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Wednesday, October 12, 2011


CONTACTt: Virginia Pearce, 801-532-7500virginia@spyhop.org


SALT LAKE CITY, UT (October 7, 2011) — Students of Spy Hop Productions’ most advanced filmmaking class will showcase their films at a public premiere Thursday, November 10, 2011 from 7:30–9:30pm at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $6.50 for general admission and available online at www.arttix.org, all ArtTix Office locations, or by calling (801) 355‐ARTS.

Now in its ninth year, the PitchNic film program (named for the “pitch” that each student must make for their film idea) is an intensive yearlong class where twelve Utah students ages 16 - 19 work on four films; two narrative and two documentary.  Students study film styles and work on story concepts and then pitch to a panel made up of Spy Hop alumni and local film professionals.  The winning ideas move into production and the students separate into teams and work with a budget, hire actors, rent gear, set up interviews, manage a crew, and secure locations.  Students then use the summer to shoot their films and enter post-production in the fall. 

PitchNic films have gathered a stellar reputation in the student film world and have played at festivals around the world such as Los Angeles International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Barcelona Television Festival, Westport Youth Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival and Fear No Film.

“The films you will see at PitchNic are original, authentic, illuminating and inspiring.  Anyone who cares about film, is a member of the industry or has a teenage child should come.  It is an invitation for conversation, inspiration and look at what is possible when young people come together to collaborate and narrate their future” said Geralyn Dreyfous, founder of the Utah Film Center and Impact Partners, and longtime supporter of Spy Hop Productions.

The 2011 PitchNic students come from a variety of backgrounds and schools including Alta, Highland, AMES and West Jordan High Schools.

The narrative films are:
Delayed (Emalie Ruffy, Rowan Eyzaguirre)
Alan, Bekah and Casey are a rock band on their way to play the biggest show of their lives, until their car inconveniently breaks down in the middle of the desert and their lead singer, Alan, is kidnapped. Bekah and Casey are left to deal with a series of characters as they hitchhike in an attempt to put the pieces back together to rescue Alan and get back on the road in time for their show.

River’s End (Mikkel Richardson, Anna Berbert, Rodrigo Arroyo)
Troubles at home convince a twelve-year-old boy to run away with his imaginary friend. The journey soon becomes too much to bear and is far more difficult than either of them could ever have imagined as they head off-course and face hunger and the elements. As their goal of reaching the ocean becomes unattainable, their resolve will be tested and their friendship challenged.

The documentary films are:
Dinner (Laela Omar, Erin Cole, James Hadden)
Our modern and busy lives get in the way and have changed the way we eat. Does eating together make for stronger families? How are children affected when left to fend for themselves? Do our fastfood diets get in the way of our happiness? Join us as we explore the current state of “dinner” in American culture and visit various families as they share their way of eating dinner.
Trashed (Mallory McDaniel, Conner Estes, Jon Tatum)
Each day the United States throws away enough trash to fill 63,000 garbage trucks, yet 75% of Americans consider themselves environmentalists. Even though most citizens are unaware of current conditions, a small group of Americans is trying to counteract this consumption and the mindset of the country. This group, commonly referred to as Freegans, takes the idea of recycling to the next level through dumpster diving, community farming, upcycling, and repurposing. “Trashed” follows the daily lives of local environmentalists and Freegans as they explain their anti-consumerist ways in our pro-consumerism country.
Spy Hop's PitchNic Program is made possible with support from; Zoo, Arts, and Parks of Salt Lake County (Tier 1), Salt Lake County Substance Abuse Prevention Program, the National Endowment for the Arts, Zero Divide, The Broadband Technology Opportunity Program, Adobe Youth Voices, The George & Dolores Dore Eccles Foundation, the Jarvis & Constance Doctorow Foundation, Salt Lake City Arts Council, and the Utah Division of Arts and Museums.

About Spy Hop Productions
Founded in 1999, Spy Hop Productions is a nonprofit youth media arts and education center whose purpose is to empower youth to express their voice and with it create positive change in their lives, their community, and the world.  Spy Hop’s mission is to encourage free expression, self-discovery, critical and inventive thinking, and skilled participation via the big screen, the airwaves, and the web.  Recognized by the White House as one of the top arts and humanities based organizations in the country, Spy Hop was chosen as a finalist for the 2010 National Arts and Humanities Youth Award given by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.


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