The Park City International Film Festival was created to “elevate the human spirit,” said actor Kevin Sorbo, who is a festival celebrity ambassador with his wife, Sam Sorbo.
Festival organizers have been searching for filmmakers from all over the world to be a part of this event designed for the entire family, according to information on the Park City International Film Festival website.
“We want to see family entertainment lifted up and this is a film festival unlike any film festival really in the world,” Kevin Sorbo, known for his role in "God's Not Dead" and "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys," said in an interview with the Deseret News.
“Utah represents family more than a lot of communities do or cities do,” said Kevin Sorbo.
Beginning on Aug. 10, the Park City International Film Festival will debut in Park City, featuring faith-based movies from all over the world.
Utah is also home to other film festivals, including the Sundance Film Festival in Park City.
“The media is always shocked that there is an audience for (faith-based films), but the audience has always been there,” said actress Sam Sorbo, Kevin's wife, and her movie credits also include "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys." “So that is what the film festival is about — serving that audience and the distributors so that they can reach that audience.”
One of the three dozen films in the festival is “Spirit of the Game,” starring Kevin Sorbo, which features missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Australia during the 1950s who formed a basketball league. The film is scheduled to premiere Aug. 10 and will be released in theaters Oct. 7, according to a news release.
“Australia has been one of the biggest agnostic and atheist countries in the world,” Kevin Sorbo said. “These missionaries had a lot of doors slammed in their faces. But a lot of kids down there at the time were really good basketball players so they formed a basketball league together and they eventually beat the Australian Olympic team.”
Sorbo said "Spirit of the Game" was chosen for the festival because "it just hit a nerve that if we are going to host an event and a city is going to host it, why not show a movie that actually has to do with the area as well."
Other films at the festival will include: "Laughing in the Dark," a documentary about comedian Chonda Pierce; "The Evanescence of Hope,” a documentary about the true story of Brigham Young University graduate Mansour Ariazand, who miraculously survived horrific injuries after being swept over a waterfall in 2010; “Nowhere Safe,” an anti-bullying drama filmed and produced entirely in Utah; “Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot,” the story of the civil rights movement in America narrated by Octavia Spencer; and “Pitching Love and Catching Faith,” a tale of two young athletes and their struggles with dating.
For more information, parkcityfilmfest.org.
If you go ...
What: Park City International Film Festival
When: Aug. 10-13
Where: Eccles Center for the Performing Arts, 1750 Kearns Blvd., Park City
How much: $10-$75 per event; passes and discount packages available