“The Games Maker” is a PG-rated fantasy that is in the vein of “Harry Potter,” according to Utah Film Center outreach coordinator Sallie Hodges. [Image courtesy of the Utah Film Center]

Whether you’re in the mood for a family-friendly adventure or a hard-hitting documentary, the Utah Film Center has something for you this month.

On Saturday, April 11 at 2 p.m., the center will present a free screening of the PG-rated kids’ fantasy movie “The Games Maker.” The week after that, it’s teaming up with the Grand County Public Library to offer a free showing of the pro-union documentary “Food Chains” on Thursday, April 16 at 7 p.m. Both movies will be shown at Star Hall, 159 E. Center St.

“The Games Maker,” which is recommended for children who are at least eight years old, tells the story of a young boy who enters a mysterious game-making contest against his father’s wishes. His parents disappear soon afterward, but he believes they’re still alive, so he sets off on a “dark, adventure-filled quest” to find them, according to a Sundance Institute film synopsis.

The English-language movie from Argentina features an international cast that includes David Mazouz of “Gotham,” “Shakespeare in Love” star Joseph Fiennes in a rare villainous turn and veteran actor Ed Asner.

Utah Film Center Artistic Director Patrick Hubley noted that the movie comes with the Sundance Institute’s blessings.

“(It) was one of the three films that premiered in the Sundance Kids section at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival,” Hubley said. “It is a wonderful, adventure-filled film about a young boy who discovers a passion for making board games and who finds himself on a quest to find a hidden family secret.”

Utah Film Center outreach coordinator Sallie Hodges compared the movie to another fantasy-themed adventure with a young boy at its center.

“This is a terrifically exciting film in the vein of ‘Harry Potter,’ and a film not to be missed,” she said.

“Food Chains,” meanwhile, is a real-life horror story that asks audiences what they can do to improve the lives of farmworkers who pick their food.

The film, which is not rated, focuses on a group of tomato pickers from southern Florida who set out to revolutionize farm labor.

Filmmaker Sanjay Rawal takes supermarkets and fast food restaurants to task for their role in an industry supply chain that – in his eyes – is bad for farmworkers.

By the filmmaker’s estimates, the average field worker earns about $12,000 a year, and in the most extreme cases, he says, farmworkers are beaten and held in debt bondage or modern-day slavery. Eight out of 10 women who work in the fields experience sexual harassment, he maintains.

These are not rare occurrences, his film claims, but are instead a byproduct of an agricultural system that relies on the desperately poor.

While many people in Moab pay close attention to where their food comes from and how it is grown, Hodges said it’s easy to overlook how everything is harvested.

“This documentary takes a close look at how the supermarket industry controls the production of food in the U.S. and how it affects the workers that help get food to our table,” she said.

Hubley said the film covers the living and working conditions modern laborers experience and how much, “or rather, how little,” has changed since Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta began organizing farmworkers in the 1960s.

Grand County Public Library assistant Jessie Magleby said the library and the film center seek out films that help raise awareness about current events, and “Food Chains” brings up an issue that should concern all Americans. 

“Everybody eats and many of us are concerned with knowing where our food comes from: Is it healthy? Local? Organic? Was the animal raised humanely?” she said. “But most of us rarely consider who is raising our food and at what cost. Are the growers and pickers treated humanely and paid enough to live on? Sadly, the answer is often ‘no,’ but ‘Food Chains’ also tells us about the groups that are making positive changes and how we can support humanely-grown and harvested food.”

As the filmmaker sees it, the union-backed Fair Food Program is one encouraging step forward. In recent years, 12 major retailers and fast food restaurants, including Walmart and Burger King, have agreed to pay an extra penny per pound of tomatoes they buy, while pledging not to buy tomatoes from farms with documented human rights violations.

Utah Film Center presents “The Games Maker,” “Food Chains”

“(‘The Games Maker’) is a wonderful, adventure-filled film about a young boy who discovers a passion for making board games and who finds himself on a quest to find a hidden family secret.”

When: “The Games Maker” will be showing at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 11. “Food Chains” will be showing at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 16.

Where: Star Hall, 159 E. Center St.

Cost: Free

For more information about either movie, or upcoming screenings at Star Hall, go to utahfilmcenter.org/events/category/moab/upcoming/.