Monday, February 12, 2024

Joe Puente ponders “Film Day on the Hill”

Every year, during the bureaucratic lightning round that is Utah’s legislative session—from 2017–2020—there has been a designated “Film Day on Hill” held in the Capitol Rotunda in Salt Lake City.

Film Day 2018 image courtesy of
Utah Filmmakers Associate Marshall Moore

Coordinated by the Motion Picture Association of Utah (MPAU), it was always a fun time for friends and colleagues in the local film industry to gather to support Utah’s Motion Picture Incentive Program and the Utah Film Commission—the agency tasked with implementing it.

Film Day is often commemorated with a group photo!

Film Day 2020 image courtesy of the Utah Film Commission

The group photo from 2020 reminded me of a classic horror film, inspiring a short homage to the late director Stanley Kubrick.

Video by the author

Because of the pandemic, in 2021 and 2022, Film Day was an online event.

Coincidentally, February 17
is also the author's birthday.

Since 2023, Film Day has become part of “Cultural Industry Advocacy Day,” so the MPAU joins several other organizations and entities like Hogle Zoo, the Professional Outreach Programs In The Schools (POPS), the Utah Cultural Alliance, the Utah Museums Association, and Salt Lake County’s Zoo Arts & Parks (ZAP) Program, making for a more engaging public experience.

Film Day 2023 image courtesy of Utah Film Studios

I remember registering for Film Day last year and looking forward to it more than usual after two consecutive virtual gatherings—I even preordered a box lunch.

Alas, I was struggling with some intense anxiety and couldn’t make it—2023 had a rough start for me. Thankfully, UFA™ VP Mario DeAngelis could go, so the Utah Filmmakers Association was represented, and the lunch I had ordered didn’t go to waste.

Cultural Industry Advocacy Day 2024 presented an opportunity for the UFA to connect with more of Utah’s film community, as well as other local nonprofits. We enlisted the services of Associate Member DB Productions Utah to answer a call from the event organizers at the Utah Museums Association to have an “interactive exhibit” in the Capital Rotunda. We were given a prime location between the Salt Lake Film Society and the Sundance Institute. Unfortunately, no one from Sundance was at their table. As we said in our Instagram post, “...we were happy to step up and make sure their allotted space still represented them. We happened to have a piece of Sundance Film Festival history... displayed on their table: An authentic Sundance Film Festival Rejection Letter. They don’t send those out anymore.

Dare I ask if the Utah Filmmakers Association stood out
among the other exhibitors? Images courtesy of the author

In addition to the novelty of DB Productions Utah’s signature photo kiosk—book them for your event today!—we gave out official Utah Filmmaker buttons.

Images courtesy of DB Productions Utah and Utah Filmmakers

We also presented two slide shows: One featuring our Associate Members and the other highlighting the organization’s engagement with the community, production support, and other contributions since its founding in 2002.

The slideshows were presented silently on the day, but the versions we’ve made available through YouTube—now featured on our website—have incorporated licensed soundtracks courtesy of Associate Organization Amphibious Zoo Music.

We also want to express our gratitude for the assistance of two of our Community Liaisons, Justin Kwan and Jared Palmer.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and—especially where guest posts are concerned—do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Utah Filmmakers™ Association, its Officers and/or Associates.