Docutah’s Film Festivals gear up for 2016

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Darlene Montague, left and Chantile McAllister with the College of Southern Nevada provided a classroom for Mesquite Team #18’s use to review documentary films. Photo submitted.

Darlene Montague, left and Chantile McAllister with the College of Southern Nevada provided a classroom for Mesquite Team #18’s use to review documentary films. Photo submitted.

With the help of dozens of volunteer screening teams, Docutah counts among its help, six teams in Mesquite. Team #18, with seven members led by Barb King, has evaluated 24 documentary films over a period of three months at 13 viewing sessions.

Filmmakers come from all over the world and offer many top-notch educational, entertaining and fine movies which have a wide range of subjects. With over 400 submissions, screeners have a lot of work to do.

They use criteria received from Docutah online and watch the films digitally by computer, after which evaluations are sent back online to the base at Dixie State University. Phil Tuckett, director, then scrutinizes three evaluations of each film and compares it with his own team’s evaluation. This is done to fairly assign scores so top movies can be shown at the fall movie festivals held in the St. George, UT and Mesquite areas.

Rating numbers are assigned in categories such as storyline, cinematography, editing, sound, music and graphics. Screeners also recommend subject categories, caution codes, and appropriate ages for viewing. Finally, they express their reaction to each movie and give worthy comments as to how high a recommendation it should receive.

This year Team #18 was without a venue for watching the films. The College of Southern Nevada came to the rescue and provided a classroom for the team’s use. The team members were so grateful that they presented the site coordinator, Darlene Montague, and her assistant, Chantile McAllister with flowers, candy and a card for their help and kindness.

The teams look forward to the results of their labor of love. A night of appreciation will be held in June in their honor in St. George where the winning films will be announced. Team members who reached a total of a dozen or more viewings will receive custom Docutah shirts.

As soon as festival plans are finalized, the public will be notified of times and locations of the showings. In Mesquite, it will be at the end of October. Proceeds from the event go to Mesquite Reads, a reading program for children headed by Gerri Chasko, representing the Eureka as sponsor.

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