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Slamdance to produce a film based on prize-winning entry

Slamdance, in a landmark precedent for a film festival, has joined forces with Angel Baby Entertainment and Executive Producer Michael Malagiero to annually produce a feature film based on that year’s prize-winning entry culled from the newly-created Slamdance Horror Screenplay Competition, it was jointly announced by Peter Baxter of Slamdance and Gregory Segal, a partner at Angel Baby. In addition to having their screenplay guaranteed to be made into a feature motion picture, the winning writer will receive an upfront payment of $10,000 against 5% of the film’s budget, plus net profits participation on the movie and payments for any sequels made of the motion picture. Production of the completed script will occur during the ensuing months, with the intent of having the film’s World Premiere during the follow year’s Slamdance Film Festival.

The Horror Screenplay Competition deadline has now been extended to accommodate this new development. All entries to the Slamdance Film Festival must now be postmarked by December 11, 2006. For more information, log on to

As perhaps the pre-eminent film festival whose sole mission is to nurture, support and showcase truly independent works, Slamdance has established a unique reputation for premiering new films by first-time writers and directors working within the creative confines of limited budgets. In 2006, Slamdance received more than 2,000 screenplay submissions for its annual Screenplay Competition, held in the spring following the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. (In 2007, the Slamdance Film Festival dates are January 18-27.) The goal of the Competition is to bring attention to the most talented new and emerging screenwriters and introduce them to the industry. In the past, Slamdance-winning Competition screenplays acquired for production have included Nicole Kassell and Stephen Fetcher’s The Woodsman, Joshua Marston’s Maria Full of Grace and Tim Boughn’s Neo Ned.

The Festival tends to receive a great many zombie, slasher and vampire films and scripts each year. Capitalizing therefore on the tremendous popularity of the horror genre, all screenplays in the new Horror Screenplay Competition must be of the horror variety. Slamdance and Angel Baby will jointly produce each year’s film, and both companies will actively seek a director and other filmmakers from current and earlier Slamdance Film Festival alumni.

“Slamdance is always looking for new and innovative ways to assist emerging artists and writers and to contribute to the film community,” said Baxter. “Producing the best script we can find in the genre is the next logical extension for us as an all-encompassing organization devoted to nurturing and supporting new talent and their visions. As we mature as a business, our objective intensifies in supporting filmmakers to realize their own goals.”

Segal stresses the Competition is not looking for just another generic horror movie looking for a home. “Slamdance has become the first stop for a lot of writers looking to make their mark with something unique and thrilling,” he says. “The best and the brightest writers utilize the Slamdance festival and its competitions. When we make the film, not only will the chosen writer win a film festival prize, but he or she will also become a produced writer with a film premiering at a top festival, and made by an experienced producing team.”

An interesting aspect of this competition is that the staff also functioning as a development department similar to that of a studio or an independent production company. “Our dedicated, tireless people carefully read every script sent to us,” noted Horror Screenplay Competition Director John Stoddard. “It’s a time-consuming process, but when we discover a project worthy of production together with a trusted collaborator ready to make that dream a reality, it will be extremely satisfying.”

Baxter concurred. “Slamdance is growing in a new direction, and our writers and filmmakers will be the first to benefit.”

Started in 1995 by a group of filmmakers, Slamdance continues to be organized and programmed exclusively by filmmakers, for filmmakers, just one of many elements that make Slamdance a pioneering standout among its festival counterparts. Slamdance lacks much of the red tape, bureaucracy and general industry extraneousness that can hinder or convolute the process that filmmakers come to festivals for in the first place – the chance to get their movies made and/or seen. At Slamdance, the link between filmmaker and festival – and, subsequently, filmmaker and industry – is a direct and cohesive one.

Slamdance alumni are recruited to serve as programmers, so first-timers are represented and assisted by Slamdance veterans. The mantra of “by filmmakers, for filmmakers” resounds at every level of the organization, and plays a part in all of its undertakings. It’s what put Slamdance on the proverbial map to begin with, and what’s made it the viable, big-time festival contender it is today. Among others, the Festival essentially launched the careers of Christopher Nolan, Marc Forster and Jared Hess.

With the renowned film festival as its core, Slamdance’s philosophy is of forward movement and productive growth, and they have expanded its ventures to include all sorts of good, needed programs – year round.

A partnership between Producer Gregory Segal and Writer/Director/Producer John Andrew Gallagher (The Deli, Blue Moon), Angel Baby Entertainment has produced six features and two short films over the past two and one-half years, and has numerous projects in development. Segal’s most recent credits include The Ten, directed by David Wain and starring Jessica Alba, Paul Rudd, Winona Ryder, Famke Jansen, Gretchen Mol, Oliver Platt, Ron Silver, Liev Schrieber, Rob Corddry, Justin Theroux and Adam Brody. Additionally, Segal, Gallagher and Angel Baby Entertainment are also in post-production of writer-director Jeff Roenning's Hot Baby, a Horror Screenplay Competitor from past years.


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