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Free outdoor film series highlights diversity and inclusivity

Posted at 6:44 AM, Jun 12, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — A free outdoor film series coming this upcoming weekend to Liberty Park is promoting diversity and inclusivity with the goal to expose Utahns to new perspectives.

The Utah Film Center is taking its "Black, Bold and Brilliant" series outdoors for the summer, showcasing a series of movies at the park nestled in downtown Salt Lake City.

“We’re doing it outside here, at Liberty Park with a 20 foot, inflatable, outdoor screen, a PA system, just a great night out under the stars amongst the trees in the park,” explained Russell Roots, Director of Film Exhibition at the Utah Film Center.

It's the second summer in a row the movies have been screened outdoors. In total, three movies will be shown, starting Friday with a documentary on the life and music of Little Richard.

"He’s groundbreaking! An innovator of the highest regard," Roots reflected. "Not only was he pushing boundaries in regards to what you could do musically, but what you could do as a black person, and then what you could do as an LGBTQ person as well.”

The screening of "I Am Everything" comes as Utah celebrates Pride Month throughout June.

Root explained arts and entertainment, in particular movies, can be a way to introduce people to individuals, cultures and ideas they might not otherwise have considered or encountered.

"'Black, Bold and Brilliant' is here to use cinema as a mirror to tell stories about the black community," Roots said. "But we’re also focused on intersectionality and working with the other communities that also exist here in the Salt Lake area and Utah in general.”

The free movie screening for this weekend runs Friday at Liberty Park beginning at dusk. Event organizers ask visitors who would like to see the film to register ahead of time just so they can get a headcount of how many people to expect.

The park can easily accommodate about 300 people, Roots said and there will also be food trucks, vendors and a festive atmosphere for guests to enjoy.