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The Slamdance program

"The Slamdance 2004 Film Festival has invited 19 feature films to compete at our tenth annual festival," Peter Baxter, Slamdance President/Co-Founder, announced today. Eleven of the Competition Features screening this year are fictional narratives and eight are documentaries. In addition to the 19 feature length films, 13 of which are premieres, Slamdance will also screen 21 short films in competition. Special Screenings, films screening out of competition and festival events will be announced at a later date.

The festival, once again headquartered at the Treasure Mountain Inn (255 Main Street) will take place January 17-24, 2004, in Park City, Utah - coinciding with the Sundance Film Festival. In addition to the popular Brewvies screenings, Slamdance will expand further in Salt Lake City with programming at the new Madstone Theater Location (Trolley Square, 552 South 602 East, Salt Lake City, Screenings at Madstone will focus on competition docs.

For the first time, the 2004 Slamdance Jury will be separated into a Documentary section and a Narrative section. Documentary Jury members
include: Robert Koehler (Variety film critic); Mark Neale (director, WILLIAM
GIBSON: NO MAPS FOR THESE TERRITORIES); and Penelope Spheeris (THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION); Narrative Jury members include: Charles Lyons (filmmaker, journalist); Mark Pellington (director, THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES); Anthony Russo (director, WELCOME TO COLLINWOOD); and Gabe Wardell, Programmer, Silver Docs and Slamdance Head Projectionist.

"Slamdance Number 10 will celebrate, as always, our original mission of showcasing emerging filmmaking talent. If you want to see true independent film Slamdance is the place to be," said Peter Baxter, Slamdance President/Co-Founder. "This year is the Festival's biggest line-up and is mostly made up of newcomers. Since it's inception in 1995, the Festival's goal has been to continue to reach out to new filmmakers and to exhibit fresh, raw and largely unknown talent at its best, in the spirit of filmmaking without apologies."

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Speaking about this year's submissions, Nubia Flores, Slamdance's Director of Programming said, ""We've continued to see a dramatic increase in the number of films made through the various digital formats. The novelty of shooting with inexpensive digital video has worn off and we're seeing filmmakers focus more on story and character development. Digital filmmaking has transcended the 90s Dogme aesthetic and filmmakers are refocusing on old-school values like storytelling and character development. It's getting back to the message and not the medium."

The Slamdance feature competition section is limited specifically to first-time filmmakers working with limited budgets who have not yet found U.S. distribution. Many of the films in the non-competitive section are also directed by first-time filmmakers.

Slamdance is a year-round organization dedicated to serving new filmmakers from around the world. Started in 1995 by a group of upstart writer/director/producers, Slamdance continues to be organized and programmed by active filmmakers. Now in its tenth year as an annual 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. With a renowned film festival at its heart, Slamdance has expanded to include domestic and international On The Road events (Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C., Cologne, Beijing, Wroclaw-Poland), a thriving screenplay competition, a very active website at, the Anarchy online short film competition, a $99 Special short film production wing and a newly formed Boot Camp education program.

Speaking about the programming process, Flores says, "It's still a uniquely consensus-based programming process, and the broadening of our reputation hasn't changed the spirit of how our films are selected." Slamdance does not make any early invitations or selections for its feature competition. Over 50 programmers were involved in the selection process. The festival welcome films in any subject matter, length, format (including digital and video), finished or not."

Sparky awards together with sponsored prizes will be presented to the winners of the competition films at the Slamdance "Sparky" Awards starting at 7pm on January 23rd. Location to be announced. In addition to competing for the coveted bronze "Sparky" dog trophy, filmmakers will be eligible for cash and other prizes.


DEAR PILLOW - (USA, 85 min., Narrative, 2003). WORLD PREMIERE A 17-year-old supermarket bag boy finds a mentor in a porno magazine writer and soon he is enmeshed in some very adult situations. Directed by Bryan Poyser.

GOLDFISH GAME (Belguim, 105 min., Narrative, 2002) US PREMIERE In this modern day fable about an extended family that comes together at a castle in the French Ardennes, man becomes a sum of his secrets, his past and his moral decisions. Directed by Jan Lauwers.

