2019 Thunderbird Film Festival

On April 26, the Thunderbird Film Festival was held in the Sharwin Smith Theater here on SUU Campus.

Gavin Feller, the Executive Producer of the festival said: “The film festival connects students in a fun, interesting and cool way, and it gives people a chance to show off their films and get some applause for their work.”

This was the second year in a row the festival was held at SUU after taking a hiatus for a couple of years. Submissions increased this year as well, growing from 12 last year to 21 this year.

The festival included a John Howe, a producer and writer at KUED in Salt Lake City and PBS, as a guest speaker.

Howe spoke to the attendees on how film is a hard business to be in but is worth it for those who keep trying.

He also referred to the changing environment that producing content faces, including streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu.

“If you have ideas of films, there’s a lot of ways to do it,” Howe said.

After Howe spoke, awards were handed out for Best Fiction, Best Non-Fiction, Best Experimental Video, Best Music Video, Best Overall Picture and an Audience Choice award.

The winners are as follows:

Best Fiction: Silence by Johnny Panda Productions

Best Non-Fiction: Instagram Documentary by Nairne Mcallan

Best Experimental Video: Thanksgiving by Deyge Falanai

Best Music Video: Tiger Teeth by Amanda Walton and Jessica Stagg

Best Overall Picture: 2018 by Hoku Curnan

Audience Choice: 2018 by Hoku Curnan

The Thunderbird Film Festival is hoping to continue next year. Although Gavin Feller will not spearhead the festival in future years, he has high hopes for the continuation of the event.

“I hope the festival lives on and it grows,” Feller said. “This year was exciting to have Utah Film Commission sponsor it. We’re starting to see more support.”

For more information on the Thunderbird Film Festival, visit https://tbirdfilm.wordpress.com.


Story by: Kurt Meacham
Photo by: Amanda Walton