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South Valley Riverton Journal

Health department seeks films sharing stories of resilience

Mar 28, 2022 09:36PM ● By Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Aspiring filmmakers who have a story to tell of resilience can showcase their short original film in Salt Lake County Health Department’s fourth annual film festival.

The contest is open to seventh- through 12th-grade students who live in Salt Lake County. The 30- to 60-second films are to show or discuss how they, or those around them, have demonstrated resilience in mental health, physical health and/or social health.

This year’s theme, “Stories of Resilience” was determined by the Salt Lake County Healthy Teens Coalition.

“The youth expressed sincerely the need to expand on our theme from previous years,” said Julia Glade, Salt Lake County Health Department healthy communities coordinator. “We value the youth voice, especially when it comes to learning how public health topics have an impact on them and their community. The film festival is a terrific opportunity to motivate teens to continue engaging in these important conversations about to their physical, mental and social health, especially after the last two years they’ve endured during the pandemic.”

Film submissions will close Thursday, April 7 at 11:59 p.m. mountain time. Film submissions will be ranked in originality, relevance to the theme and technical expertise. To learn more about the festival rules, submission information and resources, visit

The contest first began as the Kick Ash Film Festival in 2019, with previous festivals asking students to target their films to other youth about the dangers of youth e-cigarette use.

Post-festival evaluation efforts found that 78% of teens who participated had a changed (more negative) perception of e-cigarettes, Glade said.

The community also supported the expanded vision of the film festival.

“It’s a fun event and the community sponsors value the youth’s vision and values on health topics and the impact these have on them and their families. It’s motivating to hear teens talk to their peers and their families about mental, physical and social health issues and hear their stories about resiliency through film,” she said.

Sponsors, including Get Healthy Utah, HealthChoice Utah, Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital and Unite Us, have donated prizes and cash to the top three winners in grades seven through nine, and also in grades 10-12. Winners will be determined by a panel of judges from Salt Lake County Health Department and the festival’s sponsors.

There are audience choice top three prizes, with online voting available April 15-22.

The festival will show winning films at a virtual screening event April 28.