ST. GEORGE – In association with Dixie State College, the DOCUTAH international documentary film festival returns to Southern Utah movie theaters Sep. 5-9.
Touted one of the nation’s best “Small-Town Documentary Film Festivals for 2012” by the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), this year’s festival will showcase the best of a record 348 submissions from 46 world countries.
During the five-day event, theaters throughout Southern Utah will screen top-rated documentary films with special events and screening parties daily. A unique feature of the DOCUTAH festival is its dedication to education. Following many film premiers, viewers will have the opportunity to engage in question and answer sessions with movie producers, directors, field experts and academicians.
“The mission of DOCUTAH is to inspire a global connection through documentary films and intellectual discussion,” said Lani Pururi, DOCUTAH operations manager. “We invite the community to review Festival Guide for films of individual interest, and then join us for open discussion on the many topics that will be presented during the festival.”
Wednesday, Sep. 5, will feature opening night festivities commencing at 7:45 p.m. at the DSC Encampment Mall. Following an outdoor performance by Calamity Dance Company, DOCUTAH will kick off with a free starlight screening of “Hip Hop Maestro,” a 40-minute film celebrating music and dance. Following the film will be a presentation by Dixie STORM Radio and an outdoor Zumba dance party.
“Dixie State College is pleased to present the third year of DOCUTAH,” said Christina Schultz, Festival executive director. “We are excited to bring the Festival home and to invite the community to our campus for this opening event of film, dance and fun.”
Following opening night will be five days of documentary film screenings with feature events highlighting artists, humanitarians, athletes, musicians, and various social issues. Thurday, Sep. 5 will highlight local artist Matt Clark, sculptor of “Painted Pony.” Clark’s works will be on display at the Eccles Fine Arts Center at Dixie State College throughout the festival. On Friday, Sep. 7, the films “Awaken the Dragon” and “Running Through” will feature athletes who have overcome extraordinary odds to achieve success and happiness. Canyon Media will host a recycling carnival Saturday, Sep. 8, in conjunction with a series of eco-friendly films including “Terra Blight” and “Pad Yatra.” And Sunday, Sep. 9 will feature historical event films including “Raid of the Rainbow Lounge,” “Life is Strange,” and “Biblestoryland.”
The Festival will close Sunday, Sep. 9 with a celebration of filmmakers and Raven Awards ceremony at 7 p.m., MegaPlex Red Cliffs Theaters.
DOCUTAH Artistic Director Phil Tuckett said the organizing committee is expecting some outstanding award winners this year. “With more entries than ever before, the 2012 festival presents the best selection yet of production value, subject matter and international flavor for our Southern Utah community to enjoy,” he said.
The DOCUTAH International Film Festival originated at Dixie State College in 2010. The Festival has since put Southern Utah on the map for hosting this event that attracts professional, amateur and student filmmakers each fall. Festival-goers enjoy coming for the films, staying for the scenery and departing having experienced documentary film inspiration.
As part of the festival’s ongoing commitment to provide quality exposure to meaningful documentary films, DOCUTAH now offers year-round screening events to southern Utah communities. The September Festival serves as the organizations culminating annual event.
Participating screening venues include Eccles Main Stage Theatre, Sears Museum & Art Gallery, Red Mountain Resort, Jazzy Java, 13th & Park, Megaplex Red Cliffs Theatres. Tickets can be purchased at screening venues or at the Dixie State College Ticket Office. Cost is $5 for a day-pass or $20 for an all-event pass. For more information, call 435-879-4273 or visit www.docutah.com.