The fourth annual Slamdance Festival — which, if not exactly an institution, is becoming more than merely upstart counter-programming to the concurrent Sundance Film Festival — will deliver 10 world premieres out of 12 low-budget indie films by first-time helmers in its 1998 competition. The lineup represents a 25% increase in presentations.
Unspooling at the Treasure Mountain Inn in Park City, Utah, Jan. 16-23, the fest’s special screenings include “Cannibal! The Musical,” the 1994 first feature by Trey Parker and his team, of “South Park” fame. Parker first showed the pic in 1994 in Park City without the blessing of the Sundance fest org, an occassion cited by Slamdance exec director and co-founder Peter Baxter as a “forerunner of Slamdance.”
Parker is double-dipping this time, with his pic “Orgazmo” screening at Sundance.
Tunes on film
A special seminar on “Music in Film” is scheduled with participation by musicians involved in indie soundtracks, including mix maven Moby.
Another innovation will be a “Best Of” screening on the fest’s last day featuring all the competition winners.
In addition to 18 short subjects, the feature film competition lineup this year is:
“20 Dates” — Myles Berkowitz directs himself as a man determined to go on 20 dates in search of true love.
“Burn” — Directed by Scott Storm, a psychological exploration of two old friends sharing an apartment. Exec produced by Bryan Singer (“The Usual Suspects”), starring Adam Duritz and David Hayter.
“Caged” — San Franciscan Rand Alexander’s pic about a man who spends Thanksgiving trapped in his stairwell.
“Central Standard Time” — A group of naive young terrorists in Oklahoma plan their big blowup. Directed by Tulsa-based filmmaker Scott Large, starring Jason Andrews and Eddie Daniels.
“Every Dog Has His Day” — Twenty-four hours in the life of a painter and his dog, directed by Marc Chiat.
“Goreville, USA” — A documentary about a small town in Illinois where owning a gun is mandatory. Directed by Seth Hendrickson and David Sarno, with an original soundtrack by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco.
“Jefftowne” — A documentary from Iowa City that details the tragic life of 40-year-old Jeff Towne, a man who has Down’s syndrome. Directed by Daniel Kraus.
“Pariah” — Revenge story set in the milieu of Los Angeles racist skinheads. Directed by Randolph Kret, featuring music by Minor Threat.
“Phantom Pain” — Tina Alexis stars as a preoperative transgender hustler coping with life in Los Angeles. Directed by Neil Matsumoto.
“Scrapple” — Slice of life set in the fictional ski town of Ajax, Colo., as outlined by the life of Scrapple, the pig. Directed by Christopher Hanson. Featuring music by Taj Mahal.
“Six String Samurai” — Jeffrey Falcon stars as a post-apocalyptic rocker trying to become the new king of Vegas. Directed by Lance Mungia with a soundtrack by the Red Elvises.
“Surrender Dorothy” — A portrait of two co-dependent roommates caught up in a cycle of domestic abuse. Directed by Philadelphia-based Kevin Di Novis.
“Cannibal! The Musical” — Based on the true story of a group of Colorado pioneers who ate one another … and sang. Shown in conjunction with “Music in Film” night.
“Kitchen Party” — The second feature by Calgary director Gary Burns (“Suburbinators”) explores the lives of teenagers confined to their own kitchen.
“Olympia” (closing night film) —About a Mexican soap opera star who gives up everything to pursue her dream of becoming a professional javelin-thrower. The second feature from Robert Byington (“Shameless”) stars Jason Andrews and Damien Young.