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Screenings with Sundance and the Utah Prison Education Project

UPEP students attending Sundance sreenings

Late last month, the Utah Prison Education Project (UPEP) collaborated with the Sundance Film Festival to screen two films at the Utah State Correctional Facility. 

Daughters, co-directed by Natalie Rae and Angela Patton, had its world premiere in the 2024 Sundance Film Festival where it was the winner of the Audience Award in Documentary Competition, and named Overall Festival Favorite. In the film, four girls prepare for a Daddy Daughter Dance with their fathers as part of a program in a Washington D.C. jail. For most of the children in the film, this is the only time they could touch or hug their fathers during sentences as long as 20 years. 

Sundance also screened Thelma at the facility. The film was inspired by the experiences of writer-director Josh Margolin. In a spin on movies like Mission: Impossible, 93-year-old protagonist, Thelma Post, is duped by a phone scammer pretending to be her grandson. In a spin on movies like Mission: Impossible, she sets out on a quest across the city to reclaim what was taken from her. 

Both screenings were a meaningful opportunity for UPEP students as well as Sundance staff and film directors. Andy Eisen, UPEP Director shared that UPEP is “excited to build this partnership with Sundance and bring arts enrichment activities to incarcerated people in our state.” 

Projects like UPEP are important for the focus in Undergraduate Studies on exceptional educational and transformative experiences for all students. 

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Last Updated: 2/9/24