Utah Film Center is holding screenings Tumbleweeds Film Festival Audience Award winner Felix across the state this month—and we’re really not surprised the film won at this year’s kids’ film fest.
Shot in South Africa, Roberta Durrant’s film focuses on 13-year-old Felix, who wins a scholarship to a prestigious private school where he’s bullied for his disadvantaged background. At home, Felix discovers his late father played saxophone for the famous Bozza Boys Band, and he dreams of becoming a saxophonist, too. Felix’s mother, Lindiwe, blames jazz for Zweli’s death and forbids it. But Felix don’t care what mamma won’t allow, he’ll play his saxophone anyhow. Two aging Bozza Boys give Felix a crash course in the sax, and he auditions for his school’s jazz concert. But will Lindiwe overcome her feelings to support her son on his musical journey?
Hlayani Junior Mabassa, who plays Felix, is perfect for the underdog role. He's also quite the musician. Kids will also relate to Felix’s school friends Samuel and January, along with his bro and sis, Wiseman and Zanele.
It’s actually one of the Tumbleweeds films we’d recommend watching even without the kids. But if you do bring the kids (which you should), they’ll get a message on bullying and forgiveness and even learn a little South African culture. Of course, it’s also a great way to get them into jazz.
Moab: Saturday, April 12, 2 p.m., Star Hall
Orem: Saturday, April 12, 2 p.m., Orem Public Library
Kamas: Friday, April 18, 4 p.m., Kamas Theater
West Jordan: Saturday, April 19, 11 a.m., The Viridian Library and Event Center
Park City: Saturday, April 19, 3 p.m., Park City Library
Price: Saturday, April 19, 3 p.m., Price City Auditorium
Check out our reviews of some of the other films at Tumbleweeds: