University News

Thunderbird Film Festival to Host Special Night for High School Students

Published: May 13, 2004 | Author: SUU Communication Department | Category: Special Events

June 2-6 marks the dates for the fourth annual Thunderbird Film Festival founded by Mariam Arthur while she attended Southern Utah University. The aesthetic campus remains the main venue for the Festival.

This year the Festival and its filmmaker guests will host a special evening focusing on high school students. On Wednesday night, filmmakers will be available to talk to students in a social setting about the films, as well as the students’ perspective on current issues that affect filmmaking. Students from Iron and Washington Counties, and beyond, are enthusiastically invited to take advantage of this opportunity.

The Festival traditionally includes young people as part of its main focus. One of the ways by which it does this, is through the High School Competition category, and this year’s winner has been determined. Jacqueline Woods from California won with her film, "Annabelle." Shot in digital, this three-minute 40-second film explores how a young woman's beauty isolates her from the rest of the world causing her an emotional collapse.

The Thunderbird Festival is one of few festivals centering on family films. Arthur point out that while Thunderbird loves submissions for young children, it also seeks films that teenagers will want to see together with their families. “The rule of thumb is no gratuitous content,” Arthur states. “Some people assume since we are located in southern Utah that we are a Mormon festival. Thunderbird supports films from all cultures. I was amazed to find out that one of our winners (“Grandfather’s Birthday”) made it to the top ten for an Oscar nomination.”

Films are suitable for the whole family and are "content coded" so families can make choices about what is appropriate for the ages of children in their family. No R-rated-type films are part of the Thunderbird Film Festival. As of Memorial Day Weekend, a complete "Family and Teacher's Guide" containing information about the films, listed in order of topic/subject matter, will be available at the Festival headquarters, Best Western El Rey, as well as the Iron County Visitor's Center, and online at

Tickets are $10 for each screening, which contain more than one film. A Moviemania Pass can be purchased for $50 for access to all films throughout the entire Festival.

Individual and family memberships can be purchased for significant discounts. Fro more info on tickets, visit the website, call 435-586-7861, or email

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