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Slamdance Festival Announces Slate
This just in from Slamdance, the sister fest at Sundance. These films are more DIY than Sundance, and Adam Rifkin and Penn Jillette's crowdfunded "Director's Cut" opens the festival. As you can see from the titles, always good to get one or two actors in the film that are easy to promote, or can help with it - as actors don't like to sit at home and twiddle their thumbs while their friends hit the slopes in Park City. Queen Mimi is screening as well, a Santa Monica film about a local homeless woman - made by a barrista with a big heart, it's an excellent film if you get a chance to see it.
Slamdance Unveils Special Screenings, Beyond, Shorts Programs (Exclusive)
Festival to open with Adam Rifkin and Penn Jillette‘s “Director’s Cut” starring Missi Pyle and Harry Hamlin
Slamdance has announced its Special Screenings, Beyond, and Shorts programs for their 22nd Film Festival. The programs present bold DIY films by a variety of filmmakers from all over the world and include 23 World, 13 North American, and 13 U.S. Premieres.
This year, several Slamdance Alumni return with feature presentations in the Beyond program, including Axel Ranisch’s “Alky Alky” and Daniel Martinico’s “Excursions.”
The 2016 Oscar-qualifying shorts competition showcases 39 American and 32 international productions in the Narrative, Documentary, Animation, Anarchy and Experimental sections. All Slamdance films are programmed entirely from blind submissions by the Slamdance filmmaking community.
“The Slamdance Special Screenings section this year is a mix of higher profile work, remarkable talent and a film we thought truly deserved further exposure. Our closing night choice of Claire Carre’s ‘Embers’ is not a premier but so what. We’re far more interested getting behind a visionary film from a woman director we are excited to support and help expand her career and audience reach,” said Slamdance’s Paul Rachman, who programs the Special Screenings lineup.
Films in the Beyond program, made by emerging narrative and documentary filmmakers working beyond their first features, are eligible for the Audience awards. Jury awards are presented to short films in all categories and every 2016 Slamdance filmmaker is eligible for the Spirit of Slamdance Award, judged by the filmmakers themselves.
“In the Beyond section at Slamdance, narrative and documentary films share center stage. This year’s Beyond films push boundaries in story, character, and directorial vision, and ultimately bring a greater worldview into focus,” explained Josh Mandel, captain of Beyond programming.
“Slamdance democratically selects a slate of short films exclusively from blind submissions with the goal of identifying unknown short film artists comprising both skilled visionaries and raw talents. We are privileged to play a role in launching the work of such an exciting group of filmmakers from around the globe who will continue to make vital, challenging work for years to come,” added shorts programmer Randall Good.
The 2016 Slamdance Film Festival will take place from Jan. 22-28 in Park City, Utah at the Treasure Mountain Inn, located at 255 Main Street. All Access/Industry, Local’s and Student Festival Passes are available now online. Individual tickets will be available starting Dec. 28. To purchase, click here.
Embers – Director: Claire Carré; Screenwriters: Charles Spano, Claire Carré (USA, Poland) After a global neurological epidemic, those who remain search for meaning and connection in a world without memory. Cast: Jason Ritter, Iva Gocheva, Greta Fernández, Tucker Smallwood, Karl Glusman, Silvan Friedman, Roberto Cots, Dominique Swain
Let’s Be Evil – Director & Screenwriter: Martin Owen (UK) World Premiere Contained within a secure, underground facility, three chaperones are tasked with supervising an advanced learning program for gifted children, pioneering Augmented Reality Glasses. Events quickly spiral out of control. Cast: Elizabeth Morris, Elliot James Langridge, Kara Tointon, Isabelle Allen
