We educate, advocate, and inform about – and through – cinema. We promote diversity through film exhibition and creation. We foster film talent and cultivate film appreciation and participation. Our programs and venus ensure that the potent ideas and voices of film are accessible to everyone in our community.
SLFS recognizes and honors the fact that our Broadway, Tower, and Studio Backlot Motor Cinema venues are located on the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Shoshone, Paiute, Goshute, and Ute Tribes. The state of Utah is home to eight distinct tribal nations.
Programming: Community Need, Artistic Merit, Festivals & Awards, Critical Merit
Operations: Quality Experience, Collaborative, Accessible & Inclusive, Educational
8 Screens and 1 Virtual Platform open 354 days in 2020.
Open 72 days January 1 - March 13, 2020 SLC's home for independent, international, and documentary cinema.
Open 72 days January 1 - March 13, 2020 SLC's beloved 92-year-old theater offering contemporary and historic works of cinema.
Online 228 days from March 25 - December 31, 2020, and ongoing through 2021
Of the 204 SLFS films presented in 2020 pre-closure at the Broadway and Tower venues, at Studio Backlot Motor Cinema, and on SLFS@Home:
Free and Discounted
In-person Free and Discounted Admissions
Virtual Free and Discounted Admissions
Total Free and Discounted Admissions
GOAL: 200K in four months to be matched by AHE/CI Trust; this goal was exceeded by $64,000 and extra donations were also matched
Total Raised = $528,000 Donors included: 1000+ individuals; six sponsoring businesses or organizations; 10 granting organizations.
slfsathome.org announcement March 26, 2020:
“We have felt your love and concern since we closed in observance of the pandemic on March 13. We look forward to seeing you in person again just as soon as it’s prudent. Until then, we’ve found a way to try and solve two challenges: Keeping an open income stream for our non-profit, and providing you with great SLFS-curated film you can enjoy from home. We’re still figuring this new plan out and it might be a bit bumpy. Just reach out and ask if you need something. We miss you terribly. Please take care and be safe.”
Launched Fall 2020
To bring people together despite restrictions, SLFS created the Studio Backlot Motor Cinema presented with Redman Movies and Stories on SLC’s westside (700 W 1075 S). Offering a 40-foot screen and DCP projection, this much-loved event truly is a BIG screen experience.
Continuing Spring & Fall 2021
Studio Backlot Motor Cinema Testimonial
“Our main interest in sponsoring is really just to give back… Last year the Motor Cinema was very impactful for us, and we want to say thanks. Molly spent the pandemic going through cancer treatment and all summer doing chemo, so we were on full lockdown. The Motor Cinema was literally the only activity that we felt comfortable doing outside our house and it really helped us make it through.” – Molly & Mark Law, Sponsors
Most of us don’t ordinarily think about going to the movies as a life affirming or life changing event. We consider moviegoing to be entertainment or an arts activity that gets us out of the house. Movies come and movies go, and we assume that there will always be another title coming soon and available when we feel like partaking. But this is not the way we think about movies at SLFS. We actually select each film with the awareness that it holds within it the possibility of changing, enriching, or positively altering someone’s life in ways we may never know about and could not possibly imagine. In addition to making sure that the best and most relevant film content finds its way to the people who need it, SLFS is absolutely dedicated to the magic of the communal, big screen experience.
SLFS knows that the full power of cinema can only truly occur when people are present with other people in the same physical space watching the same film and sharing common physical, mental and emotional experiences. Creating and nurturing the circumstances that allow this profound connection to happen between friends, neighbors, and strangers – even in an empty film studio lot on a late summer’s eve – is our passion, our mission and our impact. When our days are busy with logistics and budgets, it’s not always easy to remember that our goal is creating arts events that provide moments which are both transcendent yet vitally essential to our well-being. Knowing that for Mark and Molly and for thousands of others that SLFS enriches lives reminds us how SLFS has critical impact and why what we contribute matters.
Our Cultural Tours remained in motion as we continued to collaborate with leaders from Consulates and service organizations in various communities to present an unprecedented number of Film Tours in record time while being ‘closed.’ Filméxico, L’Chaim Jewish Film Tour, Māsima Pacific Islands Film Tour, and Inspire.Empower.Action Climate Change Film Tour collectively included 14 in-house-productions of artist discussions on topics such as afro-Mexican identity, immigration, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and the environmental challenges of our planet. We added Cultural Tour elements never thought of in pre-pandemic times: Zoom cocktail parties, panel discussions, and trivia games! We produced pre-screening virtual panels as part of the Sundance Film Festival that included conversations with female film directors in Mexico and the future of film exhibition for independent directors.
As a 2021 Sundance Satellite, SLFS produced and presented a free, international panel, Women and Mexican Cinema including the filmmakers of Filméxico opening night film Identifying Features – producer Astrid Rondero and director Fernanda Valadez – along with other Filméxico directors.
Identifying Features Filméxico opening night film Testimonial
“Oh my goodness. That has to be the most powerful film I’ve ever seen. Beautiful cinematography, even more brutal because of the soft focus, the muffled dialogue, the soundtrack, the emotion, the stoicism, the blank faces of the young men. I could go on. So much to digest. Thank you so much. I am truly moved.” -Paul Vincent Bernard, SLFS- U of U, Osher Lifelong Learning Movie Club member.
Always keeping a close eye on the health and sustainability of our organization, along with the wishes and needs of our lovely patrons, we have set Fall 2021 as our reopening goalpost. This will give us the summer to work on our plans while also giving the staff breathing room for their health and wellness. July and August have historically been our lowest-attended months, so perhaps by fall, once you’ve attended all the outdoor events, festivals, and celebrations our wonderful city has to offer, we can entice you back to experience the big screen as it was intended, full of images from cinematic artists who build empathy, understanding, and a window into other worlds and ideas that improve our community, our wellness, and our planet.
|Grants and public funding (15 grants/foundations)||$999,298|
|Management and general||$430,294|
We thank you for your continued investment in the future of SLFS. The community spirit we’ve seen from patrons, donors, sponsors, board members, volunteers, and staff has been the guiding force in keeping SLFS so strong and our programs so meaningful. Your interest in what’s next, your immense support, and your concern for our organizational good health are felt on a daily basis by each of us. Thank you. Please stay tuned to our social media for updates on enhancements to our facilities and keep watching movies.