Official Selection Features of Slamdance 2020

Presenting the Feature Film Programs of Slamdance 2020: NARRATIVE FEATURES 1986 (Germany, Belarus) North American Premiere Director/ Screenwriter: Lothar Herzog While Elena repeatedly has to drive into the 'forbidden zone' of Chernobyl in order to make deals for her father, her life seems more and more contaminated by a destructive force... Cast: Daria Mureeva, Evgeni Sangadzhiev, Vitali Kotovitski, Alexei Filimonov, Helga Filippova, Alexei Kravchenko   A Dog's Death (Uruguay, France, Argentina) North American Premiere Director: Matías Ganz Veterinarian Mario and his wife Silvia enjoy a bourgeois life in Montevideo but two events will disturb their tranquility. A dog surgery goes wrong for Mario and Silvia discovers retirement. They will be dragged from paranoia to violence and from violence to nonsense. Cast: Guillermo Arengo, Pelusa Vidal, Soledad Gilmet, Lalo Rotaveria, Ruth Sandoval, Ana Katz   Beware of Dog (USA, Russia, Germany) World Premiere Director/ Screenwriter: Nadia Bedzhanova Three young adults experience parallel struggles with mental health and identity. In Moscow a woman struggles with severe OCD, while her cousin in Berlin tries to build a romantic relationship ignoring her own mental condition. Meanwhile in New York City, a heartbroken boxer faces addiction and lack of self worth in the aftermath of a break-up. Cast: Marina Vasileva, Buddy Duress, Paula Knüpling, Marina Prados, Kevin Iso, Pavel Tabakov...

sLGBTdance: A Programmer’s Trip Down Queer Indie Lane

By Paul Sbrizzi Let's take a stroll down the crooked old memory lane of SLGBTdance, shall we? And peek in on some of the randy rainbow fare served up over the years by many-gendered alt-queers in the Slamdance trattoria. Lady of the Lake (2003) 2003 was my first year traveling to Park City as a Slamdance programmer. The entire festival staff was shacked up at the sprawling Empire House, where the youngsters would stay up partying until 4AM as I lay in bed staring at the ceiling. It was a great time, though. My friend Gianna was the festival director that year, and it's not like we had favorites, but we just adored Michael Lucid. He was the friendliest, most unassuming guy, and his short puppet movie Lady of the Lake was so gorgeous, heartfelt and funny—a wordless parable of a young gay dreamer who comes to the big city and discovers all its many pleasures and perils. At the Filmmaker Happy Hour, Michael mentioned he also had a web series called Pretty Thingsss, so we put it up on the monitor and it was something completely different: a surreal, ahead-of-its-time comedy with Michael and his friend Amanda playing all the characters. Lady of the Lake didn't win any awards, so the staff got together...

Do I need a website…?

By Sandra Bertalanffy Do I need a website for my feature, short, episodic and myself? As you are preparing to hit the festivals you may be considering whether to print new cards or flyers, invest in a designer, print stickers, t-shirts, come up with a costume or just really any other way to stand out, bring awareness to your film or do anything else slightly resembling marketing activity. That’s all yay. Go for it and go for it good. BUT do consider step 2!  What’s step 2? Well, imagine this scenario: Someone compliments your film (or outfit) and you successfully hand over your printed marketing material (which btw also likes to get lost). Next, your Potentially Interested New Audience Member (“PINAM”) says: “Cool, do you have a website?” URGH. Punch in the lower region. Your body freezes, you mumble something embarrassing somewhat related to “short film,” “budget” or “first project” and PINAM smiles, nods, maybe gives you a another “Cool.” and then walks away. FOREVER! Noooooo!!!! And it could have been such an amazing mutual relationship! That’s why you want to consider step 2.  Step 2, also known as “make its easy for PINAM to find out more about you and give the option to stay connected easily.” So back to “Cool, do you have...

Meet the Artist: Allegra Jones

 Slamdance: Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from? How did you get into art? Allegra: I’m a half African American, half Italian artist from the Bay Area. I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember & playing music since I was six. When I was young, I frequently felt a little overwhelmed with the world around me. Drawing from life became a way to ease my mind & satisfy an urge to make sense of what was right in front of me. Drawing and music always guided me where I needed to go & were my largest sources of joy/peace. I decided to combine the two by studying Experimental Animation at CalArts. I currently live in LA with my beloved accordion, saxophone, clarinet, organ, & two bunny rabbits. Slamdance: For the first time, our Festival Artist has the exciting task of creating a visual identity for all of Slamdance 2020, since as an organization, Slamdance is expanding into new territory with more events like our Miami festival in May, 2020.  This butterfly portrait is just the first one we’ve unveiled so far for our January festival in Park City. Can you talk a little about this piece and the others you’ve created for us? What inspired them and how do...

The 2019 Award-winning Screenwriters

  Grand Prize & 1st Place Feature The Fall by Michael Lipoma & Tamra Teig East Berlin 1989 - A single mother is forced to become a spy to save her son when he’s framed for murder, and her act of revenge, woven into historic events, leads to the fall of the Berlin Wall. "Our producing partner's uncle was accused of being a KGB agent, and died under suspicious circumstances when he tried to extricate himself to protect his family. We used that as the inspiration and chose another time in history that was filled with espionage--the Cold War world behind the Berlin Wall. As we researched the idea of a mother who's forced to become a spy to save her son, we discovered the real cause of the fall of the Berlin Wall--a communication error. We wove real stories of East Berliners' struggles to free themselves from their oppressive regime into historic events and imagined how these events could have unfolded, through the eyes of single mother trying to keep her children safe behind the Iron Curtain."...