GRAVEYARD ALIVE - A ZOMBIE NURSE IN LOVE - (Canada, 80 min., Narrative,
2003) US PREMIERE A modern feminist B-Horror zombie flick about a lonely nurse who turns into a sex kitten after being bitten by a zombie. Directed by Elza Kephart Page 3 (Feature Films In Competition Continued) HOMEWORK - (USA, 77 min., Narrative, 2003) WORLD PREMIERE A 16-year-old ballet dancer explores her sexual and emotional world in unexpected ways when she encounters predicaments above and beyond her controlled environment. Directed by Kevin Asher Green.

IPO - (USA, 100 min., Narrative, 2003) WORLD PREMIERE The dreams and dilemmas of 12 characters play out against a backdrop of San Francisco's Mission district as the over-hyped dot com market bubble begins to deflate. Directed by Daniel Gamburg.

MADNESS AND GENIUS - (USA, 103 min., Narrative, 2003) A college student failing out of school steals old research from his once brilliant, reclusive professor, hoping to gain fame and reverence. He turns the professors life upside down as it forces him to confront the demons that forced him into solitude. With Tom Noonan. Directed by Ryan Eslinger.

MEMRON - (USA, 76 min., Narrative, 2002) WORLD PREMIERE An improvisational comedic romp through the ruins of corporate fraud. Memron was once the greatest company on earth. Now their top executives rule the prison yard golf course. Directed by Nancy Hower).

NIGHTINGALE IN A MUSIC BOX (USA, 96 min., Narrative, 2002) In the future there is a technology that can control people's memories. Two women confront it in this sci-fi drama that examines the question: "How easily can our mind be taken away from us?" Directed by Hurt McDermott.

SHELTER - (USA, 80 min., Narrative, 2004) WORLD PREMIERE Three destitute inner-city teens break into a secluded beach house and create a makeshift family in this unfamiliar and magical setting. But when jealousies erupt the alliances of two brothers and their pregnant friend are put to the test. With Ray Santiago (GIRLFIGHT, PINERO). Directed by Benno Schoberth.

TAKE OUT - (USA, 91 min., Narrative, 2003) WORLD PREMIERE An illegal Chinese immigrant falls behind on payments on an enormous smuggling debt. Ming Ding has only until the end of the day to come up with the money. Directed by Shih-Ching Tsou, Sean Baker.

X, Y (USA, 102 min., Narrative, 2003) WORLD PREMIERE Based on the cult novel by Michael Blumlein, this dark love story set in hip NYC is about a woman who wakes up one morning and has lost her identity. The one thing she knows for sure is that she is a man. Directed by Vladimir Vitkin.


ARAKIMENTARI - (USA, 76 min., Documentary, 2003) WORLD PREMIERE A look at the life and work of Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki and his impact on Japanese culture and the depiction of women. Directed by Travis Klose.

BRUCE HAACK: THE KING OF TECHNO - (USA, 69 min., Documentary, 2003) The underground world of homespun musician Bruce Haack comes alive with mind-blowing visuals, wild music and far out stories. Directed by Philip Anagnos.

2003) WORLD PREMIERE This captivating journey into the world of a savant street musician and his lifelong struggle to become a successful recording artist. His celebrity obsessions range from Jeff Bridges to Johnny Mathis and then The Stone Temple Pilots discover his music... Directed by Scott Milam, Ken Harder, Todd Pottinger. Page 4 (Feature Documentary Films In Competition Continued) FACTOR 8: THE ARKANSAS PRISON BLOOD SCANDAL - (USA, 85 min., Documentary,
2003) WORLD PREMIERE This film investigates the sale of tainted blood from infected prisoners to Canada, Europe and Japan, thus spreading AIDS and Hepatitis C. Directed by Kelly Duda.

MONSTER ROAD - (USA, 80 min., Documentary, 2003) WORLD PREMIERE This film explores the life and work of visionary clay and line animator Bruce Bickford. Best known for the dark and magical clay animations he created for musician Frank Zappa in the 1970s, Bickford's films have achieved cult status worldwide, even though very little of his 40 year body of work has been released to the public. Directed by Brett Ingram.

PLAGUES & PLEASURES: A LIFE AT THE SALTON SEA - (USA, 79 min., Documentary) WORLD PREMIERE In the 1960's, the Salton Sea was a premier working class vacationer's destination and was championed as the next Palm Springs. Today it sits nearly abandoned. Directed by Chris Metzler & Jeff Springer.

