Utah Film Center Modified Plan for Annual Festival Amid COVID-19

Pete CodellaArticles, COVID-19

This article is part of a series featuring Utah-based companies and what they’re doing during the coronavirus pandemic.

The 9th annual Tumbleweeds film festival was supposed to be a fun-filled 10-day celebration of international films for families. However, with the coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc on the nation, the Utah Film Center had to cancel the festival’s second weekend. Instead, the organization launched an on-demand platform to feature films from 2020 and past festivals.

The organization started the ‘Tumbleweeds on Demand’ streaming site. Inspired by the success of the Tumbleweeds Film Festival, this new streaming platform provides audiences with a curated selection of films from around the world for families and all audiences.

“The Tumbleweeds on-demand model was part of our vision for the festival’s future,” said Patrick Hubley, executive director of the Utah Film Center. “We already developed the framework and received support from our board of directors, allowing us to launch it quickly, and make films accessible to families regardless of their geographical location.”

As part of its long-term planning, staff members continue to explore new venues, partners and platforms to reach audiences. Recently, the Utah Film Center expanded its offerings to include online screenings, presentations, teacher and artist professional development, and much more.

“The key to the Utah Film Center’s survival during this challenging time is the incredible community support we receive,” said Hubley. “My colleagues passionately believe that sharing and experiencing stories highlighting the human experience makes us all better people.”