Sundance Institute unveils its summer Local Lens screening schedule

Films that will be shown this year include “Mija,” “Cha Cha Real Smooth” and “The Territory.”

As summer sweeps into Salt Lake City, the Sundance Institute has announced its slate of summer screenings of films that debuted at the 2022 film festival.

The series, presented by Robert Redford’s nonprofit arts group, often will dovetail with other community events, like one where creatives of all kinds in the film industry can learn to develop strategies for storytelling.

All of these events are free, and screenings happen mostly on Thursdays in June and July.

June 16, 6 and 8:30 p.m.: “The Territory” screening (Megaplex Theatres at The Gateway, 400 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City) • A group of Brazilian farmers seize a protected area of the Amazon rainforest and a young Indigenous leader and his mentor fight back to protect the land. This film won the Special Jury Award for documentary craft at this year’s film festival. Director Alex Pritz will introduce both screenings, and take part in Q&As after each.

June 17 (Friday), 9 a.m.: Filmmaking Deep Dive: Collaborative Documentary Storytelling and “The Territory” (Alliance Theater at Trolley Square, 602 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City) • A discussion from the film director, editor and composer on how they worked together on the documentary.

June 20-25 (Monday-Saturday), noon to 6 p.m.: “Nuestras Vidas”: Latinx Shorts @ the Latino Arts Festival (Kimball Arts Center, 1251 Kearns Blvd., Park City):

  • “Huella” — the death of a grandmother is responsible for releasing a generational curse on a family and prompts a flamenco dancer to go through the five stages of grief through a visit from her female ancestors.

  • “Motorcyclist’s Happiness Won’t Fit Into His Suit” — a man on a motorbike is certain he can explore the jungle on his own, or, “a playful role-reversal reenactment, taking aim at the hubris of colonial conquerors.”

  • “We Are Here” — this film focuses on life of immigrant’s under 30.

  • “The Diver” — following the story of Julio César Cu Cámara chief diver in the Mexico City sewer system.

  • “And The Whole Sky Fit In The Dead Cow’s Eye” — Emeteria is visited by a ghost, who has news to share with her.

June 23, 6:30 p.m.: “Every Day in Kaimuki” screening (Megaplex Theatre at Valley Fair, 3601 S. 2400 West, West Valley City) • A young man wants to give his life meaning outside his small town in Hawaii. Director Alika Tengan will introduce the film, and take part in a post-screening Q&A.

June 30, dusk: “Mija” screening (Gallivan Center, 239 S. Main St., Salt Lake City) • Doris Muñoz a young, music manager has her undocumented family depend on her ability to launch pop stars.

July 8 (Friday), dusk: LGBTQ+ Short Films with Utah Film Center (Liberty Park, 600 East and 900 South, Salt Lake City), preceding screening of “Mama Bears” • “The Saint of Dry Creek” — Patrick Haggerty recalls sharing his story of coming out as gay to his father; and “The Little Deputy” — A boy named Trevor endeavors on getting a photo taken with his father.

July 14, dusk: “Fire of Love” screening (Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre, 300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City) • Two scientists, who were also partners, spent their life getting up close to volcanoes, a passion that led to their deaths. Winner of the Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award for U.S. Documentary at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.

July 21, dusk: “Cha Cha Real Smooth” screening (Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre, 300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City) • A college graduate (Cooper Raiff, the film’s writer-director) starts a relationship with a young mother (Dakota Johnson) of a teenage daughter.

July 28, 6 p.m.: “Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman” screening (Kamas Valley Branch Library, 110 N. Main St., Kamas) • This documentary follows families trying to protect natural resources to sustain their livelihoods.

“We are always excited to bring a selection of must-see films from the past Festival, and collaborate with organizations to bring film to existing events that enhances the overall program,” Eve Rinaldi, director of Sundance Institute’s Public Programming & Audience Engagement team, said in a statement.

Rinaldi added, “we are particularly excited to offer a free documentary artist case study with “The Territory” for local filmmakers, editors, and composers as a way to inspire and develop local artists.”

The institute is partnering with Utah organizations to showcase films and other virtual reality experiences. Those include the Living Traditions Festival, Utah Pride festival, Latino Arts Festival and Craft Lake City’s DIY Festival.

A full list of events and times, which will be updated regularly, can be found at sundance.org/sundancelocals, and you can register for the screenings and events at https://www.sundance.org/sundance-institute-events.