Alky Alky (pictured above) – Director: Axel Ranisch; Screenwriters: Heiko Pinkowski, Axel Ranisch, Peter Trabner (Germany) North American Premiere Tobias and DeBottle are classic cases of arrested development – one knows his lifelong relationship with the other is no longer good for him, but it’s already too late in this boozy tale of revelry and reality. Cast: Heiko Pinkowski, Peter Trabner, Christina Große, Thorsten Merten, Iris Berben, Oliver Korittke
Excursions – Director: Daniel Martinico; Screenwriters: Hugo Armstrong, Daniel Martinico (USA) World Premiere During an idyllic weekend getaway in the woods, two couples partake in a series of ritualistic purges that unleash their primal selves. Cast: Jacqueline Wright, Hugo Armstrong, Mandy Freund, Cody Henderson
How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town – Director & Screenwriter: Jeremy LaLonde (Canada) US Premiere When a famous sex columnist attempts to host an orgy with old high school acquaintances in her conservative hometown, keeping secrets becomes the least of her problems. Cast: Jewel Staite, Ennis Esmer, Lauren Lee Smith, Katharine Isabelle, Mark O’Brien, Jonas Chernick, Kristian Bruun, Tommie-Amber Pirie
My Enemies – Director: Stéphane Géhami; Screenwriters: Stéphane Géhami, Héloïse Masse (Canada) US Premiere Furious after losing his girlfriend and his publishing deal, Cédric, a young novelist, is captivated by the piano playing of Isabelle, a much older alcoholic living in a home full of lost souls. Cast: Louise Marleau, Frédéric Lemay, Hubert Proulx, Jean-François Casabonne, Étienne Pilon, Maxime Gaudette, Francis La Haye, Maxime Mailloux
The Successor – Director & Screenwriter: Mattia Epifani, Francesco Lefons (Italy) North American Premiere A former arms manufacturer travels to Bosnia to reflect upon the legacy of the land-mine business he inherited from his father and pay penance for the destruction it caused. Cast: Vito Alfieri Fontana, Nijaz Memic, Senaid Abdihodeic, Rarija Besic
NARRATIVE SHORTS PROGRAM
And Nothing Happened – Director & Screenwriter: Naima Ramos-Chapman (USA) World Premiere A young woman juggles between the mundane and the extraordinary in an attempt to leave her NYC apartment. Cast: Naima Ramos-Chapman, Jamilya Ramos-Chapman, Angela Silverio, Carl Rube
The Beast – Director & Screenwriter: Daina Oniunas Pusic (Croatia) A hundred year old woman and her 75-year old daughter have a tense but familiar relationship. A bat flies in to their home and the equilibrium will be forever changed. Cast: Marija Kohn, Doris Šaric Kukuljica
Black Swell – Director: Jake Honig; Screenwriter: David Rysdahl (USA) World Premiere A man tries to kill himself in a motel room. Cast: Richard Kind, David Rysdahl
Darkest Moon – Director: Kasper Skovsbøl; Screenwriters: Amalie Næsby, Kasper Skovsbøl (Denmark) World Premiere Anna must decide whether she wants to protect her daughter, and risk of being ostracized, or believe in the accusations of her being a witch and sentence her own child to death. Cast: Karen-Lise Mynster, May Simón Lifschitz, Anders Hove, Peter Plaugborg,
De Smet – Directors & Screenwriters: Thomas Baerten, Wim Geudens (Netherlands) The brothers ‘De Smet’ have created a system to live their lives as singles in the most comfortable way possible. Cast: Tom Audenaert, Sven De Ridder, Stefaan Degand, Jessica Zeylmaker
Deep Gold – Director & Screenwriter: Julian Rosefeldt (Germany) North American Premiere An exuberant and voluptuous homage to Luis Buñuel’s surrealist (and back then scandalous) masterpiece The Golden Age, relocated to the roaring Berlin 20’s. Cast: Franz Hartwig, Janaina Pessoa, Suse Wächter, Ronni Maciel
Discontinuity – Director & Screenwriter: Lori Felker (USA) World Premiere A short film about losing things in the edits of life. Cast: Ben Johnson, Sam Howard, Henry Comerford
Family Trip – Director & Screenwriter: Oscar Oldershaw (UK) A purgatory on Wheels! Cast: Ian Gain, Vita Oldershaw
Gang – Director & Screenwriter: Clayton Vomero (USA) Three young people in Staten Island, New York, search for meaning and identity over the length of a single day. Cast: Mela Murder, Infinite Coles, Denasia Moore
Goodnight Birdy – Director: Zara Zerny; Screenwriters: Morten Pape, Zara Zerny (Denmark) North American Premiere When Greta’s husband dies, she is convinced she will die from sorrow. But the heart has its ways of surviving. Cast: Elsebeth Steentoft
