Gangrene Film Festival has been ground zero for the short-film community for 15 years, showcasing comedic vignettes from independent filmmakers from around the world. And each year, the festival gets weird with live entertainment that coalesces around a single theme. While 2013, for example, featured rock-and-roll hits played on tubas, the 2014 edition of Gangrene celebrates a space-lounge motif with a 20-piece big band playing the Latin-tinged, space-age lounge pop of composer Juan Garc?a Esquivel.
After the film festival itself triggers its last giggle fit, the Gangrene Film Festival Creative Symposium takes over. Leaders in a variety of media, including writing, music, filmmaking, and visual arts, host seminars about how to make money in their industry. Presenters include fantasy novelist Paul Genesse, who wrote The Golden Cord, short-film screenwriter Blake Casselman, and filmmaker Ali Barr.
The Smucker’s Stars on Ice tour is America’s only professional skating parade, featuring a skate-studded line-up of Olympic medalists and world-class athletes in a dazzling theatrical spectacle of glitter, lights, music, ice, and glitter. The Scott Hamilton–produced performance features a rotating cast, including fan favorites such as Sasha Cohen and Todd Eldredge, passionate pairs-skating matchups, and triumphant group performances to a diverse soundtrack ranging from Claude Debussy to the Dixie Chicks.
X-Dance, sponsored by Skullcandy, is a four-day celebration of adrenaline in its cinematic form, showcasing incredible film footage of action aficionados as they conquer the elements aboard bikes, boards, and skis. Cypher Vision meticulously documents the wave-wrassling abilities of the world's best surfers with an innovative camera capable of shooting 1,000 frames per second and getting very wet. Other equally kinetic films shine a spotlight on record-breaking free skier Grete Eliassen, speedy snowboarder Jeremy Jones, and motocross stunt specialist Robbie Maddison. Many of these daredevils will be on hand to answer questions after their films are shown. Passholders also get to attend FirstCom's music-licensing panel, which will show aspiring filmmakers how to access FirstCom’s massive catalog of licensed tunes so that their awe-inspiring base-jumping footage can be scored to something more extreme than “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”
EVE SLC is a sprawling New Year's Eve celebration?so sprawling that it takes three days. Its epicenter is the Salt Palace, where DJs spin in two ballrooms, filled with thousands of beach balls in honor of the event. However, it reaches across the city, too, with art exhibits, film screenings, and comedy shows at venues from Clark Planetarium to Off Broadway Theater. The event even stretches into the sky, with jaw-dropping fireworks displays.
As featured on the Travel Channel, Castle of Chaos conjures screams and scares for all those who enter its nightmarish realm. Spooks await visitors within the mansion, asylum, and dungeon at the Friday the 13th-themed Taylorsville location while the Riverdale facility coaxes guests into its creepy 3-D carnival and a haunted house modeled after the seven deadly sins. Riverdale participants can also settle into a coffin for a simulated journey from mortuary to graveyard or explore a menacing midway's games, live entertainment, and concessions. Continually rearranged rooms at both houses ensure that feng shui is maintained and repeat scare-seekers will frequently embark on new trips of terror.
The eighth annual Foursite Film Festival regales cinephiles of the Ogden community with a lineup of short films, documentaries, children's films, and other independently produced pictures. With today's first and third options, cinema sophisticates can experience the harrowing story of a paraplegic man attempting to scale Mount Kilimanjaro in the documentary One Revolution, or relive moments of motherly creepiness in the short horror feature An Evening with my Comatose Mother. Consult the schedule of events and free up time to fastidiously critique every film in the festival, or check out the fest's best at the June 10 Awards Ceremony, which includes free popcorn, refreshments, and graduate-level lectures on the French New Wave.