More than 2,000 short films from over 40 countries were submitted to the 2008 Slamdance Film Festival, and 67 have been selected to screen by the Shorts Programming Committee, which is comprised of Slamdance alumni filmmakers. Each of the 67 shorts is now in competition and eligible for a Grand Jury Award.
As always, the Slamdance Film Festival will run concurrently with the Sundance Film Festival, January 17-25, in Park City , Utah . Slamdance and the box-office will be headquartered and its films will screen at the Treasure Mountain Inn at 255 Main Street . For more information and for a complete listing of films in the Festival, log on to www.slamdance.com or call 323/466-1786.
There are five short film competition categories at Slamdance: Narrative Shorts Before Features, which screen before like-minded narratives in competition; Gallery Shorts, which are six one-hour short film programs; Documentary Shorts, which screen before documentaries in competition; the Polish Shorts Block, which was programmed by a festival jury in Krakow ; and Animated Shorts.
Slamdance also has two out-of-competition shorts categories, which this year include nine Anarchy Online Finalists and seven $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.
Sarah Diamond, Slamdance Director of Programming, notes changes in this year’s shorts line-up. “In 2008, we have more documentary shorts than ever before. We partnered with Current TV to offer their viewers a chance to have a doc short play at the Festival. That initiative resulted in an additional five films in the documentary short category, which complements what was already an expanded program.” Diamond also says that the 2008 short film submissions provided a significant rise in the queer content of the overall line-up.
Also new this year, Slamdance welcomes OurStage as the Official Sponsor of the Anarchy Competition. OurStage is the only purely democratic online competition where the fans decide who and what’s the best in emerging music, film and video. The OurStage mission is to help talented artists achieve critical exposure by solving the greatest challenge on the Internet today: sorting quality content from the sea of mediocrity online. OurStage provides a neutral, trusted, game-free platform, in which the true judgment of the fans drives the best content to the top and rewards artists with cash prizes and monthly career-advancing opportunities.
“Our shorts program is becoming more and more popular, both with filmmakers and audience members,” says Peter Baxter, President and Co-Founder of Slamdance. “The number of submissions we receive rises steadily each year, and the feedback we get from people who see the shorts at the Festival continues to be extremely positive. Filmmakers know that having a short screened at Slamdance is a great industry calling card, of sorts, especially now with all of the alternative viewing platforms that are available to help them capture an audience.”
Celebrating its 14th year, 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.
SLAMDANCE 2008 SHORT FILMS
Narrative Shorts before Features
Brandon (2007, 13 min, USA )
Directed by Rachel Israel
Schooled by Hollywood romance, a sheltered young woman’s romantic expectations collide with reality on her very first date.
Broken English, World Premiere (2008, 10 min, USA )
Directed by Oscar Alvarez
A high school student finds a way to fight against institutional racism.
Far Out (2007, 5 min, USA )
Directed by Phil Mucci
In 1972, a flamboyant producer’s Hollywood house party takes a strange turn when an uninvited guest comes for more than sex and drugs.
Fin-de-Semana (Weekend), North American Premiere (2007, 8 min, PORTUGAL )
Directed by Claudia Varejo
A country house. A weekend. A family. A teenage girl’s secret. Time goes by. Silence prevails.
The Henry Convention, World Premiere (2008, 10 min, USA )
Directed by David Marks
The only thing stopping Peg from peacefully mourning for Henry is too much competition.
Lady Margaret, US Premiere (2007, 10 min, UK )
Directed by Deborah Haywood
Sadie just wants to go home.
Lucky Day, World Premiere (2008, 13 min, CANADA )
Directed by Lori Chodos
Maggie has been getting crank calls from someone who seems to know her and she hasn’t left her apartment in weeks.
Mensajes de Voz (Voice Messages), North American Premiere (2007, 12 min, SPAIN )
Directed by Fernando Franco
The story of Marta, who comes back to Madrid to try living with Luis again, told entirely with a series of voice mails.
New Business, North American Premiere (2008, 14 min, USA )
Directed by Julia Kots
One summer evening in post-Soviet Russia , a teenage boy tries his hand at entrepreneurialism by attempting to prostitute two teenage girls.
Un Attimo di Respiro (A Moment to Breathe) (2007, 13 min, ITALY )
Directed by Sara Colangelo
Fed up with his job and his stifling rural life, a young pig slaughterer makes a break for the big city with his girlfriend’s younger sister.
Young Offender, US Premiere (2007, 11 min, UK )
Directed by Isabel Anderton
An 18-year-old white inmate becomes increasingly disturbed in the oppressive atmosphere of a multi-racial young offender’s institution.
24 Frames Per Day (2007, 7 min, USA )
Directed by Sonali Gulati
24 photographs taken each day over 9 months.