Lewis – Director & Screenwriter: Fantavious Fritz (Canada) US Premiere A missing cat witnesses the intersections of human life in a neighbourhood and meets an elderly widow living in solitude. Cast: Aldona Zalnieriunas, Jean Luc Piccard (the cat), Kyle Andrews
Nasty – Director: Prano Bailey-Bond; Screenwriter: Anthony Fletcher (UK) A boy uncovers the nasty truth about his family after finding a VHS tape. Cast: Albie Marber, Madeleine Hutchins, James Cutler, Kimberley Adams
The Panty Symphonic – Director: Zach Strum; Screenwriters: Zach Strum, Micah Vassau (USA) World Premiere When Arnold dies before finishing his will, a rat race ensues for his most prized possession–a pair of panties. Cast: Steven Jones, Sydney Shepherd
Red Folder – Director & Screenwriter: Ben Kallam (USA) World Premiere Fourteen-year-old Joseph sets out to find his teacher’s elusive red folder, only to discover the unsettling implications of his task. Cast: Gregory Barnes, Pepper Binkley, Phil Bernadin, Chris Jarell
Savasana – Director & Screenwriter: Brandon Daley (USA) World Premiere A man in the midst of a midlife crisis attempts to sooth his existential concerns by practicing the age old art of yoga. Cast: Paul Gordon, Amy Johnson, Sarah Sherman, Bernie Rybarczyk
The Sea Within – Director: Wong Wai Nap; Screenwriters: Wong Wai Nap, Ho Tze Ki (Hong Kong) US Premiere A poetic and quiet look into the lives and relationship of a Fishermen couple. Cast: Wong Kam Shing, Ng Mei Wah
Shitty Drum! – Director & Screenwriter: Pascal Plante (Canada) US Premiere An aging punk rock band has an existential crisis. Cast: Jason Roy-Léveillée, Jérôme Bédard, Joseph Martin
Skank – Director & Screenwriter: Sophie Francesca (New Zealand, UK) US Premiere In a cheap living room in small-town New Zealand a children’s birthday party is in full swing. While the kids are caught up in the ecstasy of the party, young mum Hayley is entangled in more ‘adult’ affairs. Cast: William Alexander, Bella Baughan, Vincent Andrew-Scammell, Sophie Francesca
Tampoon – Director: Jeanne Jo; Screenwriters: Jeanne Jo, Nick Musurca (USA) When Miranda makes bad decisions about her love life, a possessed TAMPON enters to take care of business. Cast: Alexandra August, JJ Dunlap
Tisure – Director: Adrian Geyer; Screenwriter: Proyecto JFS (Venezuela) North American Premiere In the lonely mountains of Venezuela, a couple’s problems are both diminished and brought to the surface by the vastness of their surroundings. Cast: Alcione Guerrero, Daniel Isaac
Under the Sun – Director & Screenwriter: Qiu Yang (China, Australia) An incident occurs, two families become entangled. There’s nothing new under the sun. Cast: Zhu Ping, Sun Zhongwei, Bai Lihong, Gong Weiming
Video – Director & Screenwriter: Randy Yang (USA) A woman’s racist remark is captured on video by two teenage black girls. Cast: Mars Williams, Reilly Brooke Stith, Alyson Schacherer, Ron Scott
Winter Hymns – Director & Screenwriter: Dusty Mancinelli (Canada) US Premiere Ten-year-old Joshua’s dull afternoon is shattered when his volatile older brother shepherds him through the countryside in search of adventure. Cast: Sam Ashe Arnold, Kyle Peacock
DOCUMENTARY SHORTS PROGRAM
Becoming Blair – Director: Bri Barsalou (USA) World Premiere Blair is a transgender young adult living in Texas and transitioning with mixed reactions from his conservative parents. Cast: Blair Hanner, Sue Hanner, Karl Hanner
The Bullet – Director: Jordan Bahat (USA) World Premiere A portrait of David ‘The Bullet’ Smith Jr., the world’s greatest human cannonball. Cast: David “The Bullet” Smith Jr.
Heavy Fog Tonight – Director: Nathan Reich (USA) Conrad Milster is an 80 year old chief engineer at New York’s oldest running steam power plant, preserving an era long forgotten while adjusting to the digital world around him. Cast: Conrad Milster
If Mama Ain’t Happy, Nobody’s Happy – Director: Mea de Jong (Netherlands) “If you want to make a film about independent women, shouldn’t you make a film about our family?” And so mother and daughter embark on a journey together to make a portrait about the four generations who all managed without a man.
