DOCUTAH, Dixie State visit China with collection of international films

ST. GEORGE – The DOCUTAH International Documentary Film Festival and Dixie State University partnered to host DOCUTAH-China, an academic film festival held at four educational institutions in Dalian, China June 21-24.

Michael Thompson, director of International Student Services at DSU, has been working with Dr. Bill Christensen, dean of the DSU School of Business and Communication, to establish exchange opportunities between students from Dalian and Southern Utah. While DSU International Student Services works with several different countries, there is a strong representation of students from China. A few of these students are enrolled in the DSU film program, connecting them to Phil Tuckett, director of the DSU film program and Artistic Director of DOCUTAH.

We are thrilled to take festival films on the road and establish a relationship of this capacity with schools in Dalian,” Tuckett said.

Also representing Southern Utah in this international program was DOCUTAH Operations Manager Lani Puriri. As an ambassador of DSU, Puriri worked to build the international program and promote DSU through the showing of select DOCUTAH films. She also presented some of the best films from past festivals to audiences in Dalian.

“We appreciate the work of the filmmakers and are excited to show these quality films to attendees in China,” Puriri said. “This is a fantastic opportunity and one we hope will grow into an annual event.”

The films shown at DOCUTAH-China represented a diverse group of countries, genres and interests, including:

  • “Fjord”

Director: Skule Eriksen

Country: Norway

“Fjord” is a personal interpretation of the landscape in Naeroyfjord in western Norway, included in UNESCO’s world heritage list in 2005. The film is poetic and rhythmic, following the shifting light and the turn of the seasons in this unique and dramatic landscape. The film has no dialogue or commentary.

  • “Der Takstock (The Baton)”

Director: Michael Wende

Country: Germany

Conductors — their job is like no other worldwide. It is a sort of art, which is hundreds of years old, but never changed. The art of creating music through movements fascinates people all over the world, but no one can really explain how it works. “Der Takstock” is a feature about 12 young conductors from all over the world, meeting 10 days in Bamberg, Germany to win the world’s most honored conducting battle, the Gustav Mahler Conductors Competition.

  • “The Renaissance of Mata Ortiz”

Director: Scott Petersen

Country: USA/Mexico

An American treasure hunter and a Mexican artist transformed the town of Mata Ortiz into a home for world class pottery art after Quezada finds Paquime Indian pottery.

  • “Return to Little Hollywood”

Director: Stephen Armstrong

Country: USA

Located a few miles north of the Utah-Arizona border, Kanab sits along the highway that links Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon. The majestic landscape surrounding the city helped to make this section of Southern Utah a favorite destination for motion picture companies and since the 1920’s, hundreds of productions have been shot here. The film chronicles the transformation of a little town into one of the entertainment industry’s busiest production areas.

DOCUTAH 2013 is right around the corner, with festival dates set for Sept. 3-7. The festival originated at Dixie State College of Utah in 2010 and has since put Southern Utah on the map for hosting an event that attracts professional, amateur and student filmmakers each fall. Attendees come for the films, stay for the scenery and depart having experienced inspiration. During the five-day event, approximately 60 films will screen at various big-screen locations throughout Southern Utah. DOCUTAH envisions the world through documentary film.

For more information about DOCUTAH, or to learn about volunteer and sponsorship opportunities for the 2013 festival in September, call 435-879-4273 or visit

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Submitted by: DOCUTAH International Film Festival

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews


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