A film festival for children in Salt Lake City provides families an opportunity to experience media from around the world. Patrick Hubley is the director of programing for the Utah Film Center and organizes the center’s Tumbleweeds Film Festival.
“There are cultures and there are things happening outside of our immediate surroundings,” Hubley said. “So just introducing the idea of the global community is one that I think children and adults can benefit from.”
Hubley watches around 40 to 80 pieces from all over the world and chooses 15 to 20 films to feature at the festival.
“I look for interesting stories that are well told or well crafted, that are engaging, that I think will resonate with and appeal to young audiences,” Hubley said.
The festival features a variety of documentaries, live-action and animated pieces. Films are shown in their original language with subtitles. Headsets with a narrator for the subtitles are also available to make the films more accessible for children.
“Part of the idea is to introduce young audiences to international stories that they can relate to and will resonate with them,” Hubley said. “So they could see a story about a kid their age from say, Denmark, who is experiencing the same things that they are or maybe a friend is. Whether that’s dealing with issues of bullying or some family struggles, stories or friendship. These stories do transcend geographical boundaries.”
The festival will be held in downtown Salt Lake in March. In addition to the screenings, there will also be workshops and activities for children.