In Crystal Skin – Director: Michaela O’Brien (USA) World Premiere Conflict arises between mother and daughter when a young girl with a rare disease in Bogotá, Colombia refuses to attend school. Cast: Maria Alejandra Peña Giraldo, Jackeline Giraldo Hurtado, Angel Gustavo Peña Sanchez, Carlos Andrés Peña Giraldo
A Passion of Gold and Fire – Director & Screenwriter: Sébastien Pins (Belgium) A beekeeper in Belgium worries about the future of his apiary school. Cast: Fontignie André
Repoman – Director: Giacomo Gex; Screenwriters: Giacomo Gex, Bruno Gex (USA) A day in the life of a repoman in Los Angeles, USA. Cast: Andrew De Palma
Rotatio – Director: Ian McClerin (USA) World Premiere A young woman transforms her experience of trauma into a powerfully poetic meditation, challenging her transgressions and the purpose of art. Cast: Shannon May Mackenzie
Stems – Director & Screenwriter: Ainslie Henderson (UK) US Premiere For a brief moment, stop motion puppets crafted from found objects make beautiful music and then as quickly as they came to life, return to being inanimate objects.
Superunit – Director & Screenwriter: Teresa Czepiec (Poland) A peek inside a few doors in a Polish “housing machine” comprised of 15 floors and 762 stories where emotions throb, expectations build and desires come true…or not.
Temporary Color – Director: John Wilson (USA) World Premiere A filmmaker hired to follow David Byrne on tour finds a capable and better equipped documentary crew already in place and decides to take a more whimsical behind the scenes look while musing about the escaped convicts potentially looming nearby in upstate New York and Canada. Cast: David Byrne, Bill Ross, Turner Ross
The Tricks List – Director: Brian Bolster (USA) A gay man’s journey to memorialize and document every sexual encounter he has ever had.
Water Ghost* – Director & Screenwriter: Wen Li (USA) North American Premiere A stranger jumps off a bridge, committing suicide, setting off a journey to find the men who fish bodies out of the Yuanjiang River and the meaning of death, loss and life.
The Wear of Agony – Director: Mariano Rentería Garnica (Mexico) US Premiere A visual waltz through the spaces, people and objects of the working class in Mexico, where reality and dreams dance in dialogue.
*out of competition
ANIMATION SHORTS PROGRAM
Bottom Feeders (pictured above) – Director & Screenwriter: Matt Reynolds (USA) Two fictional species try to make it through the day in this bleak parody of the natural world.
Flaws – Director: Josh Shaffner (USA) An autobiographical, surreal rant about years spent in the service industry.
Heila Ormur – Director: Rose Stark (Iceland, USA) The slow savoring of horrible flavors in the body of a love gone bad. Cast: Andi Kristins
Here There – Director & Screenwriter: Alexander Stewart (Croatia, USA) US Premiere A graphic form to memory’s malleable, straying lines.
Lazy Daze – Director: Brian Smee (USA) World Premiere Dog in the land where the good life takes you.
Leftover – Directors & Screenwriters: Tibor Banoczki, Sarolta Szabo (France) US Premiere Remains of food, remains of human relationships. Cast: Jerry di Giacomo, Odile Cohen, Matthieu Saccucci, Marie-Sohna Conde
Life is Rugged – Director & Screenwriter: Simon Schnellmann (Germany) Five short sequences of line-drawing life are linked together by a black point.
Mirror in Mind – Director: SeungHee Kim (South Korea) A woman looks into her mind, chasing her ideals on a tightrope.
My Dad – Director: Marcus Armitage (UK) US Premiere A boy’s vividly-colored memories of learning everything from his dad, including racially-motivated violence. Cast: Divian Ladwa
Pangs – Director: Wendy Cong Zhao (USA) World Premiere Wading through bodily and emotional pangs.
The Past Inside the Present – Director & Screenwriter: James Siewert (USA) World Premiere An allegorical tale of a couple who attempt to renew their dying relationship by plugging directly into recordings of their memories. Cast: Schuyler Helford, Miles Joris-Peyrafitte
Ripple – Director: Conner Griffith (USA) North American Premiere The shapes we make. An advertisement for planet earth.
Still Life – Director: Kevin Eskew (USA) North American Premiere Et tu doggy? Synchronicity strikes in the suburban Midwest.
