Local Lens brings free Sundance Festival screenings to Utahns

PARK CITY, Utah — Each January, the famous Sundance Film Festival comes to Park City and Salt Lake City, and each summer, the festival is followed by the Local Lens program by the Sundance Institute. The Local Lens program is an annual offering of multiple free Sundance Film Festival movie screenings.

This year, the nine-film indoor and outdoor screenings will run from Wednesday, July 26, through Saturday, July 29, in Park City, Salt Lake City, West Valley, and Oakley of 2023 Sundance Film Festival favorites. Film buffs and movie-goers can RSVP online to ensure entry for the films of their choosing.

“The idea behind Local Lens is to present to Utahns free screenings of popular films from the January festival. so it’s a series of indoor and outdoor screenings. We’re really happy to be able to bring in some filmmakers or, in one case, a lead actress to present the films and host Q&A sessions following the screenings, just like at the festival,” said Sundance Institute Senior Programmer Basil Tsiokos.

Going to Mars: Nikki Giovanni Project won Sundance Film Festival’s 2023 U.S. Grand Jury Prize. This film will show in West Valley City on Saturday, July 29.

We love our local audience and we want to give back, as we know that we take up a big footprint in January,” Tsiokos said. “We’re more than happy to bring films to Utahns and give people opportunities to see films that they may have heard about but didn’t get a chance to see at the start of the year.”

Films will be shown around the greater Salt Lake City area to engage as many movie lovers as possible with a range of movie genres, from award-winning documentaries to Midnight horror films.

On Thursday, July 27, The Pod Generation will be shown at City Park at 9 p.m., with doors open at 7:30 p.m. The following evening, Friday, July 28, City Park will host a screening for Polite Society, also showing at 9 p.m.

“Both of the Park City films are really interesting, really fun fiction films. In the case of The Pod Generation, it’s an interesting semi-sci-fi with a really down-to-earth approach. Polite Society is an action comedy, musical drama family story,” he said.

In addition to some of this year’s festival’s top films, Sundance Institute is holding a free Filmmaking Deep Dive: Pitching Your Project for local artists and filmmakers in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 28, at 11 a.m.

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