Docutah cancels film festival, opts for expanded festival later in the year

Docutah International Documentary Film Festival logo. | Image courtesy of Docutah, St. George News

ST. GEORGE —The Docutah International Documentary Film Festival’s 2020 edition, which has already been delayed once because of the COVID-19 pandemic, has now been canceled entirely, as organizers have decided to hold an expanded 2021 festival in November.

Scene from “Tuacahn: Miracle in Padre Canyon” documentary, Ivins, Utah, 2017 | Photo courtesy of Docutah, St. George News

The festival, organized by Dixie State University announced Saturday that it will hold an expanded super festival in November. The festival will include the films accepted for the 2020 Festival and expand to more than 100 films for 2021.

It was also announced that out of an abundance of caution to keep filmmakers and patrons safe, the 2020 Docutah Festival, which was initially postponed from November 2020 to March of this year, is being cancelled.

Patrons, who purchased tickets for the 2020 Festival, may use those tickets in November, receive a refund by contacting the Dixie State box office or donate them to the Dixie State Film Program. Ticket sales for the November Festival will begin in September.

“We believe that the in-person festival experience is an important part of attending and viewing films with a like-minded audience as well as interacting with filmmakers. We held out as long as we could to make the decision about March. However, the situation across the country and here in Utah makes it impossible to do so safely,” said Della Lowe, marketing and public relations director of Docutah. “We appreciate the continued support of our filmmakers and audiences.”

Submissions for the 2021 Festival are being accepted at the FilmFreeway website through June 25. Information about the November Festival will continue to be updated throughout the year as films are scheduled and events planned.

Dixie State University professor Phil Tuckett, date and location unspecified | Image courtesy of Dixie State University, St. George News

Information about the films will continue to be updated on the festival website. Patrons may contact the Dixie State box office at this link.

“As always, Docutah will be filled with films which cover a wide variety of subjects from the very serious, to the hilarious, to the quirky. We will fill the theaters with interesting conversations, music and laughter,” said Phil Tuckett, director of Docutah. “Rather than losing everything, we have decided to include the films accepted for last year in the 2021 Festival and expand the Festival to 100-plus films.”

Besides special events which compliment the themes of films, Docutah audiences also can interact directly with filmmakers through post-screening question and answer sessions as well as DOCTalk events – intimate conversations which bring together these accomplished artists, allowing attendees and budding filmmakers to hear their thoughts on the joys, pitfalls, struggles and successes when tackling documentary filmmaking.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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