The Salt Lake Freedom Film and Storytelling Festival is a call back to the joy of storytelling. It consists of films, laughter and an interpretation of Sherlock Holmes.
“We capture the greatness of all periods of time,” exclaimed Brian Jackson Fetzer, artistic director of Freedom Motion Pictures and The Salt Lake Freedom Film and Storytelling Festival.
Fetzer has been a teacher at the University of Utah teaching The Arts and Songs of Stories for decades.
“In 2002, I started actually having my students do stories and songs that we recorded,” he said. This was the beginning of the Salt Lake Freedom Film and Storytelling Festival.
The festival continued to grow over the next few years. It formally came to the Fort Douglas Post Theater in 2005 with its opening of “Ghostly Guardians,” a film about different witnesses of real ghosts directed by Fetzer.
“It has been a very amazing movie ever since,” said Fetzer.
This year’s version of the festival took place on October 8, but it is a festival that has the opportunity to connect its elements in different screenings throughout the year. The Fort Douglas Post Theater only hosts the festival around three times a year as an all day event. It has the opportunity to present films such as “Ghostly Guardians” as well as live performances such as “Sherlock’s Poem,” presented by Fetzer.
“Poetry could allow one to dive into the very heart of the essence of humanity,” said Fetzer as he posed as Sherlock Holmes. He left the audience in awe of his masterful performance, but also with the insight of a deeper, poetic mind.
“We’re trying to do something that’s about the greatness of human thought. We are trying to do something that’s about the greatness of the human mind,” he said. It is this quote which entitles the very thought of The Salt Lake Freedom Film and Storytelling Festival.
As the first Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” It became clear that the purpose of The Salt Lake Freedom Film and Storytelling Festival is to allow voices to be heard. It provided a wide variety of family-friendly films to act upon and share different opinions and voices of Americans today.
Previously, it was interesting as to why “Freedom” is included in the festival’s title, but speaking with Fetzer gave it a meaning that became understood.
“We are given liberty,” he explained. “What we want to do is something absolutely marvelous with that liberty.”
Liberty is the power of choosing, thinking and acting for oneself. It is that liberty which entitles our freedom to enjoy and become involved with festivals such as this one. The very essence of each of the many films shown on October 8th presented a drive to be better, to obtain our rights for liberty.
“My passion in life is to use my talents to hopefully accomplish great things,” said Fetzer. “And hopefully these films are a part of that.”