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What the heck does it take to get my film into Slamdance?

Tips and Insights from Slamdance Festival Programmers We know the festival submission process can seem pretty mysterious and we want to make submitting to Slamdance a little more transparent. As our motto proclaims, we are filmmakers here to help fellow filmmakers. Most of us are alumni of the festival who have been in your shoes—confused and nervous about navigating the festival circuit with our first films. Somehow, through some combination of grit and magic, we are now on the other side as Slamdance programmers! We’ve been there, and we’ve been here, and we want to help. How programming works at Slamdance We’re all filmmakers and we’re all volunteers. Almost all of us have screened films at Slamdance. Every film submitted is watched in its entirety by at least two different programmers. We have around 150 programmers from throughout the US and around the world. They are watching your online screeners at their convenience from wherever they are in the world. Every programmer has an equal voice. We don’t have lower tier screeners acting as gatekeepers. 100% of films selected come from our submissions pool. We don’t make promises to friends or celebrities. They have to submit just like everybody else. After every film is watched and scored, our programming teams spend a few weekends in...

Creatures of War and a Father’s Love

A Veteran Battles for His Daughters through Filmmaking by John Charter The making of our short creature art film, Remission, is full of disastrous filmmaking war stories — and it all began with an actual war. More on that later. Remission is foremost an “art film,” meant to be interpreted like you would a poem or a painting, with the creature costumes serving as moving art pieces. The concept centers around an unknown soldier in a state of living paralysis or a purgatory loop. Three creatures emerge as outer-body extensions of his war trauma and the ensuing nihilism that he struggles to overcome. Visions of an estranged daughter haunt the man and lead the creatures on a vast, lonely pilgrimage in hopes of restoring their once sacred connection. The symbolism of the film is inspired by the true story of Remission’s co-creator, artist Paul Kaiser. Paul served in the US Navy’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and was held hostage in Iraq for a possible sale to Al Qaeda. The loss of control from this event brought on a deep plunge into an existential crisis and the life he knew fell apart. The film is a reflection of his current mission to emerge from the loop and reconnect with his children. Veteran artist Paul Kaiser performs in his...

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