The DOCUTAH Raven Spreads Its Wings
By Della Lowe
The DOCUTAH monthly series of documentary film screenings has become a staple in the St. George art scene. It seems as the city grows, so does its appetite for a wider variety of quality entertainment and access to art in all of its forms. For the past nine years, the DSU DOCUTAH International Documentary Film Festival has been part of the performing arts offerings available to the community. Added just 3 years ago was the monthly documentary series, DOCUTAH@TheELECTRIC. The 2018 Festival is set to take place September 3rd – 8th.
The popularity of DOCUTAH@TheELECTRIC has reached outside our city limits, all the way to Las Vegas, Nevada. In 2018, DOCUTAH launched a monthly screening at The Eclipse Theaters in Las Vegas, which mirror the screenings held in St. George.
“By introducing the Las Vegas audiences to this high quality form of filmmaking, we have also been able to expose that audience to the extraordinary opportunity Dixie State University students have to pursue careers in all aspects of filmmaking through our degree program,” said Phil Tuckett, Professor of Digital Film at DSU and Executive Director of the DOCUTAH International Documentary Film Festival. “The first film which we screened at the Eclipse was My Father’s Highway, a film made by film students at Dixie. The audience was impressed that students could make a film of such quality. We of course, were not surprised, but are delighted to show a broader audience just what Dixie State students can do.”
Popular demand has also created a need for DOCUTAH to seek out new venues in St. George, as well as new partnerships with local business to help better promote the arts. In March, DOCUTAH collaborated with Dixie Technical College to provide tours of its high-tech facilities, and screened My Father’s Highway in their new, state-of-the-art auditorium.
In April, the 2017 Festival film 116 Cameras, was shown at The Kayenta Center for the Arts as part of an evening of inspiration with holocaust survivor and renowned speaker Stanley Bernath. Also in April, DOCUTAH partnered with The Arrowhead Gallery to present the film, The Renaissance of Mata Ortiz at the Electric Theater. Displayed at the gallery was the extraordinary pottery of master artist, Diego Valles.
The rest of the season promises to be just as well received by our loyal fans and those who are discovering the DOCUTAH monthly series for the first time!
May 24 Electric Theater
Everyday Sunshine – The Story of Fishbone
From the shifting fault lines of Hollywood fantasies and the economic and racial tensions of Reagan’s America, Fishbone rose to become one of the most original bands of the last 25 years. With a blistering combination of punk and funk they demolished the walls of genre and challenged the racial stereotypes and political order of the music industry and the nation.
Hosted by Chris Metzler, co-director, co-producer
June 29 – Electric Theater
Lost in La Mancha
Visionary director Terry Gilliam has a dream. He wants to film the classic story of Don Quixote by recasting it as a trippy, time-traveling, mistaken-identity adventure with Johnny Depp as Quixote. After struggling for years to get financing, insurance and a cast in place, Gilliam travels to Spain and promptly watches his dream fall apart.
Follow director Terry Gilliam on his quest to bring Don Quixote to the big screen. At times hilarious, this intimate film features Johnny Depp and is a unique, in-depth look at the harsher realities of filmmaking. From flash floods to cast no-shows to serious injuries, Gilliam and his crew suffer one setback after another. Gilliam’s failure in making the movie led it to be re titled Lost in la Mancha and to be released independently. It is a cautionary tale. It co-stars Johnny Depp, Jean Rochefort, and Vanessa Paradis, all supposed to star in the film they tried to make,The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, and is narrated by Jeff Bridges.
Hosted by writers and directors Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe
July 27 Electric Theater
On April 11, 1945, Buchenwald was liberated. Nearly 1000 boys survived. On April 11, 2010, sixty-five years later, several of the surviving boys from block 66 returned to Weimar and to Buchenwald. This is their story. This compelling documentary tells a little-known story of heartbreak and bravery.
Hosted by Director Rob Cohen
August 29 Electric Theater
Earthlings is the definitive animal rights film narrated by Academy Award Nominee Joaquin Phoenix. Using hidden cameras and never before seen footage it chronicles the day-to-day practices of some of the largest industries in the world, all of which rely entirely on animals for profit.
Hosted by Director Shaun Monson
“Southern Utah has long been known for its outdoor activities and scenic beauty. We are now finding that St. George is also a destination for the arts and DOCUTAH is proud to have been a part of the evolution as we head towards our ninth DOCUTAH film festival,” said Tuckett.
Information about all the monthly screenings can be found at docutah.com.