Docutah launches screenings in Las Vegas with ‘Thelma and Louise’ inspired documentary

Composite image: Screenshot from "Catching Sight of Thelma & Louise" over a movie theater image | Screenshot courtesy of Docutah@TheEclipse, theater image from Pixaby, St. George News

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — If you ever wondered what effect the iconic 1991 film “Thelma & Louise” had on the American public, the documentary “Catching Sight of Thelma & Louise” answers that question. And now you can see both films in a special one-night screening at the Eclipse Theaters in Las Vegas as part of Docutah@TheEclipse.

Dixie State University Docutah International Documentary Film Festival and Eclipse Theaters have teamed up to present these two powerful and inextricably linked films Wednesday at 5 p.m. PDT.

Jennifer Townsend, director of “Catching Sight of Thelma & Louise,” will be on hand to host her film and Q&A session after the screening. The evening begins with a prescreening reception with Townsend in the upscale lounge and luxury bar at The Eclipse. Tickets are $16 and are available online.

The idea for “Catching Sight of Thelma & Louise” had its beginnings in 1991, when viewers from around the country shared their visceral reactions to “Thelma & Louise” in a national survey conducted by Townsend. After seeing the movie – several times – when it was first released, Townsend said she felt that the film had affected her in a profound way.

“Even now I find that words do not fully capture this sensation. I had never seen a film where women exuded so much power. They had ‘slain the dragon’. They were forces to be reckoned with. Even in the face of death, they refused to surrender,” Townsend said.

The film compelled Townsend to embark on a research project to understand how other viewers were affected by the film. Although she received thousands of responses, the research paper never materialized. However, 25 years later, some of these voices and stories will come to life in her powerful documentary. Some of these viewers will share their remembrances of a film they felt strongly about at a certain time in their lives – and perhaps still do.

Much like its namesake, “Catching Sight of Thelma & Louise” grabs you and doesn’t let you go just because you finished watching it. Some films provoke animated conversations and robust engagement. This is one of them. 

We felt that Eclipse Theaters was a perfect venue to kickoff Docutah@TheEclipse,” said Phil Tuckett, Docutah executive director and digital film professor at Dixie State University. “By bringing these two films together in the intimate atmosphere of Eclipse, we could provide its sophisticated audience not only with the type of high quality entertainment, which it is accustomed to, but an opportunity to interact with the filmmaker and each other.”

Rodney Chichester, an Eclipse Theaters partner, also said Docutah is a perfect match for the theater.

Eclipse Theaters showcases independently supported film projects in a venue with the exclusivity and elegance expected from an award show or movie premiere,” Chichester said. “Docutah brings an important element to the community and we believe our audience is looking for the kinds of innovative projects that this first event provides. We are always thinking about for ways to expand unique entertainment options for the audience.”

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Event details

  • What: Docutah@TheEclipse screening of “Thelma & Louise” and “Catching Sight of Thelma & Louise.”
  • When: Wednesday, Aug. 23, 5 p.m. PDT.
  • Where: Eclipse Theaters, 814 S. Third St., Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Cost: $16.
  • Purchase tickets: Online.

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