Worm – Director: Becky James (USA) North American Premiere Wrapped in chains, a worm languishes in prison. Cast: Amanda Salane, Holden Miller
EXPERIMENTAL SHORTS PROGRAM
After Muybridge – Director: Spencer Holden (USA) World Premiere A Non-Cinema performance after Muybridge. Cast: Spencer Holden
Cup of Stars – Directors: Ryan Betschart, Tyler Betschart (USA) US Premiere A vivid tableau of tenderness finds two brothers under a cool night sky fishing for stars and supernovas. Cast: Ryan Betschart, Tyler Betschart
Gray Hairs – Director: Annapurna Kumar (USA) In 2013, the Apache helicopter’s targeting systems were updated from standard definition black and white to high-resolution color video, touted as a boost to pilot safety and US military dominance.
Infrastructures – Director: Aurèle Ferrier (Switzerland) A journey through infrastructures that are common to an everyday reality of routine, but presented as completely deserted.
Jus Soli – Director: Somebody Nobody Collective (UK) North American Premiere This film opens up a discourse on the Black British experience, interrupting the emotional transition between generations and questioning what it means to be British. Cast: Nicholas Pinnock
The Neutral Zone – Director: LJ Frezza (USA) World Premiere A historical survey of the utopias described in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (1987-1994). This catalog of doorways, walls, and rooms might define our understanding of possible futures.
Notes from the Interior – Director: Benjamin Balcom (USA) How do you describe the complexities of being a body? A wandering through the self, an associative search for secrets.
Novaciéries – Directors: (LA)HORDE Collective, Marine Brutti, Jonathan Debrouwer, Arthur Harel (France) North American Premiere A combination of cinema, performance, and home video that transcends dance films and presents a choreographed and metaphysical portrait of the post-industrial world by reinterpreting post-internet dance. Cast: Eve Coquart, Ylva Falk, Kevin Martinelli, Edgar Scassa
Pudding – Director & Screenwriter: Ryan Betschart (USA) Pudding describes through auditory and visual wonder two children exploring their body curiosity through the telling of false memories regarding 1970’s pop icons. Cast: Aiden Griner Riley as Boy, Evee Griner Riley as Girl
ANARCHY SHORTS PROGRAM
The Bulb (pictured above) – Director & Screenwriter: Calvin Reeder (USA) World Premiere Strangers meet in a motel room and observe a peculiar television broadcast. Cast: Frank Mosley, Linas Phillips
Carnal Orient – Directors & Screenwriters: Mila Zuo, Angela Seo (USA) World Premiere A dark and strangely surreal snapshot of sexual desire aimed at the exotic. Cast: Akemi Look, West Liang, Joey Halter, Peter Lucas, Stephan Smith Collins
Ceiling Finger – Director: Sean Kelley; Screenwriter: Dalton Price (USA) A family of four lives in a suburban household with a giant finger called Ceiling Finger. Cast: Jesse Price, Jen Greenfield, David Parrish, Eleanor Greenfield
Disco Inferno – Director & Screenwriter: Alice Waddington (Spain) A weary hell minion is on a mission to rescue her boss. But the Devil is not willing to return to her daily routine. Cast: Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, Ana Rujas, Olivia Baglivi
Double-Blind No.1 – Director: The Double-Blind Experiments (Australia) Five VFX artists set out to test the theory that a fine-art technique relying on chance could be applied to a motion piece. Cast: Samantha Roy, Zenon Kohler, Ricky Marks
Gwilliam – Director: Brian Lonano; Screenwriters: Brian Lonano, Victoria Cook, Kevin Lonano (USA) A recently released criminal can forget his sins, but he can never forget…Gwilliam. Cast: William Tokarsky, Paul Painter, Wanda Morganstern
Hi How Are You Daniel Johnston? – Director: Gabriel Sunday; Screenwriters: Daniel Johnston, Gabriel Sunday, David Lee Miller (USA) Iconic musician/artist Daniel Johnston stars in this psychedelic short film about an aging artist coming to terms with the dreams of yesteryear. Cast: Daniel Johnston, Gabriel Sunday, Soko
Something About Silence – Director & Screenwriter: Patrick Buhr (Germany) North American Premiere You are here because you are boring Cast: Vanja Smiljanic, Sina Seifee
The Wayward Carnality – Director & Screenwriter: Joanna Maria Wójcik (Poland) North American Premiere Grandma visits her teenage grandson and discovers a change of his interests.