The first Annual DOCUTAH International Documentary Film Festival is slated to launch in South-western Utah on September 16 and run through the 25.
Screenings will take place throughout St. George and Kanab.
“We’ve received over 300 films from 33 countries,” said Christina Shultz the fest’s Executive Director, “We’re thrilled at the reach that we’ve been able to achieve in our first year.”
Submissions have come from countries such as Afghanistan, Vietnam and Latvia.
Rules for submitting a film to DOCUTAH were fairly loose compared to other fests that require premiere screenings or first time directors, such as Sundance.
DOCUTAH’s only hard criteria were; submissions must be legible in English, either by dubbing, subtitles or spoken, if the entry is part of a series only one episode should be submitted and lastly, that the films completion has been within the last three years.
Submission categories are; “Minis” less than five minutes, “Shorts” up to 45 minutes, “Features” more than 45 minutes, “High School Student Film” and “College/University Student Film”.
DOCUTAH will have a focus on independent films seeking distribution and include a distributor’s marketplace. Many events will take place on campus, “In addition, Dixie State College plans to hold true to our educational mission by offering master class seminars,” master classes are seminars given by film industry professionals, “this will allow documentary filmmakers to learn from the best in the craft,” said fest director, Phil Tuckett.
Tuckett’s pedigree has roughly 30 years of documentary filmmaking experience. Not to mention 30 Emmys from his 21-year career with NFL Films. “By blending the attractions of breathtaking Southern Utah with a love of documentaries, we hope that many professional and student film makers will embrace what DOCUTAH has to offer,” said Tuckett.
The DOCUTAH fest will kick off with a Gala screening of Helen Whitney’s most recent Mormon exposition “Forgiveness: A Time to Love and a Time to Hate Part I”. DOCUTAH’s opening screening will take place at the Tuacahn Amphitheater of the Arts. “Forgiveness” is a 4-hour series that will air on PBS in 2011.
Whitney is a renowned in documentary circles for the diversity of her work including “The Mormons”, “Richard Avedon: Darkness and Light”, and “Youth Terror: The View From Behind the Gun” for such outlets as “60 Minutes” and “Frontline.”
Once called Utah’s Little Hollywood, Parry Lodge will serve as fest headquarters. The Old Barn Playhouse on the lodge property will be the home of fest screenings.
The 2010 inaugural edition DOCUTAH is sponsored by Dixie State College of Utah, The Center for Education, Business and the Arts, St. George City, St. George Convention and Tourism Office, Kanab City and the Lane County Office of Tourism and Film Commission.
The fest hopes to announce a complete slate of films, seminars and events by the end of July. Check www.docutah.com for details including lodging, ticketing and all things DOCUTAH.