New film festival launches in Moab Sept. 20
Sep 19, 2013 | 1686 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Civil Rights Documentary
Bidder 70
A new film festival will be held in Moab this weekend, featuring a diverse mix of full-length and short films. The Moab International Film Festival will present showings Sept. 20-22, and while most screenings will take place at Star Hall, 159 E. Center St., there will also be free screenings at the Moab Backyard Theater on Friday and Saturday nights.

Tickets are available through, or locally in Moab at The T-Shirt Shop, Sgt. Pepper’s Music and Video, or Back of Beyond Books. Ticket prices are $5 for most screenings, and festival passes are also available for $30.

The inaugural film lineup includes several award-winning and highly acclaimed hits, as well as some new finds.

Richard Kaplan will introduce “King: A Filmed Record: Montgomery to Memphis,” an Academy Award nominated documentary. The film follows the eight-year period leading up to the 1963 March on Washington, D.C., and King’s legendary “I Have a Dream” speech. Because festival organizers felt the film is of great educational value, an admission-free screening has been arranged for Grand County High School students. A guided question-and-answer session with Kaplan, associate producer in charge of production, will follow.

Another documentary selection, “The New Black,” tells the story of how the African-American community is grappling with the gay rights issue in light of the recent gay marriage movement and the fight over civil rights. The film documents activists, families and clergy on both sides of the campaign to legalize gay marriage and examines homophobia in the black community’s institutional pillar – the black church. The film is being presented in conjunction with Moab Gay Adventure Week and is one of the events being held in the week leading into the Sept. 28 Moab Pride Festival.

War, deception and art come together in a third documentary, “The Ghost Army,” the true story of American G.I.s – many of whom would go on to have illustrious careers in art, design and fashion – who tricked the enemy with rubber tanks, sound effects, and carefully crafted illusions during the Second World War. Their mission was to use bluff, deception, and trickery to save lives.

A screening of the documentary “Bidder 70” will conclude with a question-and-answer session with filmmakers Beth and George Gage and Peaceful Uprising founder, Ashley Anderson. Gage and Gage Productions has granted the Moab festival permission to also screen seldom-seen additional footage, which was made after the film’s original release. The film tells the story of University of Utah student Tim DeChristopher, who ignited “the spirit of civil disobedience in the name of climate justice.”

Other festival highlights include “We Can’t Eat Gold,” a documentary from Joshua Tucker. The film tells the story of Alaska natives who depend on the land for their livelihood. They defend the world’s largest salmon runs against the impacts of the world’s largest gold mine, the proposed Pebble Mine. The film is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Saturday at Star Hall.

In addition to these and other feature-length films, several compilations of short films are scheduled.

The festival’s free outdoor screenings will start at 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Sept. 20 and 21. The free events will feature family friendly films and will be held at the Backyard Theater, located on 56 West 100 South in Moab. Some of the most obscure and most sought after and rare selections will be shown during the outdoor screenings, film festival officials said.

More information is available at, or by calling 435-261-2393.

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