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A film festival for kids: Utah welcomes fourth-annual Tumbleweeds event

Published: Friday, July 3 2015 9:48 a.m. MDT

Ernest and Celestine Ernest and Celestine" brings a popular Belgian book series to the big screen in English for the first time. (Provided by Sundance Institute)

The Tumbleweeds Film Festival showcases independent, documentary and foreign films and several short films that are appropriate for and geared towards children.

“Right now, kids have access to all sorts of media,” Holly Yocom, executive director of the Utah Film Center, told the Deseret News. “We feel that it’s important that the media that they have access to is quality media, so we make sure that all of the films that we bring are all curated films that allow kids to have access to quality, high-level content.”

“We think it’s also important to grow young film lovers that appreciate independent and documentary film, as well as quality, curated content,” Yocom said.

Ernest and Celestine, Ernest and Celestine," a story of an unlikely friendship between a mouse and a bear, was featured at the Sundance Film Festival. (Provided by Sundance Institute)

The fourth annual event, presented by the Utah Film Center, is this weekend, March 14-16. This year's festival will be held in two different cities: in Salt Lake City at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center and the city librar,y and also in Park City at the Park City Library.

Headlining this year's lineup of films are two movies that debuted at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in Park City. "Ernest & Celestine" and "Zip & Zap and the Marble Gang" were both shown at Sundance this year in the inaugural children's category.

Victor Fleming's classic "The Wizard of Oz” will also be shown at the festival. The 1939 film starring Judy Garland commemorates its 75th anniversary this August.

The Tumbleweeds Film Festival will feature a comic-to-film adaptation called Zip & Zap and the Marble Gang. The Tumbleweeds Film Festival will feature a comic-to-film adaptation called Zip & Zap and the Marble Gang." (Provided by Sundance Institute)

A German-produced movie called "Knight Rusty" should be of particular appeal, as it will give audiences their first opportunity to experience the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center's brand new 3-D digital cinema projector.

Many movies at this year's festival will be presented in foreign languages with English subtitles, and some films come with an age recommendation. The four levels of age recommendations are “all ages,” “8+,” 10+” and “12+.”

Eighteen movie screenings will be held throughout the weekend, and additional screenings will accommodate youth field trips. The festival will also host several film workshops for children to attend.

Wait list tickets for Opening Night can be purchased for $10 at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center box office March 14. Closing night film and general Festival tickets can be purchased for $6 at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, online at arttix.org or by calling 801-355-ARTS (2787). Group passes are also available at a special rate: 10-ticket passes are on sale for $40.

Zip & Zap and the Marble Gang Zip & Zap and the Marble Gang" was one of two films featured in the new category for kids at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. (Provided by Sundance Institute)

For the entire lineup of films, including their respective showtimes, visit UtahFilmCenter.org.

If you go ...

What: Tumbleweeds Film Festival for Children & Youth

When: March 14-16

Where: Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, Salt Lake City; Salt Lake City Library; Park City Library, Park City

Tickets: ArtTix.org, 801-355-ARTS (2787)

Email: achristensen@deseretnews.com Twitter: atownmania

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