News From Nowhere

How Making a Doc About a Punk Band Taught Me To Be an Indie Filmmaker

Slamdance alum and programmer Chelsea Christer wrote this article about her experience with her film Bleeding Audio, which played as part of our 2021 festival. Originally written for No Film School, they have both been kind enough to allow us to host the article here. The idea for Bleeding Audio had been percolating for me since early 2014, when The Matches informed me of their intention to reunite for a single live performance for the first time in years. I offered to film promotional videos since I was a close friend and filmmaker, and I wanted to support them in any way I could. This band inspired me to pursue a creative living, which I was leading happily, and in my view, this was the least I could do in return. The Matches’ fans are extremely loyal. They had been long deprived of their beloved band and community, and there was no doubt that the vacuum The Matches left behind would be instantly filled. Sure enough, their “one show” sold out in seconds, and that single show turned into a sold-out North American and Australian tour, and I had the basis of what would be a really compelling feature-length music documentary. I pitched a feature-length film to the guys and was met with the same humility that...

When I Was You I Wish I Knew: Stepping Up Your Next Production

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICZXICI1S1k   David Benavente (VP of Independent Sales & Production Incentives at Cast & Crew) and Ryan Broussard (VP of Sales & Production Incentives at Media Services) sat down with Slamdance alumni Chelsea Christer and Jessica Farrell to share their experience and advice for emerging filmmakers, covering an array of production topics including financing, tax incentives and more to help prepare you for your next project. Watch the full panel or check out some highlights below. On who to have on board when you start budgeting JF: I would say always think about how you want to collaborate. The first thing before you even jump to a line producer, production assistant, anything smaller in that realm, think about your above-the-line producer. This person is really going to be your mom. Producers help with budget, help pitch, get distribution. All the way from A to Z. It’s a big commitment so you need to collaborate with the right person and make sure they fit your project. RB: Accept that you don’t know everything and team up with people that know more than you and be OK with that. Our big philosophy is — with independents — small fish become big fish. On the paperwork to have in place as you build your team JF: Start with your...

Announcing the Slamdance 2022 Award Winners

https://youtu.be/QxF4vzcgnUY Slamdance is delighted to announce the winners of the 2022 Slamdance Film Festival. The full festival is still available for on-demand streaming through 6 February with your $10 virtual pass. Watch now. Experimental Shorts Honorable Mention: Compositions for Understanding Relationships, directed by David De La Fuente Grand Jury Winner: Chameleon (A Visual Album), directed by Jaamil Olawale Kosoki & Ima Iduozee Animated Shorts Honorable Mention: Oldboy's Apples, directed by Brad Hock Grand Jury Winner: I'm Here, directed by Julia Orlik Documentary Shorts Honorable Mention: Walls Cannot Keep Us From Flying, directed by Jonathan Mehring Grand Jury Winner: The Ritual to Beauty, directed by Shenny de Los Angeles & Maria Marrone Narrative Shorts Honorable Mention: See You, Garbage! directed by Romain Dumont Grand Jury Winner: Ratking, directed by Eric Colonna CreativeFuture Innovation Award Winner: My Parent, Neal, directed by Hannah Saidiner George Starks Spirit of Slamdance Award Winner: Sasha Levinson, director of Sylvie of the Sunshine State Audience Awards Episodes: The Ember Knight Show: "Getting Mad" created by Ember Knight & Bobby McCoy Documentary Feature: Iron Family, directed by Patrick Longstreth Narrative Feature: The Civil Dead, directed by Clay Tatum & Whitmer Thomas AGBO Fellowship Winner: Ethan Eng, director of Therapy Dogs Unstoppable Honorable Mention: Selahy (My Weapon), directed by Alaa Zabara Grand Jury Winner: Straighten Up and Fly Right, directed by Kristen Abate & Steven Tanenbaum Breakout...

Slamdance ’22 Presents: Blockchain Fairy Tales

Slamdance '22 Presents: Blockchain Fairy Tales: What if  Happily Ever After Is Not Guaranteed? Made by many and in collaboration with Columbia University's School of the Arts' Digital Storytelling Lab Those formerly known as the audience will become architects of the future in this collective storytelling event. We will explore a playful world, contend with magical threats, and face the question: What if Happily Ever After is Not Guaranteed? Together, we will create new myths that come to life on our screens. This experience is made by many co-creators, leveraging Blockchain technology for creative purposes beyond commerce. Blockchain Fairy Tales examines the core of crypto through a speculative lens, subverts the current value system of cryptocurrency and uplifts shared community values. What if our voices could be part of a social system that uses decentralization to challenge the most hierarchical systems we have? Event Information Blockchain Fairy Tales (BFT) will take place over Zoom and Miro (a collaborative whiteboard platform). A Zoom link will be sent to the email you registered with. Feel free to share the event page, but please do not share the Zoom link on social media. 1st Performance Saturday, January 29th 1 p.m. EST 2nd Performance Thursday, February 3rd 1 p.m. EST...