Slamdance DIG Showcase Merges Art, Technology and Immersive Experience at DTLA’s Wisdome

>>> Get Tickets to DIG This October, Slamdance brings its 5th annual DIG (Digital, Interactive & Gaming) showcase to Los Angeles featuring works by emerging visual artists and indie game developers from around the world. DIG will be open to the public October 24-25, 2019 at the Los Angeles Art District’s new immersive art park Wisdome, adding to the city’s rich offerings of interactive art experiences. DIG 2019 features a diverse lineup that explores the breadth of possibilities of new technologies and ways they can be used for creative expression. Projection pieces IMMERSIVE and tx-reverse 360° envelop the viewer from above and take advantage of Wisdome’s unique domed architecture. Cinematic VR documentaries How to Tell a True Immigrant Story and Children Do Not Play War bring Slamdance’s strong background in supporting cutting-edge filmmaking into new frontiers of film technology. An AI-generated new album, Chain Tripping, from LA based electro pop duo YACHT, and a reinterpretation of Hitchcock classic Vertigo are among projects exploring the creative possibilities of artificial intelligence. The diverse program also features interactive experimental dance, indie games, social AR filters, and a brain-wave generated musical performance.   Slamdance will also be previewing a selection of DIG works at Mobile World Congress in collaboration with 4YFN on October 23 and 24. This collaboration with...

2019 Screenplay Competition Results

The Top 12 Scripts of 2019   Grand Prize The Fall by Tamra Teig & Michael Lipoma Feature 1st: The Fall by Tamra Teig & Michael Lipoma 2nd: Margo & Perry by Becca Roth  3rd: Cherries by Matt Sadowski & Amelia Wasserman   Horror 1st: Cherry by Jordan Prosser 2nd: Into the Trees by Matt O’Connor  3rd: They Live on Skid Row by RJ Daniel Hanna Pilot 1st: Bitterroot by Maria Hinterkoerner & Kayne Gorney 2nd: American Infamy by Evan Iwata 3rd: Devil’s Garden by Steve Wang   Short 1st: Dig Deeper by by Girault Seger 2nd: Dunked by John Bickerstaff 3rd: Hawk Bells by Kristian Mercado   Semifinalists Feature Art In Tandem by Elizabeth Blackmer Cherries by Matt Sadowski & Amelia Wasserman The Fall by Tamra Teig & Michael Lipoma It’s Christmas, Where in the Fucking Fuck is Daryl?! (Um…it’s a Working Title) by Sean Kohnen & Matthew Kohnen Joppatown Hustle by Michael Mirabella Jungle by Sophie Webb & Pete Carboni Margo & Perry by Becca Roth Oh Mists, My Mists by Guilherme Viegas Punch Drunk by Brian Bourque   Horror Cherry by Jordan Prosser They Live on Skid Row by RJ Daniel Hanna Into the Trees by Matt O’Connor Open House by Sean J.S. Jourdan & John Ingle The Shepherd by Jorge Sermini & Nicole Elmer...

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Reframe: Kelly Sears & Sam Gurry in Conversation

Filmmakers Kelly Sears and Sam Gurry are 2019 Slamdance alumni who create innovative and powerful films by repurposing and reframing found imagery and objects. Kelly's film Applied Pressure, features sequential images sourced from dozens of massage books activated to reflect on recent public conversation surrounding bodies, massage, and assault. Sam's animated documentary, Winners Bitch, was inspired by a found collection of photos and documents belonging to Virginia Hampton, a real life doyenne of the dog competition world, and ruminates on the many sacrifices it can take to be a woman of distinction. We invited them to chat about about their work and the ways they create new meaning in the materials they find around them.   Kelly Sears:  It's great to watch all your work together!  I love getting a sense that questions or approaches become more pronounced through watching multiple works.  Here are some thoughts and musings and let's use this as a first step to see where our conversation goes.  We can make space for questions to questions and responses to responses. Sam Gurry: Thanks for watching my films! Likewise, it was lovely getting to be so engrossed in your world, Kelly. It’s interesting watching all of your pieces together and feeling certain manifestations throughout. I feel like I know you better now somehow. ...

We Stole a Movie

By Max Wilde Like probably all of you, my life is plagued with older professionals who tell me to “grow up,” “be realistic,” and “always have a dream,” but “understand that a realistic career comes first,” etc etc. Don't listen to them. Fuck dreams. We don't dream of making movies. We find ways to make them now, with the help of friends with empty couches, food stamps, and broken laws. I’m here to argue for the possibility of film outside its industry form, not only as an accessible and immediately doable alternative (for people who hate being an employee as much as I do), but more importantly as a form that has specific and crucial advantages over the financed, professionally staffed, and strictly standardized film producing technique. I think it's important you know that approximately one and a half food service jobs were quit to make A Great Lamp. A Great Lamp is a DIY movie made by 7 friends with no budget or resources. If you want to check it out, shoot me an email at maxkazaam@protonmail.com and I’ll give you a link. Having said that, you don’t need to watch it to read this piece and understand what is being said here. Seeing the film being referenced is mostly useful for the reader who...

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