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The 18th Slamdance Film Festival, which runs from Jan. 20-26 in Park City, Utah, will showcase 18 feature length films — 10 narrative films and 8 documentaries — from first-time directors in its feature competition programs.
Thirteen of the movies, culled from nearly 5,000 submissions, are world premieres.
In announcing the selections Wedneday, Peter Baxter, Slamdance president and co-founder, said, “Our competition showcase reflects new approaches to filmmaking that mirror the challenging times in which we currently live. These films showcase filmmakers who have a tremendous ability to innovate, experiment, and lead us boldly into the future of independent filmmaking.
The Slamdance line-up consists of:
NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION PROGRAM:
Director: Andrew Edison, Screenwriters: Andrew Edison, Luke Loftin. (USA)
Three smart-mouthed high school virgins, suspended from school on a graffiti charge, flee to the inner city to live out the plot of The Catcher in the Rye.
Cast: Andrew Edison, Luke Loftin, John Karna
Director: Derek Franson, Screenwriter: Derek Franson. (Canada) US Premiere
A lonely young woman’s desperate need for emotional and physical companionship draws her into a surreal and ultimately destructive relationship with a shifting and whispering tattoo she has willed to life on her skin.
Cast: Jane Sowerby, Tygh Runyan, Victoria Bidewell
Doppelgänger Paul (or A Film About How Much I Hate Myself)
Director: Dylan Akio Smith, Kris Elgstrand, Screenwriter: Kris Elgstrand. (Canada) US Premiere
The unlikely relationship of two lonely men whose connection sets off a chain of events resulting in the loss of a thumb, the theft of a manuscript, and two appearances on a popular morning talk show.
Cast: Brad Dryborough, Tygh Runyan
Faith, Love and Whiskey
Director: Kristina Nikolova, Screenwriters: Kristina Nikolova, Paul Dalio. (Bulgaria) World Premiere
A young Bulgarian woman, engaged to a well-off American, panics and runs back home, reuniting with her drifter friends and the wild life of her past and falling in love with her passionate but alcoholic best friend.
Cast: Ana Stojanovska, Valeri Yordanov, John Keabler, Lidia Indjova, Yavor Baharov
Director: Axel Ranisch, Screenwriters: Axel Ranisch, Heiko Pinkowski, Peter Trabner. (Germany) US Premiere
Sven lives with his elderly mother; Daniel is her caregiver. When she wanders off, their misadventure to find her leads them to discover their confusing affection for each other.
Cast: Heiko Pinkowski, Peter Trabner, Ruth Bickelhaupt
Director: Daniel Martinico, Screenwriters: Hugo Armstrong, Daniel Martinico. (USA) World Premiere
A series of demoralizing auditions and a cultish movement workshop push a struggling actor over the edge.
Cast: Hugo Armstrong
Director: Andrew Bush, Screenwriters: Andrew Bush, Mark Little, Scott Vrooman (Canada) US Premiere
At the peak of disco-mania, three friends try and stop a local crime syndicate from turning their beloved roller rink into a video arcade.
Cast: Kayla Lorette, Mark Little, Scott Vrooman
The Sound of Small Things
Director/Screenwriter: Peter McLarnan. (USA) World Premiere
Sam and Cara’s attempt to navigate their young marriage is complicated by miscommunication, suspicion and her deafness.
Cast: Cara Krippner, Sam Hoolihan
Director/Screenwriter: Frank Rinaldi. (Singapore/USA) World Premiere
A story about the relationship between a young woman who has lost her memory and her mysterious caregiver.
Cast: Shannon Fitzpatrick, Susan Chau
Welcome to Pine Hill
Director/Screenwriter: Keith Miller. (USA) World Premiere
A reformed drug dealer, now a claims adjuster by day and bouncer by night, receives earthshattering news that compels him to return to his past and seek transcendence beyond the Brooklyn concrete.
Cast: Shannon Harper, Mary Meyers, David Williams
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION PROGRAM:
Director: Todd Kellstein. (Thailand/USA) World Premiere
Two eight year old girls fight in rural Thailand’s underground child boxing economy to earn money to support their families.
Director: Alexandra Berger, Screenwriters: Ann Husaini, Alexandra Berger. (USA) World Premiere
Amateur porn producer Dan Leal, aka ‘Porno Dan,’ searches for intimacy despite his industry and in spite of himself.
The First Season
Director: Rudd Simmons. (USA) World Premiere
To achieve their version of the American dream, the Van Amburg family struggle as they fight against relentless toil, financial ruin and the harsh reality of dairy farming.
Director: Caskey Ebeling, Screenwriter: Tempt. (USA) World Premiere
After being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease and rendered almost completely paralyzed, Tony “Tempt” Quan, a legendary L.A. graffiti artist, regains his voice through technology that reads the movement of his eyes and enables him to create art and write once again.
I Want My Name Back
Director: Roger Paradiso. (USA) Utah Premiere
Thirty years after the historic recording of the iconic mega-hit “Rapper’s Delight,” Master Gee & Wonder Mike come back to reclaim their identities and rightful place in Hip Hop history.
Director: James Stenson. (USA) World Premiere
Having fled a provincial past, a young, transgender prostitute searches for love and acceptance in a landscape of broken Hollywood Dreams.
No Ashes, No Phoenix
Director/Screenwriter: Jens Pfeifer. (Germany) World Premiere
A locker room expose about young basketball players in Hagen, Germany who face their fears of losing and challenge enormous odds to succeed.
We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists
Director/Screenwriter: Brian Knappenberger. (USA) World Premiere
An intimate look inside the world of Anonymous, the radical “hacktivist” collective that has redefined civil disobedience for the digital age.
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