Announcing The Slamdance Channel, Slamdance’s New Anti-Algorithm Streaming Service

Slamdance will debut a new streaming platform for independent films, The Slamdance Channel, which will launch in conjunction with the annual indie-focused Slamdance Film Festival on January 27 and feature new programming on February 7, the day after the fest wraps. The Slamdance Channel expands the organization’s mission of providing creators with maximum opportunities to reach movie audiences. The streaming platform will have a curated selection of content that allows artists to gain more visibility and recognition for their work, as well as monetary compensation for their creative endeavors. Slamdance will actively support filmmakers on the platform by sharing any profits fairly among its contributing artist community. “Slamdance has always looked at ways to overcome industry gatekeepers that block independently made films from being accessible and the Slamdance Channel represents our biggest effort yet,” said Slamdance president and co-founder Peter Baxter. “We are an anti-algorithm, artist-led collective, continually hellbent on sharing original film work with a wider audience. We’re looking forward to seeing how our Channel develops and fits into the bigger picture of a decentralized media future.” Baxter continued, “The future of film, like any art form, depends on truly unique voices that defy simple classification and transcend analytics. We are celebrating these voices on the Channel who push the boundaries of what’s possible...

Introducing Slamdance 2022 Artwork by Jamie Wolfe

Jamie Wolfe is the key artist for the 2022 Slamdance Film Festival. About her new work, she says "the central figure came from making something that embodies the raw, eclectic energy of the festival." Jamie Wolfe is an animator and artist living and working in Los Angeles, California. You can learn more about Jamie and her work on Vimeo, Instagram, or on her website. The 2022 Slamdance Film Festival will stream 100+ independent films from January 27 to February 6 in an accessible, on-demand format. Preorder your $10 virtual pass now.  ...

Slamdance Film Festival Omicron Update: Online Festival Dates

Slamdance Film Festival cancels in-person portion of its festival; Continues its virtual festival program, beginning January 27 Los Angeles–December 23, 2021 – Due to concerns around the Omicron variant, and for the safety of its staff, filmmakers, and audience, the Slamdance Film Festival will forgo the in-person portion of its hybrid event in Park City, which was scheduled to run January 20-23. Slamdance will continue its virtual festival program with an accessible and robust lineup of virtual screenings, events, and live Q&A’s running January 27-February 6, 2022. The January 27 start date is a week later than originally planned, which allows the festival team to transition many of the events that were planned for the physical edition to the online format. “Although we are disappointed that we won’t be able to participate in the communal, in-person experience, we know we can create a unique festival experience for all of our filmmakers through Slamdance’s online platform.” Said Peter Baxter, Slamdance President and Co-Founder. “We are looking forward to utilizing the expertise we've already gained in attracting a global audience, building upon our accessibility goals and pushing the boundaries of what a decentralized festival can be.” Pre-buy your all-access virtual pass today....

Slamdance Announces Full 2022 Lineup

28 features, 79 shorts, and 7 episodes will be showcased during the 28th edition, which returns to Park City with a hybrid festival The Festival also integrates technology and art with the launch of Blockchain Fairy Tales Project December 8, 2021 (Los Angeles, CA) - Slamdance Film Festival, the premiere film festival and organization “by filmmakers, for filmmakers,” today announced the full lineup for its 28th edition hybrid festival. Known for challenging the status quo, Slamdance and its artist-led community have long held a reputation for discovering talent, often overlooked by the mainstream, that go on to change the entertainment industry. In 2022, the festival returns to its original home in Park City, Utah for its physical festival January 20-23, 2022, bridged with an accessible and robust program of virtual screenings, running January 20-30, 2022. “We are anti-algorithm. That’s always been true, but it’s more urgent than ever as we continue to celebrate truly unique voices that defy simple classification and transcend analytics,” said Slamdance President and co-founder Peter Baxter. “This year our programmers gravitated towards films that embody the true DIY spirit of guerrilla filmmaking and push the boundaries of what’s possible in storytelling. The Slamdance team is honored to introduce everyone of these storytellers, who are changing the media narrative and elevating the...

2021 Screenplay Competition Results

2021 Slamdance Screenplay Awards | October 14th, 11 AM PT/2 PM PT Join Slamdance, the WGA, and hosts Daniel Casey and Jessica Sinyard in conversation on building their careers as screenwriters, as well as the impact of screenwriting competitions on their overall trajectory. We will also announce and celebrate the 2021 Slamdance Screenplay Competition Winners in Features, Horror/Thriller, TV Pilots, and Shorts categories, as well as the 2021 Screenplay Mentorship Award and the Grand Prize winner for Best Screenplay! This event was streamed live through Slamdance's Facebook page. Visit the event page to watch the recording of the ceremony....

In Conversation With the Slamdance Screenplay Competition Winners | Joyce Sherrí and Tyler Tice

https://youtu.be/htGviVo6ZoE Joyce Sherrí and Tyler Tice — the 2020 and 2017 winners of the Slamdance Screenplay Competition — came together virtually to discuss their journeys as writers and preparing their scripts for production. Tyler Tice's Day Shift is now in production at Netflix, while Joyce Sherrí plans to direct Sweet Sixteen as her first feature film. You can find more information about this year's Screenplay Competition here. Watch the full panel or check out some highlights below.   Joyce Sherri on her 2020 Slamdance-winning feature screenplay SWEET SIXTEEN. JS: is a coming-of-age story but it has some magical realism elements thrown into it. It's about a 15-year-old girl who discovers that right before her 16th birthday the electricity in her home is cut off. So she sort of goes on a small adventure to try to get the money together, to get the lights on so that she could just have a perfect sweet sixteen. I wanted to tell a story that was about somebody who wanted something very simple, especially coming from the black perspective, because I feel that a lot of times our stories are usually rooted in racism and all these other things. I'm like, yes. That happens. But we also want very simple things like your first kiss, or...

