Slamdance, launched 13 years ago as an alternative to Sundance, has unveiled its lineup for the Jan. 19-27 film festival in Park City, Utah, with 10 pics each in the narrative and documentary competitions.
The Slamdance lineup, announced Tuesday, was culled from over 3,600 submissions for less than 100 slots. Most of the pics in competition, reserved for first time feature directors working with budgets under $1 million, will be world premieres.
Fest tapped screwball comedy “Weirdsville,” direted by Allan Moyle (“Pump Up the Volume”) as its opening night gala film. Pic stars Scott Speedman, Wes Bentley, Taryn Manning, Greg Bryk, Matt Frewer and Maggie Castle in the story of junkies on the run from a satanic cult, midget knights, a drug dealer and a mouse.
Pics in narrative competition include “American Zombie,” directed by Grace Lee; murder mystery “The Death of Michael Smith,” directed by Daniel Casey; “Murder Party,” directed by Jeremy Saulnier, who won the 2004 Grand Jury Sparky Award for best narrative short, “Crabwalk”; and a German entry, “Under the Sun” by Baran bo Odar.
The docu competition includes “Bad Boys of Summer,” Tiller Russell and Loren Mendel’s look at the baseball coach at San Quentin prison; Seth gordon’s “King of Kong,” focused on diehard gamers; and Luke Wolbach’s “Row Hard No Excuses” about two American men setting out to win a rowboat race across the Atlantic.
“Taking into account this year’s festival film submissions, it’s clear to see independent filmmaking has increased its standing in the world of entertainment,” said Peter Baxter, president and co-founder. “What sets Slamdance’s program apart this year is the sense of pure independent filmmaking at its best…a passionate combination that offers a high level of entertainment, social and commercial value.”
Slamdance, which runs concurrently with Sundance, includes late night series 21+, writing competitions for both screenplays and teleplays, the Anarchy Online Short Film Competition, a games competition and the newly minted Slamdance Horror Screenplay Competition.