In the wake of the near-arrest of Iranian-born Slamdance filmmaker Farhad Yawari for allegedly handing out flyers for his pic on Park City streets (Daily Variety, Jan. 25), all seemed a bit quieter at the sixth annual Slamdance as fest directors awarded 13 bronze Sparky statuettes at the closing night ceremony Friday.
Yawari seized the audience feature award, while the Grand Jury Award for best feature went to “Good Housekeeping,” helmed and penned by Frank Novak.
Chris Wilcha’s “The Target Shoots First” snagged the documentary award sponsored by Christie Digital, while the Ilford B&W award went to Yves Stening’s “Great Falls.”
Other award winners were:
Grand Jury Award for best short: “Elevator World,” directed by Mitchell Rose.
Audience short award: “Mutual Love Life,” directed by Robert Peters.
Kodak Vision award for best cinematography: “Tuvalu,” helmed by German filmmaker Veit Helmer and shot by Emil Cristof.
Award for best editing: “The Target Shoots First,” edited by Wilcha and Bill Yoelin.
Spirit of Slamdance award: “Harry Knuckles,” a short directed by Lee DeMarbe.
Anarchy audience award: “Night Deposit,” directed by Monika Mitchell.
Best Production Value: “Luz,” a short from helmer Jose Javier Martinez.
Moviemaker Breakthrough Award: “Double Parked,” directed by Stephen Kinsella.
Screenplay award winners were: first place, “Retro,” written by Percy Angress and Livia Linden; second place, “The Beekeeper’s Tango,” penned by Michael Stark; and third place, “The Rape of Marta Alastor,” written by Brent Studler.
Special screening pic “Amargosa” directed by Todd Robinson, garnered considerable fest buzz; the Mexican film is one of 12 finalists for the foreign language film Oscar.
Though fest executive director Peter Baxter said there have never been as many acquisition execs viewing Slamdance pics, no feature has been acquired yet. AtomFilms snatched up rights to the short “Mosquito,” directed by Frieder Wittich, while such pics as “Barenaked in America,” “Dolphins” and “We Married Margo” have generated serious acquisition interest.
Last year’s audience award winner, “Man of the Century,” was picked up by Fine Line Features several months after the fest.
Referring both to the demand for seats in the two screening rooms at the fest’s Treasure Mountain Inn headquarters, as well as the number of festgoers who descend on Park City in general, Baxter noted, “We’re really tapped out, and so is Park City. We can’t do anything more than we are doing.”
Doing its part
Park City officials had criticized Slamdance prior to this year’s event for what they called piggy-backing on city services such as transportation, for which Sundance pays. But Baxter said Park City reps are looking for ways for Slamdance to work in conjunction with Sundance in coming years.
“The city has to tell us what they want us to do,” Baxter said. “It’s about time for Sundance and Slamdance to get together and see what can be done together.”
Slamdance on the road makes its London debut later this year. The best of Slamdance 2000 screens March 23 and 24 at the American Cinematheque in Los Angeles.