2020 Award-winning Screenwriters

Grand Prize & 1st Place Feature Sweet Sixteen by Joyce Sherrí Sweet, a 15 year old girl, tries to convince her parents to throw her a big sweet sixteen birthday party, but money and family problems lead Sweet down a destructive path. Virginia native writer-director, Joyce Sherrí, received an MFA in Filmmaking from New York University in 2016 and is a recipient of the Spike Lee Production Fund for her short film “Forever.”  She’s also a fellow of the inaugural WGA Made In New York Writer’s Room. Her most recent works “Beauty” and “Through The Ages” are of the southern gothic-fantasy-horror variety and paved the way for a staff writing position on two upcoming Netflix series.  “Black people are not a monolith. We have experiences in life that don’t always revolve around the fact that we are Black and how difficult that can be...There is more to us than racial trauma. Sometimes we just want something as simple as a first kiss or a sweet sixteenth birthday party.”  “In the South, you don’t talk about grown folks' business with a child which meant that when we were evicted from our home for the umpteenth time and forced to live in a homeless shelter or a motel or my grandparent's garage, no one ever talked to...

Slamdance to Present Its Largest and Most Accessible Festival Yet

Artist Led Festival Sets February 12-25, 2021 Dates with Free Viewing, Desert Experience, Filmmaker Revenue Share and New Program for Creators with Disabilities Slamdance, the festival organization known for the discovery of filmmakers like Christopher Nolan, the Russo Brothers, Lynn Shelton, Lena Dunham, Ari Aster, Andrew Patterson and Merawi Gerima will take a break from Park City in 2021 by moving virtually to slamdance.com, YouTube and physically to Joshua Tree, California.  A two week virtual festival experience brings everything Slamdance has to offer to a global online audience on slamdance.com and YouTube. The online showcase includes short and feature film programs, filmmaker Q&A's, jury and audience awards presentations, workshops and panels with notable alumni and Slamdance's first program for filmmakers with disabilities called Unstoppable. The showcase will provide revenue sharing from sponsor proceeds for filmmakers and free online viewing opportunities for audiences.  The physical festival experience is an invite-only, socially-distanced weekend desert retreat for filmmakers to safely gather and connect with each other and industry guests. Here, Slamdance will present premier outdoor screenings, filmmaker workshops, notable alumni and industry talks and music. The filmmaker retreat will be adjacent to a public drive-in cinema program. In this year of covid and chaos, a sense of community is one of the most potent losses we are feeling...

“Greenlight Yourself” | Director Merawi Gerima on the Making of ‘Residue’

Residue, written and directed by Merawi Gerima, had its world premiere at the 2020 Slamdance Film Festival where it won the Audience Award, Special Jury Mention and Acting Award for lead Obinna Nwachukwu. The film follows aspiring filmmaker Jay (Obinna Nwachukwu) returning to his childhood Washington, DC, neighborhood that has been gentrified beyond recognition. Dealing with alienation from his friends, troubled by the disappearance of his best friend, and unsure of his place in this new community, Jay confronts issues of identity, gentrification and loss. Now streaming on Netflix through Ava DuVernay's distribution company ARRAY, Residue has racked up stellar reviews from The Guardian, The New Yorker and the New York Times, to name a few. Stacey Marbrey, longtime Slamdance programmer and filmmaker, sat down with Merawi to talk in depth about Residue and the inspiring DIY stories behind how the film was made —with limited resources but an abundance of determination, talent, and community support. Check out some highlights below, or watch the full interview here. On the gentrification of DC and the inspiration for making Residue: "I spent a whole year away and I came back to DC with all these emotions kind of swirling. Then I saw that the city that I had not really appreciated, you appreciate it more when it's leaving...

2020 Screenplay Competition Winners

2020 Slamdance Screenplay Awards | October 8th, 11 AM PT/2 PM PT Join Slamdance, the WGA, and host Todd Berger in conversation with past winners and Slamdance alumni screenwriters on building their careers as writers in the Film/TV industry. We will also announce and celebrate the 2021 Slamdance Screenplay Competition Winners in Feature, Short, Horror/Thriller and TV Pilot categories, as well as the 2021 Grand Prize winner for Best Screenplay! Featuring:  Naima Ramos-Chapman (HBO's Betty, Random Acts of Flyness,  Piu Piu), Jessica Sinyard (2018 Grand Prize Winner The Peak),  Tyler Tice (2017 Grand Prize Winner Dayshift), Todd Berger (It's a Disaster, The Happytime Murders)  More Info https://youtu.be/I-6MJhPG-IU  ...

Scroll to top