4960 (2007, 14 min, SWEDEN )
Directed by Wing-Yee Wu
The faster you run, the more likely you are to stay alive.
A Catalog of Anticipations (2007, 5 min, USA )
Directed by David Lowery
A little girl is forced to come to terms with death when she finds a mysterious cadaver in her backyard.
Anecdote, World Premiere (2008, 30 min, USA )
Directed by Nathan Silver
A young woman seeks to restore order to her life, only to find that order alone is not enough. A tragic farce in black-and-white.
At Night, World Premiere (2008, 11 min, USA )
Directed by Max Landes and Philip Aceto
Television and subjectivity, and their impact on the sexual relationships between men and women.
Beijing Haze, World Premiere (2008, 9 min, USA )
Directed by J.P. Chan
A new Chinese immigrant to the USA finds that one dreams ends as another begins.
Bush, World Premiere (2008, 6 min, IRELAND )
Directed by Fran Apprich
A little girl waxes poetic.
Celestial Riddle, World Premiere (2008, 4 min, USA )
Directed by Ondrej Rudavsky
Runners escape from celestial space.
Dearest Fred This Party Is All For You, World Premiere (2007, 12 min, USA )
Directed by Alexander Uhlmann
When Fred arrives in the city to visit his girlfriend, a conceptual artist, a series of surreal and bloody events result in an unexpected climax.
Doxology (2007, 7 min, USA )
Directed by Michael Langan
A humorously allegorical animation, exploring the relationship between the terrestrial and the celestial via singing tennis balls.
Diva (2007, 7 min, FRANCE )
Directed by Josephine Mackerras
Escaping a home-town that completely rejected him, Vincent goes to Paris , alone, to find freedom and self-expression, but life is never that simple.
Heiko, North American Premiere (2007, 13 min, PORTUGAL )
Directed by David Bonneville
A seventy-year old aesthete, in a relationship with a young man named Heiko, takes a fetishistic relationship to extremes.
Karaoke Show (2007, 4 min, GERMANY )
Directed by Karl Tebbe
A mix between disco and sauna.
Knock Knock (2007, 4 min, USA )
Directed by Jack Ferry
The worst knock knock joke ever.
Knots, US Premiere (2007, 3 min, UK )
Directed by Matteo Pizzarello
To possess or to seed? This is the question.
Kooniklaster (2007, 17 min, POLAND )
Directed by Mariko Saga
A boy who wants to be a magician experiences the great magic that is not a trick but rather a power handed down from his grandfather and his ancestors.
La Coupure, US Premiere (2007, 12 min, CANADA )
Directed by Stephane Grasso
After Catherine is brutally assaulted one evening upon exiting the high school where she teaches, something breaks inside her. Bruised and scarred, she now returns to a life so different from that which she thought she knew.
Las Historias Mas Sexy Del Mundo! No. 2 (2007, 15 min, USA )
Directed by Eric Cheevers
Soft-core porn for academics, featuring TV’s Answer Man and the Raveonettes!
Mariquita con Perro (F*g With Dog), North American Premiere (2007, 15 min, SPAIN )
Directed by Vicente Villanueva
Of all the goals that Pablo set when moving to Madrid , there is only one he has not yet reached.
No-Air House, World Premiere (2008, 4 min, USA )
Directed by Marco Cordero
Are you looking for treasure? Do you want to be happy? Visit the No-Air House. Dozens of rooms to explore. Do not let the No-Air Men see you.
Nothing Nowhere (2007, 12 min, MOROCCO )
Directed by Rania Attieh and Daniel Garcia
Two young American travelers sit inside a small room, bored, while outside the world is happening, albeit in small, fleeting, insignificant moments.
Serene Hunter (2007, 13 min, FRANCE/USA)
Directed by Jason Bushman
A randy Parisian moves in with his new boyfriend, just as an old flame from LA comes back into town.
Small Apartment, World Premiere (2008, 8 min, USA )
Directed by Andrew Betzer
A middle aged man, his son, and his daughter-in-law push the boundaries of love and perversion in 700 square feet of space.
The Story of Charles Riverbank, World Premiere (2008, 8 min, USA )
Directed by Benny Safdie
This is the story of a man named Charles Riverbank, who upon losing his home, wanders into various adventures and lot of dirty looks.
Softly (2007, 7 min, USA )
Directed by Bryan Jackson
A romance, fragile and ephemeral, in a doll-sized world.
Some of an Equation, US Premiere (2007, 8 min, USA )
Directed by Burke Roberts
A film in one continuous shot exploring just how very bad things can go in only a few minutes.
Son (2007, 17 min, UK )
Directed by Daniel Mulloy
In the confines of an underground theatre, a young boy tries to cope with the realities of his mother’s abusive relationship.
