Slamdance: Anarchy In Utah
By Lisa Lindo
All-festival badges, press badges, and fast passes - under normal circumstances - would be sufficient to get you into anything in town. But as the interest in indie titles grew, you would also be competing with long winding lines full of hopeful wait-listers who would dominate the hallways and lobbies of venues like The Eccles Theatre (our favorite) and The Prospector Hotel, with dozens being turned away seatless for every screening. That means there were extra potential audience members just laying fallow.
In 1995, some smart, cheerful, and subversive filmmakers decided to bring some films of their own, renting a conference room off that hallway in Prospector and started recruiting audiences from the disavowed, but devoted, cinefiles. These guys were film makers who had submitted various projects to Sundance (24 in total) but whose films hadn't been accepted into the Official Film Festival. Unwilling to take “no” for an answer, they instead brought their indie celluloid with them, and started their own event - Slamdance: Anarchy in Utah.
20 years later, Slamdance has become a year-round organization fostering the development of unique and innovative filmmakers. The organization now consists of the Film Festival, Screenplay Competition and Slamdance Studios. It has also created Slamdance On The Road, a traveling theatrical showcase that brings popular Slamdance films to audiences that otherwise would not have the opportunity to see them. Notable Slamdance alumni who first gained notice at the festival include: Christopher Nolan (INTERSTELLAR), Oren Peli (PARANORMAL ACTIVITY), Marc Forster (WORLD WAR Z), Jared Hess (NAPOLEON DYNAMITE), Lena Dunham (GIRLS), Benh Zeitlin (BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD), Anthony & Joe Russo (CAPTAIN AMERIA: THE WINTER SOLDIER), Seth Gordon (HORRIBLE BOSSES) and Lynn Shelton (HUMPDAY). Slamdance is the only festival programmed entirely by filmmakers, for filmmakers. With over half of 2014's feature films having found distribution after premiering in Park City, Slamdance continues to be a fertile ground for new filmmakers to begin their careers. According to Box Office Mogo, filmmakers who first showcased their work at Slamdance have now generated over 11 billion dollars. That Box Office calculation comes from the accumulated work of all of the wonderful acclaimed Slamdance alumni.
In addition to the festival itself, Slamdance is able to showcase films in theatres year round. The first innovative distribution mark they made was being the first to show part of its 2010 festival program online through a partnership with Xbox. These days, they control Slamdance Studios, the rapidly expanding distribution arm of the festival. Slamdance is making a serious dent in the independent scene, and we certainly have to give a hat tip for their creation of the Arclight Presents Slamdance Cinema Club where you can see festival favorites at the Arclight Hollywood.
Slamdance Films on HULU
Three high school virgins, suspended on a bogus graffiti charge, fee to the inner city in an attempt to live out the plot of The Catcher In The Rye - A book they have neither read or understand.
A documentary about the trials and tribulations of a couple attempting to survive their first season as dairy farmers.
Isa Abdullah Ali grew up in the ghettos of America's capitol and was surrounded by physical and psychological violence. American Jihadist looks at what role violence and a lack of hope for the future play in the development of radicalism.
A character study of Paul Kaplan, an unremarkable actor whose increasing inability to communicate in situations where there's no script slowly turns him into a ticking time bomb of inner rage.
The story of a young man who returns home from a trip abroad to confront not just his peculiar family and friends, but also a pair of Colombian jewel thieves and a roving gang of Iowa kickboxers, culminating in a showdown at Carhenge.
The story of Ray Joshua, an original, gifted young MC trapped in a war-zone housing project known as Dodge City.
Stranger Things is the story of an unexpected encounter which leads to a surprising friendship between a vulnerable young woman and a streetwise homeless man.
This film reveals the information corporations and governments are legally taking from you and the consequences of clicking “I accept.”
A thriller centered on a serial killer in a rundown London suburb.
Six troubled high schoolers and their leader become lost after their bus crashes during a raging storm. They seeks refuge for the night in an abandoned trailer park, managed by a sexy woman, Norma.
An ancient football game is the lifeblood of an English market town and the origin of soccer, rugby, and American football.
Opening Day of Slamdance: 2015 Starts Off With A Bang
2 p.m. (JAN 25) Official Slamdance Red Carpet Starts
Check out the trailer for the frightfully funny opening night film which premieres at the Slamdance Film Festival: BLOOD SUCKING BASTARDS. Billed as Shaun of The Dead meets The Office, this brilliant team of comedy writers and actors have delivered a punchy piece of cinematic fun. From the opening credits, we like these filmmakers. Thinking it would be a good idea to just create their own comedic vehicle, the upper NY based comedy troupe - DR. GOD - decided to manifest their very own SHAUN OF THE DEAD. How very independent of them.
11 p.m. (JAN 25)Peter Harper will appear in concert at Wasatch
Closing Night Party
10: 30 p.m. - 2 a.m. (JAN 29)
Presented by Zealot Networks and New Media Rockstars, Slamdance celebrates the conclusion of their Park City Festival for 2015.