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Slamdance unveils competition, docu titles

'He's Way More Famous Than You' among narrative selections

Slamdance, launched 19 years ago as an alternative to Sundance, has unveiled its competition lineup with 12 narrative films and 10 documentaries — including 13 world premieres and seven U.S. premieres.

The lineup, announced Wednesday, was culled from more than 5,000 submissions. Slamdance will take place Jan. 18-24 in Park City, Utah, at the Treasure Mountain Inn. All films films in competition have budgets under $1 million.

Michael Urie’s comedy “He’s Way More Famous Than You” is among the more notables titles in the narrative category with a cast including Jesse Eisenberg, Mamie Gummer, Ralph Macchio, Natasha Lyonne and Ben Stiller. Penned by Halley Feiffer and Ryan Spahn — who also are in the cast — pic centers on a struggling actress who will stop at nothing to get her movie made.

Steven Feinartz’ documentary “The Bitter Buddha,” focusing on comic Eddie Pepitone’s life, includes Zach Galifianakis, Sarah Silverman, Patton Oswalt, Sean Conroy, Paul Provenza, Dana Gould and Marc Maron.

“Our goal is to showcase exhilarating filmmaking with a revolutionary take on our world,” said Peter Baxter, president and co-founder. “These filmmakers have a tremendous ability to innovate, explore and revitalize the independent filmmaking landscape.”

Narrative selections include Brea Grant’s dark comedy “Best Friends Forever,” Neil Drumming’s drama “Big Words,” Jan Eihardt’s German experimental movie “The Court of Shards,” Matt Johnson’s “The Dirties,” Harry Patramanis’ drama “Fynbos,” Ben Peyser-Scott Rutherford’s found-footage comedy “Billy Chen Presents: Ghost Team One,” James E. Duff’s romancer “Hank and Asha,” Nadia Szold’s drama “Joy De V.,” Aron Lehmann’s mystery “Kohlhaas,” Constanze Knoche’s family drama “Visitors” and Marie Jamora’s family drama “What Isn’t There.”

Documentaries include “Battery Man” from Dusan Saponja and Dusan Cavic, “Bible Quiz” from Nicole Teeny, “The Brotherhood of the Traveling Rants” from Gavin McInnes, Steve Durand and Bryan Gaynor, “The Last Shepherd” from Marco Bonfanti, “Running Wild: The Life of Dayton O. Hyde” from Suzanne Mitchell, “My Name Is Faith” from Jason Banker, Jorge Torres-Torres and Tiffany Sudela-Junker; “The Institute” from Spencer McCall, “Where I Am” from Pamela Drynan and “Without Shepherds” from Cary McClelland.

Variety is the official media partner for the festival.

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