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Slamdance season opens

Submission deadline extended

Slamdance ’99 has officially opened its call to entries for its fifth edition, which runs Jan. 23-30. The alternative fest to Sundance will once again be headquartered at the Treasure Mountain Inn in the heart of Park City, Utah.

“We’ve really gotten unprecedented support from the city,” said fest exec director Peter Baxter. “The format will essentially be the same, but we’ve changed the schedule so that we can have more film screenings.”

Launched by filmmakers who had been rejected by the Sundance showcase, it has evolved into a credible alternative voice. Two 1997 selections, “20 Dates” and “Six-String Samurai,” acquired commercial distribution via Fox Searchlight and Palm Pictures as result of Slamdance exposure.

“Without it (Slamdance) my film would never have attracted the attention and interest it received,” said “20 Dates” writer-director Myles Berkowitz. “I was so impressed at how hard they worked to insure that press, buyers and industry people saw the picture. It really makes a difference to have this type of event run by filmmakers.”

The festival has also extended its late deadline to Nov. 11 to accommodate last-minute submissions. Its main competition focuses on first-time filmmakers of low-budget features and short subjects. It also programs films that fall outside that criteria, and Baxter said it continues to be flexible about screening a variety of video formats as well as unusual narrative styles.

Further information and applications are available by contacting the Slamdance office at: (323)-466-1786 or on the Internet at: http://www.slamdance.com.

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