If you live in Utah, than you know all about the Sundance Film Festival. Movie stars, Hollywood, Robert Redford…yup- that’s what happens to Park City (and more recently downtown SLC) every January. For 30 years, we’ve been talking about Sundance. But…what about Slamdance?
In 1995, when a group of filmmakers weren’t accepted into the Sundance Film Festival, they decided to create their own. They started an “anti-Sundance”, Slamdance. This film festival is also in Park City at the exact same time as Sundance, thumbing it’s nose at the “sell out” that festival has become.
Last year, over 6,500 films were submitted for the festival which usually screens around 100. The categories are: Feature Narrative Competition, Feature/Short Documentary, Special Screenings, Animated Shorts, Narrative Shorts and Anarchy Shorts.
Slamdance is known as a more filmmaker friendly competition that is more low key than it’s more successful “brother”. However, don’t let that vibe fool you. I’ve watched more and more large films, actors and directors make their way across the street and over to Slamdance! Films are being bought up by studios at this festival as much as Sundance.
A few successful films from Slamdance:
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY (2008)
BATKID BEGINS: THE WISH HEARD AROUND THE WORLD (2015)
Festival discoveries have included directors Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight), Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace), Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite), Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity), Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses), Lynn Shelton (Your Sister’s Sister), and Lena Dunham (Girls). Slamdance also attracts renowned alumni including Larry Clark, Steven Soderbergh and Johnathan Demme.