THE WATERSHED - (USA, 78 min., Documentary, 2003) In hardly more than a decade the Trunk family moved from a life of seeming glamour, perfection and financial success to one of welfare and isolation. Filmmaker Mary Trunk examines what happened to her and her siblings as children of alcoholic parents.


"Away In A Trailer" (USA, 7 min., Narrative, 2003) The spirit of Christmas is dragged kicking and screaming into a trailer park in Sweet Home, Oregon. Directed by Phil Lantis.

"Crabwalk" (USA, 17 min., Narrative, 2003) In this comedy, A 26-year-old unemployed college grad, still living at home, is given a final $20 allowance by his parents. His first day of trying to be a grown-up is a series of bittersweet and darkly comical mishaps. Directed by Jeremy Saulnier.

"Danceland" (Canada, 22 min., Narrative, 2003) A hermit rebuilds his childhood schoolhouse, an aging wrestler battles a deteriorating body, the world's best dancer wins a pair of ruby encrusted tap shoes in this travelogue of the American West. Directed by Jeffrey Moneo.

"Employee Dang" (USA, 27 min., Narrative, 2003) A Vietnamese immigrant in the dry cleaning business finds himself at odds with his clientele of black gangstas. When a large sum of money goes missing, he suspects his American-born daughter of theft. Directed by Corey Fortune.

"The Fine Art of Poisoning" (USA, 6 min., Animation, 2002) A mood-piece on the theme of plotting revenge, with gothic imagery rendered in 2D, 3D and hand drawn animation, combined with still photography. Directed by Bill Domonkos. (CGI)

"The Flag Day Parade" (USA, 12 min., Documentary, 2003) Did North Carolinian Jim Martin put dynamite in the town mayor's driveway? An intimate look at the surprising and contradictory inner world of a man who puts on a Confederate Flag parade. Directed by Curtis Gaston.

"Free" (USA, 8 min., Narrative, 2002) A 10-year-old boy catches a trout in the Provo, Utah River and takes it for a pet. But keeping a fish alive in captivity is quite a chore. Told from the fish's point of view. Directed by Todd Maetani.
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(Short Films In Competition Continued)
"Freestyle" (USA, 26:22 min., Documentary, 2003) A look at a new competitive dog sport called "Musical Canine Freestyle" or dancing with dogs and its colorful practitioners of all ages who hope to take it all the way to the Olympics. Directed by Elena Elmoznino.

"Habana Holiday" ("Yo Soy Malo," USA, 5 min., 2003) An American tourist in Havana takes his DV camera into the local demimonde of male hustlers, and ends up answering some pointed questions. Directed by Chris Maher.

"Ladies Room" (USA, 14 min., Experimental, 2003) Serious, comical, sexy and satirical, the goings-on in a place where men aren't allowed reveal aspects of what it's like to be a woman. Directed by Kate Bernstein.

"Live Bait" (USA, 7.2 min., Animation, 2003) A starving fisherman is saved by three bird women and their island of instant gratification. Directed by Sarah Brown.

"The Love Ballad of Scarab Hack" (USA, 14 min., Narrative) A lonely troll woman living in the modern world decides to grow herself a man. But he turns out to be deformed and she rejects him only to find that love, once created, is not so easily destroyed. Directed by Javier Bonafont.

"MalaQueerche: Queer Punk Rock Show" (USA, 26 min., Narrative, 2003) When the Mullet gang kidnaps the Mohawks' drummer and punctures their tires with butt-plugs, the Mohawks must enlist an army of Queerions and a Dyke March to reclaim their rightful Punk Rock Stardom. Directed by Sarah Adorable, Devon Devine.

"Model Prisoner" (USA, 8 min., Documentary, 2003) The extremes of dehumanization in the prison system are examined in this look at the Visible Human Project, which consists of slicing and photographing nearly 2000 millimeter-thick sections of the body of an executed prisoner. Directed by Katherin McInnis.

"Old Glory" (USA, 7 min., Documentary, 2003) This satirical look at the role of the "Stars and Stripes" in post-9/11 culture is a survey of nouveau-patriot fashion statements and good old-fashioned jingoistic attitudes. Directed by Andy Schocken.

"Oxford Cowboy" (Great Britain, 24 min., Narrative, 2003) Brash, loud, idealistic and relentlessly enthusiastic, a visiting American student can't understand why English students don't like him. Directed by Cath Gulick.

