Salt Lake City, UT (October 11, 2016) — Ten teen filmmakers have been working for the past year writing, shooting and editing documentaries and narrative fiction films as part of Spy Hop’s PitchNic film program. Since 2001, the PitchNic class has been uniting talented and passionate young filmmakers from across the Salt Lake valley with real production resources. PitchNic gives advanced students, ages 17 – 19, access to the funds, technical equipment and professional mentorship needed to create high-quality films.


This year is no exception and we are very excited to invite the public to the world premiere of these two documentaries and two narrative films: Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at the Rose Wagner Performance Arts Center in downtown Salt Lake City. Two of the films this year explore the curative powers of art, while the others look at Utah’s air quality and a young woman’s quest for identity. “I was impressed with the students’ ability to approach their topics authentically and maturely,” said Shannalee Otanez, the PitchNic documentary mentor.


PitchNic fiction mentor, Josh Samson, agrees. “This year's PitchNic Fiction class worked incredibly well together. They took their individual roles seriously and came together to support each other in every way, both on and off set and were possibly the closest group I've seen in my years teaching the program.”


The films will be followed by short Q & A sessions, where the public can speak to and hear from the filmmakers.



Film Descriptions:


CO2 —Documentary

Logan Rosson & Maddy Willardsen

CO2 will investigate air quality in Utah and how the state is suffering. This film will show the current health impact and future projections for the state. CO2 will show how Utah’s government is neglecting this serious issue and is allowing it to get worse. Calling on the audience, this film will encourage audiences to take action about the air they breathe.


Dancing With Thorns—Documentary

Mary Nejatifar & Peque Curiel

Dancing with Thorns follows the lives of three Utahns diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Bravely, the three fight the disease of troubled movement with movement itself, in the form of modern dance. Learning about the lives of those affected by Parkinson’s Disease will allow us to explore alternative therapy as well as how individuals with the disease move about their lives without allowing the disease to define them.


Semblance —Narrative

Noah Griffith, Daniel Duran & Brighton Ziegler

Evelyn, a young adult struggling with severe ADHD, finds a way to cope with her disability by using art as an outlet. Though she is very private about her artistic side she embraces her talents through the help of her friend and her mother. Through her journey she finds that there is no problem you cannot solve without adding a little color.


Swerve —Narrative

Katie Beacom, Stefan Pham & Daniel Duran

Weeks before leaving for her LDS mission, Maddie diverts from the path she had planned and embarks on an emotional road trip with an old flame and his conflicted friend. Along the way, Maddie confronts her now contrasting opinions, questions her beliefs and reshapes her outlook on love, faith and life.


The Details:

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

7:30 – 9:30 PM, doors at 7 PM

Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 138 W 300 S, Salt Lake City, UT

Tickets are $10 and available at www.arttix.org or call 801-355-ARTS

More information: www.spyhop.org


About Spy Hop

Since 1999, Spy Hop has offered classes in the digital media arts to Utah’s young people in our downtown Salt Lake City studio, as well as across the state of Utah. Our mission is to mentor young people in the digital media arts to help them find their voice, tell their stories, and be empowered to affect positive change in their lives, their communities, and the world.


About PitchNic

PitchNic is Spy Hop’s advanced film class. Since PitchNic’s beginning in 2001, more than 150 teens have produced over 50 films that have screened at festivals around the world, including the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival.


About the Students

Katie Beacom goes to Park City High School; Peque Curiel is enrolled at Salt Lake Community College; Daniel Duran attends Cottonwood High School; Noah Griffith is a senior at Innovations High in Salt Lake City; Mary Nejatifar goes to Salt Lake Community College; Stephan Pham is with the US Navy; Logan Rosson is a freshman at the University of Utah; Maddy Willardsen goes to East High School; Brighton Ziegler is attending Salt Lake Community College.