News From Nowhere

Slamdance and Chill | Vol. 4

A list of Slamdance films you can stream at home! Support Slamdance filmmakers and learn, laugh, cry and be entertained at the same time. Feature films are available for rent, purchase or, in some cases, free or available through streaming services you already subscribe to. All short films are free to watch online. Enjoy! Funny Story (2018) Directed by Michael Gallagher, Written by Steve Greene & Michael Gallagher An aging heartthrob crashes his estranged daughter's vacation in Big Sur to make amends, but his efforts cause surprising and tragic results. From director Michael Gallagher comes a hilarious and heartfelt tragicomedy you never saw coming. Funny Story explores the destructive power of narcissism, the healing power of forgiveness, and the dangers of doing karaoke after drinking too much tequila. Watch on Amazon...

Life As a Screenwriter: A Survival Guide

“The worst thing you can do as a writer is to die with a project. Always write something new.”  This is one of the pieces of advice shared by screenwriter and Slamdance alum Daniel Casey (Kin, Fast & Furious 9) during our Polytechnic panel, “Life As a Screenwriter: A Survival Guide.” As we get into the depths of our 2020 Screenplay Competition, it seems like a great time to revisit the insights we gleaned from that discussion in Park City with Slamdance alumni screenwriters at different stages of their careers. Slamdance festival producer and screenwriter Michael Morin moderated the panel with: Daniel Casey, who premiered his debut written and directed feature, The Death of Michael Smith at Slamdance 2006 and has since written on various projects in Hollywood, including 10 Cloverfield Lane, Kin, and the up and coming Fast and Furious entry, F9. Jess Zeidman, a young screenwriter who just wrote and produced her feature debut, Tahara, a Slamdance 2020 world premiere. Here are some of the key points of wisdom from their discussion: Rewrites are a fact of life. Daniel Casey emphasized the inevitability of doing rewrites as a screenwriter working within the Hollywood system. Notes and rewrite requests can come from producers trying to push for a broader, more marketable appeal or from directors...

Slamdance and Chill | Vol. 3

A list of Slamdance films you can stream at home! Support Slamdance filmmakers and learn, laugh, and be entertained at the same time. Feature films are available for rent, purchase or, in some cases, through streaming services you already subscribe to. All short films are free to watch online. We've created some suggested pairings to help guide you through but feel free to create your own viewing adventure. Enjoy! Beware of Dog (2020) Written & Directed by Nadia Bedzhanova Alienated in politically-ambiguous Moscow, a young woman deals with severe OCD, while her cousin in Berlin tries to build a romantic relationship ignoring her own condition. Meanwhile in New York City, a heartbroken boxer fights addiction and lack of self-worth in the aftermath of a break-up. Watch on Vimeo...

By Filmmakers For Filmmakers: Residue

By Filmmakers, For Filmmakers Follow Residue director Merawi Gerima and his Resicrew as they take over Park City and connect with new audiences and fellow filmmakers at the Slamdance Film Festival. Directed by Slamdance alum Jai Love. Credits Directed by Jai Love Featuring Team Residue: Merawi Gerima, Obinna Nwachukwu, Mark Jeevaratnam, Shani Crowe, Joshua Parks, Enanu Gerima, Dennis Lindsey. Edited by Eduardo Ayres Sound by Connor Rickman Sound Mix by Cody Troyer Shot on Blackmagic Design Pocket 4K Additional Footage by Joshua Parks Footage from “Residue” courtesy of Merawi Gerima...

Slamdance and Chill | Vol. 2

Volume 2 of a series of Slamdance films you can stream at home! Support Slamdance filmmakers and learn, laugh, and be entertained at the same time. Feature films are available for rent, purchase or, in some cases, through streaming services you already subscribe to. All short films are free to watch online. We've created some suggested pairings to help guide you through but feel free to create your own viewing adventure. Enjoy! My Name is Myeisha (2018) Directed by Gus Krieger, Written by Rickerby Hinds, Gus Krieger Inspired by the 1998 police shooting of California teen Tyisha Miller and adapted from the internationally acclaimed play, Dreamscape. At the moment of Myeisha's death at the hands of police, she guides us inside her mind and muses over the life she will be leaving behind, told through hip-hop, spoken word poetry, and dance. Watch on: Youtube | Amazon | Google Play | iTunes   See it with the short film... Get Out Fast (2017) Written & Directed by Haley Elizabeth Anderson Alex's best friend, Coyote Boy, is missing and he doesn't know why. Watch on Vimeo     Beats (2019) Directed by Brian Welsh, Written by Kieran Hurley, Brian Welsh During a pro basketball lockout, a sports agent pitches a rookie basketball client on an intriguing and controversial...

