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A ticket to the world through film

Weber Film Society
Logo of the new film club on WSU’s campus.

A growth in the film community at Weber State University has led to the creation of a new club on campus, the Weber Film Society. This club was created by film students Adam Enslow and Jonas Winegar.

According to Weber Film Society’s Instagram page, their club is “a place for film lovers of all walks to come together and experience cinema together.”

Enslow, the president of the club, is a first-year film major at WSU. Enslow has always had a passion for film, leading to the creation of this club.

Winegar is the vice president of the Weber Film Society and is going on his second year as a film student at Weber. He got into film through his father’s love for art.

“I guess I followed in his footsteps with that kind of thing. Film is just more the avenue that I took with it,” Winegar said.

The plan for Weber Film Society currently stands as an organization committed to letting students experience cinema from around the world as well as the dialogue and discussion that comes with film. Weber Film Society plans to hold screenings through the use of the Wildcat Theater in the Shepherd Union building.

“We want students to realize their love for film,” Winegar said.

The club hopes to capture the interest of film majors, but also students from different majors that may also be passionate about movies.

“We want to get students who love film but might be an engineering student. This way they can still be part of the film community,” said Winegar.

Weber Film Society is now a way for students to express their love for film without having to switch their majors.

Enslow and Winegar want to prioritize screening foreign films as well as independent cinema from the Ogden area. This could include projects done by students at WSU, giving them the chance to show their work to a larger crowd of people.

“If we have any filmmakers from the Ogden or Utah area, we would love to get them to come screen their movies and even have a Q&A afterwards,” Winegar said.

WSU hosted a live Q&A on Nov. 7, with documentary filmmaker David Barba after his documentary “Pop Star On Ice” was recently screened on campus through the Utah Film Commission. Events like this are what Weber Film Society hopes to make more common for students on campus and throughout the Ogden community.

This gives independent filmmakers the chance to have their voices heard amongst the student population at WSU. It also gives students the chance to speak and interact with someone who is further into the filmmaking business than they are, creating a great learning experience for aspiring film students.

Enslow and Winegar want students to come and enjoy films. More information on Weber Film Society will be available on their Instagram page as well as WSU’s Clubs and Organization website.

The celebration of independent filmmaking making itself more present in the student population is especially timely considering the upcoming 2024 Sundance Film Festival that will be running from Jan. 18-28.

The Sundance Film Festival is one of the largest independent film festivals in the United States and occurs every January in Park City and Salt Lake City, both online and in-person. The festival has seen the likes of filmmakers such as Christopher Nolan, Kevin Smith, and Paul Thomas Anderson. Every year, the Sundance Institute is responsible for getting the word out about many future award-winning films.

2024 marks the 40th edition of the Sundance Film Festival and the 50th anniversary of the Utah Film Commission. On top of all that, 2024 will mark 100 years since the first film that was shot in Utah.

This 40th edition of the film festival will be honoring filmmaker Christopher Nolan, whose breakout film “Memento” first premiered at Sundance in 2001, with the Inaugural Sundance Trailblazer Award. The institute is also welcoming Festival alums from over the past four decades at the midway point of next year’s festival.

“We are looking at ways to tap into nostalgia from over the decades that illustrates the incredible roots of Sundance,” Basil Tsiokos, senior programmer for the Sundance Film Festival, said. “We will be doing this through our programming of films, and also highlighting the past four decades through talk, panels, and much more.”

Focusing on documentary features, Tsiokos has been affiliated with the Sundance Film Festival for almost two decades but became the non-profit’s senior programmer in 2021.

In January of 2023, 90,000 people attended the Utah-based film festival in person and experienced over 400,000 views of films.

“We are looking forward to bringing a passionate audience of independent film supporters together again,” Tsiokos said.

This upcoming year, the festival is expected to show around 90 feature films and 60 short films. Tsiokos explains that the festival looks for films that are culturally relevant and push the conversations of society further.

Single film tickets for the festival go on sale Jan. 11, 2024. It is also worth noting that the online aspect of the film starts on Jan. 25. For short-film lovers, there is a festival pass that works for the online side of the film festival, giving participants access to all of the short films available.

The Sundance Film Festival offers many passes to the festival. Those who wish to attend in person can choose between the Salt Lake City Pass and the Salt Lake City Youth Pass. The Salt Lake City Pass is valid for the entirety of the festival from Jan. 18-28, giving festival goers priority access to all in-person screenings happening in Salt Lake City, as well as the Q&As with filmmakers at select screenings.

The Salt Lake City Youth Pass, for individuals ages 18-25, is valid through Jan. 18-28. This pass includes priority access to in-person screenings in Salt Lake City and select Q&As with filmmakers. This pass is currently sold out, but there is the possibility of restock.

“During the Festival, we offer a number of free community screenings for local residents and students,” Tsiokos said.

The Locals Ticket Package is an exclusive pass made only available to Utah residents, this package gives 10 tickets to screenings throughout the festival period.

The Festival goes larger than just Park City, with screenings held in Salt Lake City at the Megaplex Theatre at the Gateway, Broadway Centre Cinema and Rose Wagner Center.

“Inspiration for us this year is all eyes on independents, reaffirming the power in gathering together and providing a place for our artist community, the industry globally, and audiences from all over the world to have a shared experience and cultivate a direct connection,” Tsiokos said.

In an upcoming year of historical moments for Utah film, the Sundance Institute wants people to know that the festival is for everyone and they are constantly looking at ways to further the exploration and conversation surrounding independent films.

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Cooper Hatsis
Cooper Hatsis, Culture reporter

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