Utah loves film festivals.

And while Sundance and Slamdance provide the opportunity for filmmakers from all over the world to showcase their work, Topher Horman, coordinator of the Utah Arts Festival's film festival, feels they leave little room to showcase Utah's best locally produced films.

That's where the "Fear No Film" portion of the Utah Arts Festival picks up the slack. It features 18 Utah-made films intermixed with 45 others from across the globe.

"We tried to set ourselves apart as much as possible from other small festivals," Horman said. "This is a tremendous showcase for Utah talent, and national and international talent as well."

Divided, empty, happy (rated PG), happy (rated R), reoriented, spectated, unsettled and subcultured are the emotions viewers can expect to experience when they attend a screening, Horman said. That's how he categorized each of the festival's 63 short films according to the impression they leave with viewers.

"I felt sorry, I felt compassion, I felt curious, I felt empty and when I felt empty I became overjoyed because of the feelings — I felt included as a part of the art," Horman said, recounting a woman's words to him following the screening of "empty" films.

"This isn't for everybody, but I tried to make these screenings a larger part of the whole festival experience," Horman said.

Carrie and Jalal Tarazi of Maui, Hawaii, were passing through Utah and heard about the arts festival from friends. They decided to check it out and part of their day included stopping in for a screening of the "happy (rated PG)" films because they "wanted to see something different," Carrie Tarazi said.

"I've been to the Maui Film Festival in Hawaii and I try to see as many movies as I can," she said. "This was great."

The film festival continues today in the Salt Lake City Main Library auditorium with screenings at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Each screening lasts about an hour and includes a variety of films. Visitors are encouraged to drop in at any time. Entrance is included with the purchase of festival tickets.

Admission to the arts festival is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and free for children 12 and under. Today is the final day of the festival, which is open from noon to 11 p.m. at Library Square, 200 E. 400 South. Visitors are encouraged to use public transportation to get to the festival.


E-mail: nhale@desnews.com