SLUG: What other film festival’s have inspired The Salt Lake City Film Festival? Bradshaw: Last year Matt and I attended CineVegas, I’m sure that’s where the gears started turning. I always try to attend Sundance as well but I can’t say I was ever influenced whilst freezing outside in a standby line—not a very inspirationally motivating climate.
Whittaker: For me, both CineVegas and SXSW have been especially influential. CineVegas keeps up the party while simultaneously screening great films and keeping everything cozy/accessible to everyone. It’s a very healthy mix. Likewise, SXSW is simply a masterpiece of organization/coordination. What they do is so complicated, but you’d never know. We hope to emulate, over time, that type of widespread fun. After all, a festival is supposed to be just that.
SLUG: What type of audience do you want/hope to attract?
Whittaker: I love talking about demographics in our meetings. It makes me feel like making graphs and pie charts until Chris reminds me that we don’t have money for pie or charts. Really though, I personally hope that little by little we’re able to attract as diverse a crowd as the one that attends the Arts Festival––men and women, young and old, accountants and artists. Our films this year are so diverse and independent from one another that we really should have a healthy mix from every walk life.
SLUG: What types of film can people expect to see at the festival?
Bradshaw: We have a lot of documentary features this year and I’m excited about every single one. Best Worst Movie, Hi My Name is Ryan (Utah/Arizona produced), Chip on My Shoulder: The Cautionary Tale of Slapshot, [documenting the 1980s straightedge hardcore band from Boston] In Pursuit of Panama (Utah produced) and many more. As for Narrative Features: Breaking Upwards, directed by Daryl Wein (featuring Zoe Lister Jones–State of Play, Julie White–Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Peter Friedman–The Savages).
Whittaker: White On Rice–directed by David Boyle. This film is set for theatrical release in September but Dave was kind enough to lend us the print for a sneak preview so to speak. The SLCFF is excited to screen it. It has screened at several festivals.
SLUG: How can local filmmakers get in on the action?
Bradshaw: Submissions are closed for 2009, but will open early next year. As far as upping your chances of being accepted, (this really goes for everyone) the best advice I can give local filmmakers is if you’re going submit a short film, keep it under 15 minutes. Some of the best short films I have seen are around five minutes.
Whittaker: My advice is to get that damn film done––the one lurking on your external hard drive––and submit it early. As of now we only work out of three venues and one of those is free to the public. In other words, our programming space is very limited, which doesn’t leave too much room for procrastination.
Visit saltlakecityfilmdestival.com for the most up to date information about the festival and a complete schedule of screening times. Tickets for all screenings can be purchased Tower Theater and Slowtrain Records.