Black Box
Shorts Program 2: Great Shorts •Animated and live action shorts films from around the world to fire the creative energy. (Ages 8+) Sunday, March 17, 11 a.m., JeannÃ© Wagner
The Utah Film Center offers its annual festival for youths. This year there are more films for teens and tweens.
When • Friday-Sunday, March 15-17.
Where • Screenings are at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 138 W. 300 South, Salt Lake City, in the JeannÃ© Wagner or Black Box theaters; and the Park City Library, 1255 Park Ave., Park City.
Tickets • $6 for all shows except the opening-night screening of "Monster in Paris," which is $7.50; 801-355-ARTS and arttix.org.
Details • utahfilmcenter.org and kidsfilm.org.