Summer’s end is a special time for Park City Film.
It’s when the art-house nonprofit starts to get excited for the winter season, and even though it hasn’t been able to screen films in the Jim Santy Auditorium due to COVID-19, it will still wrap up its summer Twilight Drive-In at Utah Olympic Park screenings with a batch of ski films on Sept. 18 and 20, said Executive Director Katharine Wang.
“We hoped right from the beginning of the series that we would be able to end with a ski film weekend,” Wang said. “Since we’re all living in a ski town, we wanted to get ready for the winter.”
While there will be no screenings on Saturday, Sept. 19, due to a prior engagement at the Utah Olympic Park, the weekend will kick off Friday with two screenings of Matchstick Productions’ “Huck Yeah,” not rated, at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Park City Film is planning an encore screening of “Huck Yeah” at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 20. The film is filled with high-action segments featuring ski legends such as Hoji, Sam Kuch, Bobby Brown and the breakout girl posse, The Blondes — Tonje Kvivik, Emily Childs and Janelle Yipper, Wang said.
“The film is a reminder of how important it is to spend time in the outdoors with friends, and I think it speaks to the spirit of the mountains, and what it brings us all to Park City,” Wang said. “We love summers, but winter is where our hearts are. That’s why it’s so fun to bring these movies that get us excited for the next six to eight months of snow to the communities.”
Friday’s screenings will be part of a multi-town world premiere, according to Wang.
“Because of COVID, Matchstick isn’t following its usual release strategy, so ski towns across the Intermountain West — Gunnison, Colorado; Sun Valley, Idaho; Aspen, Colorado; the Sierras in California — will all screen the film at the same time as we will on Sept. 18,” she said.
Prior to the Friday’s screenings, filmgoers will also have a chance to enter an opportunity drawing for prizes, Wang said.
“While we can’t do our big swag giveaways like we’ve usually done in the past, people who attend the film can register to win these prizes via their tablets and phones,” she said. “In addition, we will give out free limited edition Matchstick movie tour (and) Stanley insulated pints will be given to the first 50 ticket buyers for each screening.”
Sunday night’s screening schedule will start at 6:30 p.m. with Joey Schusler and Wiley Kaupas’s short film, “Made In Voyage,” which will be followed by “American Downhillers,” a documentary by Claire Brown, Susie Theis, Joe Jay Jalbert, Jay Jalbert and Scott Lyons.
“American Downhillers,” not rated, is a new documentary about downhill racing in the U.S., Wang said.
“It shows how the sport has evolved from pioneers like Buddy Werner and Billy Kidd to Bill Johnson, A.J. Kitt and Bode Miller and Steve Nyman,” she said. (See accompanying story)
“Made in Voyage” follows the adventures of two skiers — Cody Cirillo and Kellyn Wilson — who remodel an old bus, rechristen it the Honeyhouse, and take an epic road trip through Colorado and Utah and ultimately end up in Revelstoke, British Columbia, Wang said.
“It’s just a fun film, and because it’s a short, we wanted to pair it with ‘American Downhiller’ for one ticket price,” she said.
Thanks to the Park City Social Equity Initiative from City Hall, Park City Film is offering free tickets to essential works for the Sept. 20 screenings, Wang said.
“Our town’s essential workers are those in the service industry who keep our economy going, especially now that we’re heading into the fall and winter season,” she said.
Workers interested in tickets can contact Wang by emailing email@example.com.
Concessions will be available at all screenings, Wang said.
Popcorn, candy and drinks will be available for purchase, while outside food and beverages won’t be allowed, she said.
Patrons will also be required to adhere to social distancing, follow all markings and wear masks when outside their vehicles, which will also be spaced to allow social distancing. And dogs are not allowed at this event.
Wang has enjoyed presenting the Twilight Drive-In at Utah Olympic Park series in partnership with Dragonfli Media Technologies and the UOP.
“It has been an amazing group of people and organizations to work with, and we also have a tremendous amount of support from the series sponsors.,” Wang said. “… When we finish the screenings this weekend, we will have screened 30 films, and that’s a lot of movies to put on in a short period of time. It’s been a tremendous pleasure to bring people together in a safe way and remind them of the joy of cinematic art.”