On April 30, 2014, Dontre Hamilton, a black, unarmed man diagnosed with schizophrenia, was shot 14 times and killed by a Milwaukee police officer responding to a non-emergency wellness check in a popular downtown park.
Filmed over the course of three years in the direct aftermath of Dontre’s death, this intimate verite documentary follows his family as they struggle to find answers and challenge a criminal justice system stacked against them. Offering a painfully realistic glimpse inside a movement born out of tragedy, this explosive documentary takes a behind the scenes look at one of America’s most pressing social issues.
Director Erik Ljung has meticulously crafted a piece of essential viewing, one that has much to contribute to our understanding of the ongoing epidemic of police violence. We get to know Dontre, and watch as his family transforms into activists. We see the complex layers of engagement when a mourning family’s desires diverge from those of fellow activists, and feel their frustration and anger with institutional responses.
The setting may be Milwaukee, but it could just as well be anywhere—and it’s a film every concerned citizen here should see.
The Navajo Nation is the largest Native American reservation in the United States. Every four years, the Navajo tribe elects its president, whom many consider the most powerful Native American in the country. In the midst of a frenzied election to determine the next President of the tribe, Moroni for President takes the audience to every corner of this vast area in the iconic American Southwest. The film centers on Moroni Benally, an underdog candidate with radical ideas, whose homespun campaign originated out of anger about the lack of progress in the reservation where he grew up. The witty academic embarks on a grueling, lonely campaign, discovering soon enough that theory does not necessarily prepare you for the daily dirt of politics.
As the election unfolds, the film delves into Moroni’s layered identity as a Mormon and gay Navajo man and, along the way, expands to include other LGBTQ characters working on some of the other campaigns. This includes Zachariah George, who is an eccentric assistant to the incumbent president Ben Shelly, with a love for beauty pageants, traditional singing and the Navajo language; and Alray Nelson, an LGBT+ rights advocate and campaign manager of one of the frontrunners. Through its characters, Moroni for President examines the world of LGBTQ rights and the meaning of identity in the Navajo Nation, while shining a light on the pressing social issues facing Native Americans in today’s United States.
YouTube sensation Todrick Hall launches his most ambitious project yet: a full-scale original musical on being black, gay, and relentlessly creative: Straight Outta Oz. From a small town in Texas to big-time show business, Todrick brings his magic. An inspiring documentary of grit, perseverance and the redemptive power of art.
Official Selection: 2017 SXSW Film Festival, 2017 Damn These Heels Film Festival
This screening is presented in partnership with the Utah Pride Center in celebration of the 2018 Utah Pride Festival.
Independently produced by the award-winning filmmaker, Ben Niles (Note by Note, Some Kind of Spark), Digging Through the Darkness takes an intimate look at The 5 Browns, a group of sibling pianists with a meteoric rise to stardom only to be devastated years later by the tragic realization that all three sisters had been sexually abused by their father.
Told intimately using archival family video, interviews, rehearsals, performances, and verité footage, Niles weaves together the remarkable story of musical determination and passion mirrored by profound bravery and survival—both personally and professionally—as The 5 Browns come to terms with their broken family and work to find solace and healing in their own individual ways.
Errol Morris turns his camera on one of the most fascinating men in the world: the pioneering astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, afflicted by a debilitating motor neuron disease that has left him without a voice or the use of his limbs. An adroitly crafted tale of personal adversity, professional triumph, and cosmological inquiry, Morris’s documentary examines the way the collapse of Hawking’s body has been accompanied by the untrammeled broadening of his imagination. Telling the man’s incredible story through the voices of his colleagues and loved ones, while making dynamically accessible some of the theories in Hawking’s best-selling book of the same name, A Brief History of Time is at once as small as a single life and as big as the ever-expanding universe.
The Utah Arts Festival brings art to life at Library Square through awe-inspiring performances, artistic expression, and surprising discoveries at the state’s largest outdoor multi-disciplinary arts event June 21-24. The Utah Arts Festival features 160+ visual artists and 100+ performing arts groups, drawing 80,000+ participants each June to celebrate artistic expression in the heart of Salt Lake City. The Festival includes seven performing venues of top world, national and local musicians and performers and program slates in literary arts, visual arts, kids activities, dance performances, musical commissions, street theater, art & technology, urban arts, film and culinary arts. During this four-day celebration of the arts, Festival patrons will discover the sky is not the limit—courtesy of BANDALOOP. In its 42nd year, the Utah Arts Festival welcomes BANDALOOP, an internationally renowned dance company that awakens the human spirit and activates public spaces. In what they dub vertical dance, BANDALOOP seamlessly weaves dynamic physicality, intricate choreography, and the art of climbing—by utilizing the unique curving glass façade of the Downtown Library as their stage. BANDALOOP will perform each night during the 2018 Utah Arts Festival.CATEGORY: Fairs and Festivals
The filmmaker sets out to investigate the devastating migraine attacks that have her daughter in their grip, and decides to make a film about it. As mother and daughter seek understanding and ever-elusive treatment, we follow them into a bizarre and fascinating world populated by doctors, neuroscientists, other migraineurs, and such unexpected characters as Lewis Carroll, Sigmund Freud, and Joan Didion. We learn that, rather than a terrible headache, migraine is a complex, deeply stigmatized neurological disease afflicting nearly a billion people worldwide. This kaleidoscopic journey, told through interviews, cinema verite, art and animation, explores the history, impact, and raw emotion evoked by this unpredictable and confounding condition.
Thirty years after his death, Joseph Beuys is known for his contributions to the Fluxus movement and his work across diverse media. His expanded concept of the role of the artist places him in the middle of socially relevant discourses on media, community, and capitalism. Using previously untapped visual and audio sources, director Andres Veiel has created a one-of-a-kind chronicle. It’s not a portrait in the traditional sense, but an intimate and in-depth look at a human being, his art and ideas, and the way they have impacted the world.CATEGORY: Film
Join us for an unforgettable evening of lawn games, LEGO® brick-inspired crafts, and a late-night screening of The LEGO Movie on the Amphitheatre lawn. Perfect for families, friends, date-night, and more! Garden Members $20 / Public $25 Tickets on sale June 1 - August 1 only.CATEGORY: Kids and Family