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By Film Threat Staff | April 28, 2000

The Slamdance Film Festival announced the launch of a new original production wing devoted to short films directed by Slamdance festival alumni. Dubbed “$99 Specials,” the films will be shot on a micro-budget with digital cameras and are specifically geared as original content to premiere on
“Nine Slamdance alumni, selected from the last six years will go toe to toe with some of the biggest names in dotcom and produce a five minute film (or less) with the fixed sum of $99 (or less),” said Slamdance ’97 Grand Jury Winner (BIBLE AND GUN CLUB) Daniel J. Harris. “We have a lot of talented filmmakers aimlessly wandering up and down Hollywood Boulevard disseminating Scientology literature and we have decided to get them back to work. We at Slamdance are delighted to see some of the best and brightest back were they belong – behind the camera, shooting and cutting!”
Harris, together with writer Kennedy Taylor, will be in charge of the “$99 Specials” production. The films will be shot on DV, posted in house on high-end consumer editing systems and will premiere on early in the fall of 2000. A second cycle of shorts from nine additional participants will go into production in September for a year-end premiere.
“Our aim with the ‘$99 Specials’ is to continue our support of filmmakers and grow the film festival,” said Slamdance Executive Director Peter Baxter. “Working with $99 and new technology will be a challenge which, hopefully, can lead to some invention, building and destruction of filmmaking ideas. At the same time, the ’99’s’ are a realistic way for Slamdance to begin making films!” is currently running a year-round, online version of the film festival called “Anarchy,” which is now taking submissions on a rolling-deadline basis. Web users from around the world have been viewing films and voting for their favorites since January, when Anarchy was launched. As a result of her experience with Slamdance, the winner of the first Anarchy competition, Monika Mitchell (NIGHT DEPOSIT), since has gone on to play her film at 17 international film festivals in addition to signing with both an agent and manager, getting a feature development deal, a production deal for two more shorts, and selling the distribution rights to her film.
Slamdance, which is billed as “by filmmakers, for filmmakers,” was started in 1995 by a group of writer/director/producers and continues to be organized and programmed by active filmmakers. Now in its sixth year as a festival that runs simultaneous to the Sundance Film Festival, Slamdance has established a unique reputation for premiering independent films by first-time directors working with limited budgets.
For more information on “$99 Specials” or other Slamdance activities, please refer to the website at [ ] or call the Slamdance office at 323-466-1786.

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