As the Slamdance Film Festival celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2009, 86 short films in four different competition categories -- documentary, narrative/experimental, animation and music video, which is a new classification this year -- will be showcased and be eligible for a Grand Jury Award. All accepted entries have been selected to screen by the Shorts Programming Committee, which is comprised primarily of Slamdance alumni filmmakers.
Slamdance continues to be the pre-eminent film festival whose sole mission is to nurture, support and showcase truly independent works, having established a unique reputation for premiering new films by first-time writers and directors working within the creative confines of limited budgets.
As it does every year, Slamdance will run concurrently with the Sundance Film Festival. Slamdance and the box office will be headquartered and films will screen at the Treasure Mountain Inn (TMI), 255 Main Street, the festival's Park City, Utah, headquarters since 1998. For more information and for a complete listing of films in the festival, visit www.slamdance.com or call 323/466-1786. Festival passes are now on sale on the website; individual tickets go on sale online December 16.
In addition to the four jury competitions, Slamdance also has two out-of-competition shorts categories, which are the Anarchy Online Film Competition and $99 Specials. Slamdance developed its Anarchy Online Film Competition in 2000. Each month, from March through November, three short films (10 minutes or under) are selected to play online at www.slamdance.com/anarchy. Anarchy is open to all types of films and the winner is determined by site visitors via online voting. Each month's winner screens at Slamdance, competing for a prizes and a coveted Slamdance Sparky Award.
$99 Specials are produced by Slamdance and directed by Slamdance alumni. Slamdance gives $99 to these alums, and sets them loose with the latest in filmmaking technology. 99 days later they return with a five-minutes-or-under short film experiment. In a profession where it's not always easy to practice your craft, the intention of the $99 Specials is to do exactly that -- and to keep the filmmaking process heading in the right direction. $99 Specials are shown at the festival in January and online at www.slamdance.com/99dollar.
For the second year, Slamdance and CurrentTV teamed up for "A Chance at Slamdance 2009," which received an increase of over 40% in submissions this year. This program will showcase five short documentary films created by CurrentTV viewers as a special screening at the festival. New this year, Slamdance is also proud to feature a screening of LUNAFest short films showcasing exceptional storytelling by, for, about women. Slamdance has additionally partnered for the 2009 festival with Real Ideas Studio, who is offering selected students a chance to film behind the scenes at Slamdance and in Park City. Real Ideas Studio student films created during the Festival in this immersion program will be showcased at Slamdance on the final day of screenings.
Working towards their goal of providing a truly supportive and enriching learning environment for filmmakers, Slamdance is hosting a number of new events this year to expose filmmakers and attendees to the best opportunities, resources, and companies for independent creatives. Based primarily in the Festival's expanded Technicolor Filmmaker Lounge at TMI, these events include daily Filmmaker Technology Demos sponsored by Media Distributors and Panasonic, themed days to focus on current issues important to independent film, such as Do-It-Yourself Marketing and Distribution Day sponsored by Spout.com.
Also new this year is Slamdance's recently formed online venture with Indieroad.net, a website created by a team of veteran entertainment and business executives to address the lack of robust distribution options available to promising new talent in the independent film field. Through a combined Slamdance/Indieroad.net site (www.indieroad.net/slamdance), Slamdance films will stream anytime throughout the festival period. Bringing the Festival to a worldwide audience for the first time, this ground breaking partnership will allow audiences, press and buyers the opportunity to see the festival films from a location of their choosing, even if they cannot physically attend. Each online viewing of a Slamdance film or shorts will cost $9, and one third of this amount for each film viewed will go directly to the filmmakers.
Animated shorts chosen for competition:
Graeme Hawkins, Writer/Director/ProducerNorth American Premiere/2008/U.K./3 MinutesThe five senses through the eyes and imagination of a young boy.
THE ADVENTURES OF LEDO AND IX
Emily Carmichael, Writer/DirectorWorld Premiere/2008/USA/5 MinutesTwo 8-bit video game characters confront the void.
Robyn Yannoukos, Writer/Director; Brian LoSchiavo, Writer.World Premiere/2008/USA/4 MinutesA fragile Alice tries to overcome the fears that overwhelm her.
Hsin-I Tseng, Writer/Director2008/USA/7 MinutesA little girl writes a letter to her pet hamster Fatty.
ELA, IN LOVE AT FIRST BYTE
Fernando Sarmiento, Director/Producer; Alejandro Sarmiento and J.F. Mackeprang, WritersNorth American Premiere/2008/Argentina/11 MinutesIn an action packed adventure of epic proportions, we follow the final adventure of E.L.A. Young Warrior Princess, forced to finally face her darkest nemesis and save Earth from total destruction.
Gretta Johnson, Writer/Director/ProducerUtah Premiere/2008/USA/5 MinutesA lonely alligator and an imaginative cat are introduced.
Woodpecker, Writer/Director/ProducerWorld Premiere/2008/Japan/4 MinutesThe story of the mischief of the forest.
Evelyn Lee, Writer/DirectorNorth American Premiere/2008/USA/8 MinutesA forgetful body desperately searches for his head as the two find themselves lost in an oasis of illusions.
Jean-Julien Pous, Writer/DirectorNorth American Premiere/2008/Canada/3 MinutesA man wanders through the night in Hong Kong.
Nahomi Maki, Writer/Director/ProducerUtah Premiere/2008/USA/4 MinutesA being is driven to madness by the full moon, discovering a sensitive, beautiful, and deep dream world.
Martin Falconer, Writer/Director/ProducerInternational Premiere/2008/U.K./4 MinutesA young fledgling makes an extraordinary first flight.
Andy Cahill, Writer/Director/Producer2008/USA/6 MinutesA film about spastic movement and concentric circles.
Hayley Morris, Writer/Director/ProducerRegional Premiere/2008/USA/7 MinutesAn old man floats in the sea of his diminishing mind.
AN UNQUIET MIND
Chihwen Lo, Writer/Director/Producer2008/USA/Taiwan/6 MinutesA mercurial journey of mood swings and deep restlessness.