Slamdance and Chill

A weekly-updated list of Slamdance films you can stream at home! Support Slamdance filmmakers and learn, laugh, and be entertained at the same time. Feature films are available for rent, purchase or, in some cases, through streaming services you already subscribe to. All short films are free to watch online. We've created some suggested pairings to help guide you through but feel free to create your own viewing adventure. Enjoy! Lost Holiday (2019) Written and Directed by Michael Kerry Matthews & Thomas Matthews After Margaret meets her ex-boyfriend's fiancé, she goes on an adventure with Henry and Sam, her least mature friends. What starts as a search for LSD quickly puts them at the center of an heiress's disappearance that she is determined to solve. Watch on: Youtube | Amazon | Google Play | Vudu   Pairs well with the short film Get Up Pierrot(2019) Directed by Gurleen Rai, F. Anthony Shepherd An existential pastry made by folding layers of identity upon itself with equal parts tears and smiles. Watch on Vimeo       High Flying Bird (2019) Directed by Steven Soderbergh, Written by Tarell Alvin McCraney During a pro basketball lockout, a sports agent pitches a rookie basketball client on an intriguing and controversial business proposition. Watch on Netflix   Watch it with......

Announcing Emergence: Los Angeles March 26-29

February 26, 2020 (Los Angeles, CA) - ArcLight Cinemas and Slamdance today announced the lineup for their inaugural Emergence Film Festival, taking place March 26th - 29th at ArcLight Cinemas’ Hollywood location. The lineup includes both premieres and Slamdance Park City festival favorites and will showcase Features, Shorts, and Episodics along with Slamdance’s signature categories Anarchy and DIG. This new partnership is an extension of the two organizations’ successful Slamdance Cinema Club screening series. Tickets and passes are now on sale. Tickets can be purchased online and at the theater. Passes can be purchased in advance through the Slamdance website here. The lineup is comprised overwhelmingly of local filmmakers, with a Los Angeles connection for 90% of the features, further supporting the local independent film community. There will be eight features with a mix between documentaries and narratives, nineteen shorts and episodes, 11 Anarchy shorts and four DIG experiences. All feature films are directorial debuts with budgets of less than $1 million USD and without US distribution. Films were selected by a team of Slamdance alumni and are programmed democratically. Feature Films and Shorts will be eligible for an audience award and ArcLight Cinemas will award the Shorts winner with distribution across its chain. Photos of selected films available here. “With the launch of Emergence,...

The Cinema That Refused to Close

By Noel Lawrence Last month, I flew to Rotterdam to premiere my new film Sammy-Gate​ ​at their storied and sprawling film festival. Much as I enjoyed my stay in the glorious lair of the IFFR Tiger, a filmmaker should never forget where he or she came from. And for the better part of 20 years, that place has been in the bowels of the underground: screening in squats, sleeping on couches, and struggling to achieve one’s cinematic visions in an economy of scarcity. As a filmworker in Hollywood, I forget my roots at times. I make no pretense of bohemian sainthood. But I am nonetheless delighted to see young people taking up the arms that I have laid down. And that brings me to the story of ​La Clef​, a small cinema in the Latin Quarter of Paris. During the festival, a small delegation of theatre volunteers blanketed Rotterdam with pamphlets about their cause. Without going into detail, the owners of the building that housed the cinema planned to sell it. And, more likely than not, the theatre would be replaced by a supermarket or a bank. If this happened somewhere in America, the closure probably would provoke a brief flurry of angry and sad emoji on Facebook. And, after that flurry, the cinema would...

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 4YFN...

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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