"Particle Valentine" (USA, 4 min., Animation, 2003) Abstract animation tells a symbolic tale that involves an orgy of butterflies and the cycle of life. Directed by Christine Dunn.

"Requiem" (USA, 3 min., Animation, 2003) A Japanese woman's true story of her older brother's final visit home before going off to fight and die in World War II.. Directed by Roger Oda.

"Revelations #1" (USA, 6.5 min., Animation, 2003) A sweet but brainy meditation on life, love and such, influenced by channel and web surfing, apparently. Directed by Gerald Lewis. Page 6 (Short Films In Competition Continued) "Stand By" (USA, 9 min., Narrative, 2003) When the conversation at an Italian family barbeque strikes a particularly raw nerve, Johnny and his mother must face the uncomfortable truth about their relationship as mother and gay son. Directed Tony Osso.

"Tackle Box" (USA, 10.5 min., Narrative, 2003) When an elderly woman with a passion for fishing passes away there are strange and lingering effects on the Low country waters where she and her husband spent many happy hours. Directed by Matthew Mebane.

Slamdance's motto is "By Filmmakers, For Filmmakers" aptly describes the programming team, which is largely comprised of alumni filmmakers. The Slamdance Film Festival serves as a showcase for the discovery of emerging film talent. Slamdance's mission is to support and nurture innovative artists. The organization's goals for the future are to strengthen its year-round organization and evolve the Slamdance brand into new ventures that will support emerging filmmakers. Special screenings have showcased work by Steven Soderbergh, Alexandre Rockwell, Mark Levin and other more established entertainment industry talents.

Highlights from the 2003 Slamdance Film Festival in Park City included over $70,000 in cash and prizes awarded to the winning films. The 2002 Grand Jury Prize winner, Eitan Gorlin's debut feature, THE HOLY LAND is currently in theatrical release through Gotham-based production and distribution company Cavu Pictures. Each year several Slamdance films have been picked up for distribution and almost all films were invited to other festivals around the world.

Slamdance films also have won Spirit Awards, the Palm d'Or and even an Oscar.
Ray McKinnon won the 2002 Oscar for his short "The Accountant" which premiered at Slamdance 2002. David Greenspan won the Palme D'Or for his 2001 Slamdance entry, the short film "Bean Cake," at the 2001 Cannes International Film Festival. Frank Novak's BETTER HOUSEKEEPING, the Slamdance 2000 Grand Jury Winner - - went on to screen in the prestigious Critics' Week section of the Cannes Film Festival. Alumni include MEMENTO director Christopher Nolan ('99 award-winner FOLLOWING); the Russo Brothers ('97 entry PIECES) and MONSTER'S BALL director Marc Forster ('96 Audience Award winner LOUNGERS). David Hayter (screenwriter of X-MEN) is also a Slamdance alumni. Participation in the festival helped to discover these filmmakers and to propel them into their next feature productions. is an excellent source of information about the previous festivals.

Noting that one-fourth of the Sundance competition films have strong Slamdance foundations, Slamdance Co-Founder-at-Large Dan Mirvish said, "It's exciting to see Sundance and the broader indie film community recognize many of the filmmakers we've helped identify and nurture over the years. For 10 years we've been saying that Slamdance is a proving ground for the best and brightest new filmmakers on the block, and we hope this helps proves the point."

Alumni with films at Sundance this year are Ray McKinnon, who premiered his Oscar-winning short "The Accountant" at Slamdance 2001, which led him to his debut feature CHRYSTAL. Jared Hess' NAPOLEON DYNAMITE is an expanded version of his Slamdance 2002 competition short "Peluca." And both MARIA FULL OF GRACE (by Joshua Marston) and THE WOODSMAN (by Nicole Kassell and Stephen Fechter) were prior winners of the 9-year-old Slamdance Screenplay Competition which helped launch those films into production. Additional Slamdancers in Sundance this year include Slamdance 2003 alumnus Greg Pak (ROBOT STORIES) who wrote the American Spectrum feature MVP, and Slamdance 2001's Hendrik Handloegten (PAUL IS DEAD) who co-wrote the Premiere section film LOVE IN THOUGHTS and Slamdance 1999's Angela Robinson ("The Kinsey
Three") who wrote and directed the Premiere section film D.E.B.S. Page 7

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