Following success of inaugural ‘Kanab Film Fest,’ submissions now open for 2020 festival

Photo still of swag at the 2019 "Kanab Film Fest," Kanab, Utah, circa April 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Kanab Film Fest, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Submissions are now being taken and the early bird deadline is fast approaching for the second annual “Kanab Film Fest,” which will take place in April 2020.

“Kanab Film Fest” creators and organizers in front of the Parry Lodge, Kanab, Utah, circa April 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Kanab Film Fest, St. George News

Created by husband and wife team Jeff and Britt Roth, the inaugural Kanab Film Fest was held in April of this year and featured 27 films that screened to sold-out audiences. The 2020 festival will take place April 16-18, and the early bird submission is Jan. 15.

The Roths first discovered Kanab in 2018, and Britt Roth said when they learned about the rich film and television history of the area affectionately known as “Little Hollywood,” they were baffled that a film festival didn’t already exist there.

Jeff Roth is a film school graduate and has a master’s degree in animation, and with his wife’s background in event planning, the two were uniquely suited to create the Kanab Film Fest.

While out exploring their new home last year, the Roths discovered the perfect place for the festival. Kanab’s Old Barn Playhouse is a rustic barn used for events. One day when the couple was out walking by the barn, they were invited to attend an open house-style wedding reception that very evening.

“Gotta love this town,” the festival’s website says.

Britt Roth said the moment they set foot in the playhouse, they knew that was going to be the site of the Kanab Film Fest.

The first year was very well-received, she said. The festival was able to get the support of the Kanab Arts Board, the city of Kanab, the Kane County Office of Tourism and several business sponsors.

In addition to screening submitted films, the three-day festival included a kids’ night, tours of the area’s unparalleled access to the outdoors and rich film history and other activities.

Adam Mast, president of the Film and Media Alliance of Southern Utah, said he loved the Kanab Film Fest and that the first year “served as a great inaugural outing for them.”

Creators and organizers of the Kanab Film Fest pose in front of the Old Barn Playhouse, Kanab, Utah, circa April, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Kanab Film Fest, St. George News

“I love that the location is out of the way and intimate but I also love that the organizers take it seriously from a programming standpoint,” Mast said.

As organizers prepare for the second year, Britt Roth said they hope to continue to educate the community about the festival and get even more people interested in submitting films, sponsoring the festival and attending.

The 2020 festival will be held in the new Kanab Center, a state-of-the-art conference center with amazing surround sound perfect for the fest and with the ability to accommodate more moviegoers, Britt Roth said.

Sponsorship packages are available to help support the festival, with some of the money going toward helping the local community. For 2020, the Kanab Film Fest has partnered with the nonprofit Generosity Feeds, a national nonprofit organization that helps feed hungry children in their own counties. A portion of the sponsorship dollars will go toward supporting Generosity Feeds in their efforts to provide meals to hungry families in Kane County.

“About 49% of children in the county don’t know where their next meal will come from,” Roth said, adding that the goal for this year is to raise enough funds to provide 10,000 meals by Aug. 1.

She said the film festival serves as a way for them to give back to the area they have come to love by bringing a cool event that pulls together a diverse, open-hearted community and creates a shared passion over film, history, the outdoors, arts and beauty.

Film submissions are now being taken in a wide variety of categories and lengths. The early bird deadline is Jan. 15. The regular deadline is Feb. 15, and the late submission deadline is March 7. More information, including submission fees, format and rules can be found here.

“Film festivals are vital to smaller communities like Kanab and go a long way to showcase films as an art form every bit as important as community theater,” Mast said. “And if you’re looking to have your film shown, this is a wonderful venue to have it presented. It should also be noted that every film is given a fair opportunity and is watched in its entirety.”

The second annual Kanab Film Fest will take place April 16-18, and single-day and three-day passes will be available for purchase. Prices are yet to be announced. More and continuously updated information about the festival can be found on their website and Facebook page.

Event details

  • What: Kanab Film Fest.
  • When: April 16-18.
  • Where: Kanab Center, 20 N. 100 East, Kanab.
  • Film submissions: Early bird deadline, Jan. 15; regular deadline, Feb. 15; late deadline, March 7. More information including submission fees, format and rules can be found here.
  • Additional information: Sponsorship packages are available. The Kanab Film Fest has partnered with the nonprofit Generosity Feeds. A portion of the sponsorship dollars will go toward Generosity Feeds to help in their mission of feeding hungry children in Kane County.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!