There’s A Werewolf in My Attic, World Premiere (2008, 17 min, USA )
Directed by Sam Thompson
A giddy couple is psyched about their new digs when a sound in the attic reveals an unwelcome guest.
Tripp, World Premiere (2008, 22 min, USA )
Directed by Alexander Rojas
Cex Boy’s anguished return home to see his recently disabled brother.
The Whole Day Through, US Premiere (2007, 10 min, CANADA )
Directed by Adam Budd
On a winter’s day a relationship, stable in appearance, is tested by the confession of a past indiscretion.
W***e (2007, 4 min, GERMANY )
Directed by Isabelle McEwen
A poetic-pornographical vision of hell.
Woman In Burka, World Premiere (2008, 20 min, USA )
Directed by Jonathan Lisecki
Starring Sarita Choudhury. Sam Rockwell and Kerry Washington
A darkly comic look at the life of an actress and the types of Middle Eastern roles available to her in a post 9/11 culture.
B for Beekeeper (2007, 12 min, USA )
Directed by Thomas O’Keefe
The story of Bill Waddell’s journey through death to his current life as a beekeeper.
Covered Tracks (2007, 13 min, USA )
Directed by Nathan Kensinger
Sex and death in an abandoned homeless city underneath Manhattan.
City of Cranes, International Premiere (2007, 14 min, UK )
Directed by Eva Weber
A fascinating insight into a world unnoticed by most of us, yet fundamental to our lives.
Felicia, World Premiere (2008, 8 min, USA )
Directed by Tim O’Hara
A grandmother with a secret past.
Hattenhorst (2007, 5 min, GERMANY )
Directed by Ove Sander
A portrait of Hans Hattenhorst, 40-year veteran projectionist of a small cinema on the German island Juist.
Holdout (2007, 15 min, USA )
Directed by Brent Joseph
A portrait of a classic New Orleans eccentric set against the stark and surreal landscape of a desolate Crescent City .
If A Body Meet A Body, World Premiere (2008, 19 min, USA )
Directed by Brian Davis
The lives and jobs of three unique individuals who are constantly surrounded by death at the busiest coroner’s office in the world.
The Ladies (2007, 13 min, USA )
Directed by Christina Alexandra Voros
75 years since the first marriage, 50 since the Hungarian Revolution, 25 since the last divorce, two sisters continue to cling to their craft, their grudges and each other.
Massacre at Murambi (2007, 5 min, USA )
Directed by Sam Kauffmann
Does the way we responded to the genocide in Rwanda tell us about who we are as members of the ‘Global Village’ and predict our response to Darfur?
Swing (2007, 5 min, USA )
Directed by Chip Moore
A daughter recalls her father’s story about observing a lynching when he was a boy in rural turn-of-the-last-century South Carolina .
World Star, US Premiere (2007, 40 min, GERMANY )
Directed by Natasa von Kopp
A film about an old man with no needs and a remarkable past, facing the hype as an artist against his will.
Polish Shorts Block (Programmed by a festival jury at Slamdance Poland in Krakow )
This spring, Slamdance Poland completed the 2nd edition of the Festival April 19-22 in the Communist chic Nowa Huta district of Krakow. Slamdance Poland was launched in 2002, when Slamdance alumni PrzemysÅ,aw Wojcieszek created the event, following the Slamdance US premiere of his feature film Louder Than Bombs.
This year’s Slamdance Poland was organized by the Łaźnia Nowa Theater, headed up by Bartosz Szydlowski, with support from Rafal Kosecki. Slamdance Poland included a selection of 2007 Slamdance Films, as well as a program of Polish films competing for cash prizes and a slot at the 2008 Slamdance Film Festival.
Watch a video about the event at www.laznianowa.pl/slamdance/.
The Clinic, US Premiere (2007, 30 min, POLAND )
Directed by Tomasz Wolski
This documentary portrays a group of elderly patients in an ordinary Polish hospital. Doctors, while performing their regular activities, also act as friends, talking to patients about their lives – both their good and bad moments.
Three for the Taking (2007, 40 min, POLAND )
Directed by Bartek Konopka
Sixteen year-old Inga’s carefree life is suddenly changed by a fatal turn of faith. Left alone with two younger siblings, she must run away from welfare workers who want to split them up. A struggle to find a home has begun.
Blood Will Tell (2007, 6 min, CANADA )
Directed by Andrew McPhillips
Music written and performed by Sigur Ros
Set in 16th Century Holland , a mysterious visitor attempts to hide from death in a dark, mosquito infested well.
Blue Room, World Premiere (2008, 4 min, USA )
Directed by Ivan Örkény & Sandy White
A trapped character’s imagination provokes his own disintegration.
Bush Vs Bin Laden, World Premiere (2008, 4 min, USA )
Directed by Darren Way
President George W. Bush versus Al Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden in an Old Western Shootout.
