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The Sundance Film Festival will take place from January 18–28 2024.




Sundance and other Park City Festivals news, past and future.   #sundance @sundancefest


Slamdance Film Festival 2023 Awards

Slamdance Film Festival 2023 Awards trifecta winner is  “Starring Jerry As Himself”  (Grand Jury Documentary Feature Film, Audience Award Documentary Feature Film Winner and Acting Award Winner for Jerry) documenting how an immigrant father Jerry is recruited by the Chinese police to be an undercover agent. This standout world premiere hybrid documentary had sold out screenings and standing ovations (the film is headed to Santa Barbara International Film Festival next month);   psychological horror "The Underbug" exploring xenophobia and sectarian violence set in India took the Grand Jury Award for Breakout Feature Film; and critically acclaimed "Silent Love" won Grand Jury Honorable Mention for Documentary Feature Film is an incredibly intimate documentary looking at the lives of two women in love and raising a pubescent teenager in a small Polish village.  

These distinctly different and impactful films making their world premieres this January in Park City, UT (with in-person screenings and on the festivals digital North American geo-blocked platform for Roku and Amazon Fire through Jan 29th) offer us an insider’s humanistic view into the lives around us on a number of topics. Some will shock you to your core, while others reach deeply into your heart. Where a news headline could merely skim the surface, these films engage, inspire, prompt conversations, and offer hope & empathy. Each of these films has a brisk running time of under 90 minutes.


Slamdance 2023 Winners


Grand Jury Awards — Features


Documentary Feature: “Starring Jerry as Himself” (Dir. Law Chen)
Honorable Mention: “Silent Love” (Dir. Mark Kozakiewicz)


Breakouts Feature: “The Underbug” (Dir. Shujaat Saudagar)


Festival Wide Awards


Slamdance Acting Award: Jerry Hsu for “Starring Jerry as Himself”


Audience Awards


Documentary Feature: “Starring Jerry as Himself” (Dir. Law Chen)

Below please find further information on the films, as well private screener links available upon request for your coverage consideration.  Your incredible continued support of independent film is invaluable and greatly appreciated! 


“Starring Jerry As Himself” (World Premiere & Slamdance Grand Jury Documentary Feature, Audience Award Documentary & Acting Award for Jerry Hsu)

About the Film: “Starring Jerry As Himself” is a docu-fiction hybrid that blurs the lines of reality while staying true to Jerry Hsu, the title subject and his unique story. Jerry is the father everyone wants to have as their own, and his journey is one that rivals that of Alice following the white rabbit into another world. Employing a variety of creative filmmaking techniques to capture the world from  Jerry’s  perspective, the film is a genre bending meta experience as Jerry deals with a wild tale of international intrigue in which he inexplicably finds himself a lynchpin with his family none the wiser...or has he?

Logline: A family documents how their immigrant father Jerry, a recently divorced and retired Florida man, was recruited by the Chinese police to be an undercover agent, only to discover a darker truth.

Filmmaking Team: Director & Editor Lawrence Chen (“We Humans,” “I Don’t Make The Rules”), Co-Writers Jerry C. Hsu (the star of the film) & Lawrence Chen, producers: Jonathan Hsu (“Leftovers,” “The Lion of Chinatown”) & Lawrence Chen, composer Eric Hölljes (“Criminal Minds,” “Just Go With It”) with Cinematography by Tinx Chen (“Dark Waters,” “Empty Skies”), and Lawrence Chen.

