‘Back’ in saddle at Slamdance

Alt film festival awards 'Empire in Africa' top docu prize

See winners

“We Go Way Back,” writer-helmer Lynn Shelton’s feature following a confused 23-year-old actress in a surreal confrontation with her 13-year-old self, won the grand jury prize for feature at Slamdance over the weekend.

Slamdance, headed by director Peter Baxter, casts itself as an alternative, outsider fest to Sundance and ran Jan. 19-27. Awards ceremony was thrown at Park City hotspot Suede.

Top docu at this year’s fest was “Empire in Africa,” Philippe Diaz’s look at war-torn Sierra Leone.

The Slamdance audience picked comedy “The Sasquatch Dumpling Gang” as its favorite film at this year’s fest. Pic was written and helmed by Tim Skousen and produced through the Trigger Street Independent banner.

Fest’s aud choice for docu went to “Abduction: The Megumi Yakota Story” by helmers Chris Sheridan and Patty Kim. Pic centers on a 13-year-old Japanese girl kidnapped by North Korean spies.

Slamdance special jury mentions went to feature “The Guatemalan Handshake” and docu “Forgiving Dr. Mengele.”

Slamdance also saw its first acquisition out of the fest this year, when Canuck banner Maple Pictures snapped up distrib rights north of the border to “Find Love” by helmer Erica Dunton.

Pic is a romantic comedy starring Alexie Gilmore, Christian Camargo and Craig Scheffer.

“Love” was produced through the Gotham-based LaSalle Holland banner, which has credits including upcoming Alan Cumming starrer “Sweet Land” and the Strand Releasing pic “Loggerheads,” which screened at Sundance last year.

Slamdance will screen a best-of series this year in Gotham and Los Angeles, as well as other markets to be announced.

And the winners are…

Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature
“We Go Way Back,
written/directed by Lynn Shelton.

Special Jury Recognition
“The Guatemalan Handshake,”
written/directed by Todd Rohal

Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature
“Empire in Africa,”
directed by Philippe Diaz

Special Jury Recognition for Best Documentary Feature
“Forgiving Dr. Mengele,”
directed by Bob Hercules & Cheri Pugh.

Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short
“The Saviour,”
directed Peter Templeman.

Special Jury Recognition for Narrative Short

“The Devil,” directed by Tomasz Szafranski.

Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary Short
“Under The Roller Coaster,”
directed by Lila


Special Jury Recognition for Documentary Short
“Grand Luncheonette,”
directed by Peter Sillen.

Grand Jury Prize for Best Animated Short
directed by Troy Morgan

Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature
“The Sasquatch Dumpling Gang,”
written/directed by Tim Skousen

Special Jury Recognition for Best Film Screening Out of Competition
“Neo Ned,”
directed by Van Fischer

Audience Sparky Award for Best Documentary Feature
“Abduction: The Megumi Yakota Story,”
directed by Chris Sheridan & Patty Kim

The Spirit of Slamdance Award for Best Gallery Short
directed by Matthew Swanson.

Sparky Award for Global Anarchy
“My Mom and Dad,” directed by Andrew Brotzman

Kodak Vision Award for Best Cinematography
“We Go Way Back,”
written/directed by Lynn Shelton.

The 2005 Screenplay Competition Awards are as follows:

Best Short
“The Saint of Zuiderzee” by Brian Higdon, Virginia Friedman & Steve Hess

Skyline Screenwriting Award
“Hay’s Code,”
by Andrew B. Smith

First Place Screenplay
“Preeti Girl,”
by Todd Holmes

The 2005 Teleplay Awards are as follows:

2nd Runner-Up
Joel Metzger “Hothouse Bruiser”

John Woodard “The Boys on June Street”

Grand Prize Winner
Dani Shear “Ex”

The Gamemakers Awards

The following five entries distinguished themselves from the competition and brought home the top awards:

Grand Jury Sparky Award
by Procedural Arts

Audience Award
by Metanet Software

Student Physics Award
“Rumble Box,”
by Insert Coin

Student Art Award
by Cloud

PopCap Casual Games Award
by Liquid Dragon Studios

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