El Viaje De Said (Said’s Journey) (2007, 12 min, SPAIN )
Directed by Coke Rioboo
A Moroccan boy crosses “The Straights,” and discovers that the land of opportunity is not as beautiful as he had been told.
Everything Said (2007, 2 min, USA )
Directed by Andy Cahill
Three floors: on the first floor, consumption. On the second, interaction. On the third, everything said is stored.
Film Noir (2007, 4 min, UK )
Directed by Osbert Parker
A dark story of romance and psychological tension created from found objects combined with images cut from magazines and manipulated in-camera.
I Hate You Don’t Touch Me or Bat and Hat, World Premiere (2008, 5 min, USA )
Directed by Becky James
A lyrical and monstrous meditation on when the mundane becomes gruesome.
Kid Show (2007, 3 min, USA )
Directed by Tom DesLongchamp
Flowers grow, clouds flow, and children giggle–they cannot help it.
Lux, US Premiere (2007, 8 min, SPAIN )
Directed by Vuk Jevremovic
Travel through the walls of the old Cathedral.
My Life at 40 (2007, 7 min, UK )
Directed by Laurie Hill
A special collaboration between the director, aged 12, and his 34 year old self, looking forward to a glorious future.
One Skin (2007, 10 min, USA )
Directed by Gudrun Cram-Drach
At the bottom edge of growing up, a woman views her options.
Spontaneous Generation (2007, 3 min, USA )
Directed by Andy Cahill
All about the things that grow, change, resolve and dissolve, follow and consume.
Tales for Cruel People (2007, 5 min, HUNGARY )
Directed by Hans Blume, Igor Buharov, Ivan Buharov
What happens when conscience gets tired?
Anarchy Online Shorts Sponsored by OurStage
MARCH WINNER: Contrasts (2007, 3 min, USA ) EXPERIMENTAL
Directed by Sowaila Zada
Contrasts between the cities of Los Angeles and Kabul .
APRIL WINNER: Unblocked (2007, 4 min, UK ) ANIMATION
Directed by Douglas Merton
A Surreal film about Birth, death and being in control of ones own life.
MAY WINNER: Touching (2007, 5 min, USA ) DRAMA
Directed by Nat Johnson
When a quiet boy stumbles upon the recently deceased body of a middle-aged woman he makes a fateful choice.
JUNE WINNER: Windows Masks Doors (2007, 4 min, USA ) ANIMATION
Directed by Sarah Orenstein
In an old radio a conductor tunes a medley of tracks revealing masked players hidden.
JULY WINER: Dead Water (2007, 5 min, HUNGARY ) ANIMATION
Directed by Tibor Banoczki
The story of the man who used to drive the locomotive of the train passing through the village.
AUGUST WINNER: Hotel Tubu (2007, 5 min, HUNGARY ) ANIMATION
Directed by Igor & Ivan Buharov
Most souls who live here will move to a higher dimension.
SEPTEMBER WINNER: Rock Garden (2006, 10 min, CANADA ) DRAMA
Directed by Gloria Kim
A tale of two lonely neighbors as they struggle and toil with everyday existence.
OCTOBER WINNER: Jeweler’s Eye (2007, 3 min, USA ) EXPERIMENTAL
Directed by Rich Remsberg
Unintentionally lyrical moments found in vintage newsreels and government films come to life in this poetic assemblage.
NOVEMBER WINNER: Running In Darkness (2007, 2 min, USA ) ANIMATION
Directed by Allan Jennings
A film exploring different experiences with Alzheimer’s disease.
88042, World Premiere (2008, 5 min, USA )
The zip code for Hillsboro, New Mexico and a documentary about the ebb and flow of a small town post office.
Crustväska, World Premiere (2008, 5 min, USA/GERMANY)
Directed by Benjamin Kasulke
A crash course in the intricacies of Swedish punk rock attire.
Feedback, World Premiere (2008, 5 min, USA )
Directed by Michael Lucid
Starring Jack Plotnick
Christopher is a fabulously witty storyteller. But one day, he gets some unwelcome feedback.
Mammon, World Premiere (2007, 3 min, UK )
Directed by Robin Fuller
Seduced by the promise of wealth, a poet turns his back on his muse.
The Outhouse, World Premiere (2008, 5 min, USA )
Directed by Jack Truman
The story of a 60-year-old woman and her backyard outhouse.
Politics of Preschool, World Premiere (2008, 5 min, USA )
Directed by Heidi Van Lier
A preschool girl attempts to gain social status and happiness through a materialistic strategy, only to find she’s been trumped.
Panels for the Walls of Hell, World Premiere (2008, 5 min, USA )
Directed by Blake Meyers & Takuro Masuda
William, a pretentious, disaffected projectionist at a film festival, has high notions of cinema.