Running Time: 75 Minutes


“The Underbug” (World Premiere & Slamdance Grand Jury Breakout Feature Film)

About the Film: While nations came to a standstill during the pandemic, another more familiar kind of virus - xenophobia and sectarian violence - raged in India. Against that backdrop, “The Underbug” is a psychological horror that explores the psyche of people who live on the fringe of society. The film focuses on two men, who have stumbled on a deserted house where deadly trauma has clearly taken place, but what happened, who or what was responsible and are they next, are now the questions they need to solve in order to survive. A cinematic sibling to the style of  Romero, filmmaker Shujaat Saudagar explores radical allegories reflecting relevant cultural and sociopolitical trends in the paranoid, fearful world of his characters. “The Underbug”  delivers what great horror cinema does best: sparking conversation and debate, and offering insight on socio-politics in our current world, while keeping us on the edge of our seats with impending dread.

Logline: As India is ravaged by sectarian violence on the eve of its Independence Day, two rioters take refuge in an abandoned house. An eerie presence in the house, however, haunts the men to the edge of sanity.

Filmmaking Team & Stars: Starring Ali Fazal (“Victoria & Abdul,” “Death  On The Nile”), and Hussain Dalal (“Brahmastra Part One: Shiva, ” “2 States”), Directed by Shujaat Saudagar (“Jaadugar,” “Gulmohar”), Written by Shujaat Saudagar, Abbas Dalal (“Jalsa, ” “Baaghi 2”), and Hussain Dalal, Produced by Vikesh Bhutani (“Gehraiyaan,” “Gully Boy”), Shujaat Saudagar, and Aman Mann (Oscar 2023 Shortlist “All That Breathes,” “Airborne ”), Executive Producers Shaunak Sen (Oscar 2023 Shortlist “All That Breathes,” “Cities of Sleep”), Richa Chadha (“Gangs of Wasseypur,” Masaan”), Ali Faz al, Hussain Dalal & Abbas Dalal.

Running Time: 68 Minutes *In Hindi with subtitles*



“Silent Love” (US Premiere & Grand Jury Honorable Mention Feature Documentary)

About the Film: Critically acclaimed "Silent Love" is an incredibly intimate documentary looking at the lives of two women in love and raising a pubescent teenager in a small Polish village.   Aga plays the role of both mother and father to her teenage brother, Milosz, but there is something vital she isn’t telling him about. It’s her relationship with Maja. The film follows the three of them as they navigate trying to build a new model of a family in the midst of a traditionally conservative and closed community. Together, these three alternately struggle and then succeed as they form this new family - but ultimately, "Silent Love"   is a coming of age and a coming-out story about taking on new roles, and redefining the old ones. It’s a tender story about the courage to love despite all the obstacles.

Logline: After their mother’s death, 35-year-old Aga has to take care of her teenage brother, Milosz. There is one thing she isn’t telling him about: her ongoing relationship with Maja. An unconventional family is being born in a small, conservative Polish village.

Filmmaking Team: Director, Writer & Cinematographer Marek Kozakiewicz (“Pozegnanie," “The Captive”), Editors Anna Garncarczyk (“Monument,” “Tower. A Bright Day”), Monument and Agata Cierniak (“Infinite Storm,” “Corprus Christi”), Music by Bartosz Bludau (“Life is Strange: True Colors,” “The Year I Lost My Mind”), Producer Agnieszka Skalska (Whatever Happens Next,” Triple Trouble”), and Agnieszka Dziedzic (“Dangerous Men,” “Whatever Happens Next”), Co-produced by  Alex Tondowski (“Black Death,” “Born in Evin”), and Ira Tondowski (“Sonntags,” “Ava”).

Festivals around the world where the film has received acclaim: Vision du Reel, Hot Docs,  IDFABest of FestsDok Leipzig (MDR Prize for The Best Film from Middle-Eastern Europe), Millenium Docs Against Gravity Festival (Grand Prix for Best Polish Film and International First Appearance Award),  Mlodzi i Film Festival (Grand Prix for the best Documentary)Festival Media Czlowiek w Zagrozeniu (The Aleksander Kaminski Prize)Two Riversides FestivalOpolskie Lamy Festival,  Off Cinema Festival, and the International Film Festival Cottbus.

Running Time: 72 Minutes *In Polish with subtitles* 


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