SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – When asked why Utahns should care about the cinema, Tori Baker, CEO of the Salt Lake Film Society opened up the conversation by quoting famous director Ingmar Bergman:
“Film as dream, film as music. No other art passes our conscience the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls”Ingmar Bergman, Director
The Salt Lake Film Society (SLFS) is a non-profit organization that is “committed to exhibiting, creating, and preserving the motion picture big-screen experience.” They run several arthouse theaters in SLC, the largest being Broadway Centre Cinemas on 111E. Broadway 300 S., Salt Lake City. For SLFS, film is more than just a fun pastime, but “fuels dreams, ignites conscience, and sparks community.”
If you missed some of the notable independent films discussed in the 2022 Oscars like the Japanese film “Drive My Car,” the Broadway Centre Theater is the perfect place to catch all the possible Oscar nominations for 2023.
Baker commented on fewer and fewer Utah patrons attending theaters after the pandemic. “Utah has a great legacy of film that helped spawn a great interest in film as an artform,” Baker said, discussing why Utahns specifically should care about film. She compared the experience of going to the cinema to “fireside storytelling from millennia ago in human history” in which audience members share emotions and experiences in real time as a member of a larger community.
Mentioning independent film specifically, Baker said that it “is the only avenue into different hearts, minds, and cultures” that audiences might otherwise not come in contact with. “Hollywood is a more operatic, generalized kind of human storytelling” with more “simplistic forms of good and evil, black and white” in which individual storytelling gets lost.
“Independent film lets the audience walk through someone’s life experience,” Baker said. She references independent film “The Eagle Huntress” (2016), which tells of a young Mongolian women’s journey to become an elite hunter and falconer. Baker says she never could have understood Aihoplan, the star of the documentary, without independent film allowing her to step into her life.
SLFS theaters recently lifted their proof of vaccination policy and mask mandates, but continues to do low-density, COVID-19 safe screenings on Mondays for those with compromised immune systems.