Film festival begins this week

SOUTHERN UTAH – Everyday across the globe, countless stories of human experience unfold. As unique and varied as the people who live them, they are true stories that can educate, inspire, shock, and literally run the gamut of human emotions. While sometimes chronicled in Hollywood movies based on these true events, often these tales and events become the driving force behind the genre of films that have come to be known documentaries.
From Sept. 16 to Sept. 25, Dixie State College of Utah presents DOCUTAH, the Southern Utah International Film Documentary Film Festival.
Stretched across locations in Washington and Kane counties, the festival will feature over 100 professionally-produced documentaries from across the nation and the world. Student's films produced at Dixie State College will also be shown throughout the festival's duration.
The lineups of documentaries to be shown are "incredibly diverse," said Phil Tuckett, the Festival Director. "I dare anyone not to find at least two or three films that won't interest them," he added.
Tuckett's words almost seem like an understatement once one browses the catalogue of films to be shown. "There's not a human endeavor that isn't encapsulated [in the films] somehow," Tuckett said.
With admissions taken from local students, across the nation, and throughout the world, the mix of documentaries is truly amazing.
For example, festival-goers can discover  the underground punk-rock movement in China in "Beijing Punk;" learn about concerns surrounding immigration laws as details in "Panic Nation," or enter the multi-billion dollar world of the toy industry in "Toyland."
Professional and student-produced documentaries are not the only things that DOCUTAH has to offer, however. In addition to the films, the festival will also be holding public seminars on documentary filmmaking. Each seminar is $8, and will feature filmmakers who have submitted films to DOCUTAH.
Festival director Phil Tuckett is the mastermind behind DOCUTAH. An associate professor of digital film and executive director of the Center for Media Innovation at Dixie State College, he has a history with documentary filmmaking that spans over 40 years.
When asked what the motivation behind organizing the DOCUTAH documentary festival , Tuckett answered that he was asked by fellow factually at Dixie State: "What ideas do you have to further the goals of the Communications Department?"  The idea of having the college hosting a documentary-only film festival was not far from Tuckett's mind.
Now that DOCUTAH International Documentary Film Festival has come to fruition, Tuckett foresees that it will benefit Dixie State College, its students, and the community for years to come. 2010 is just the beginning.
DOCUTAH runs Sept 16-25 in locations across Washington and Kane Counties. The Opening Gala will be at Tuacahn at 7 p.m., with tickets being $20-$40. The majority of the films are $10, and filmmaking seminars are $8 per session. Details concerning featured films, playtime, location of venues and additional pricing information can be found at

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