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Slamdance Unveils 2015 Competition Lineups (EXCLUSIVE)

The Slamdance Film Festival, launched as an alternative to Sundance, has unveiled its narrative and documentary competition lineups for the 2015 fest on Jan. 23-29.

The fest — which has included showings of such notable titles as Oren Peli’s “Paranormal Activity” — will celebrate its 21st anniversary. The fest, which takes place at the Treasure Mountain Inn in Park City, will include 13 world premieres, two North American premieres and three U.S. premieres.

Notable titles include Branden Kramer’s “Ratter,” starring Ashley Benson, Matt McGorry, Rebecca Naomi Jones, John Anderson and Kaili Vernoff in the story of a young woman watched by a stalker who has hacked into all of her personal technology; and “Dennis Rodman’s Big Bang in Pyongyang,” directed by Colin Offland in an intimate behind the scenes look at Dennis Rodman’s unlikely friendship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and the staging of the most controversial game of basketball the world has never seen.

Besides Peli, the best-known Slamdance alumni include Christopher Nolan, Marc Forster, Jared Hess, Lena Dunham, Benh Zeitlin, Seth Gordon and Lynn Shelton. Significant titles that debuted at Slamdance include “Mad Hot Ballroom” and Gordon’s “The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.”

The Slamdance feature competition is limited to films made with budgets under $1 million and made by first-time directors.

“Our success in showcasing emerging artists is most obviously linked with American talent, but increasingly at Slamdance, we want to also support new international talent,” said co-founder and president Peter Baxter.

Fernando Frias De La Parra’s romance “Rezeta” won the narrative feature award at Slamdance in January and Matthew Bauckman and Jaret Belliveau’s “Elliot” won the documentary prize.

Here are the complete lineups —

 

NARRATIVE FEATURES PROGRAM

Across the Sea – Directors & Screenwriters: Nisan Dağ, Esra Saydam
(Turkey/USA) North American Premiere
Young, beautiful and pregnant, Damla has to confront her first love in a Turkish summer town before she can fully embrace her new life in New York.
Cast: Damla Sönmez, Jacob Fishel, Ahmet Rıfat Şungar, Hakan Karsak, Brittany Angley

Asco – Director: Ale Paschoalini; Screenwriters: Ale Paschoalini, Rafael Baliu
(Brazil) World Premiere
Needs and desires are simplified in this experimental, black and white portrayal of the poisonous destruction of a broken heart.
Cast: Guto Nogueira, Sol Faganello, Acauã Sol, Danielle Rosa, Ligia Franchini, El Alberto

Body – Directors & Screenwriters: Dan Berk, Robert Olsen
(USA) World Premiere
After three twenty-something girls break into a mansion and inadvertently murder the groundskeeper, they slowly self-destruct as they decide what to do with the dead body in the living room.
Cast: Helen Rogers, Alexandra Turshen, Lauren Molina, Larry Fessenden

Clinger – Director: Michael Steves; Screenwriters: Michael Steves, Gabi Chennisi Duncombe, Bubba Fish
(USA) World Premiere
When her possessive high school boyfriend dies in a gruesome accident, Fern Petersen’s life is thrown into turmoil.  Things go from bad to worse when he returns as a love-sick ghost to kill her so they can be together for eternity.
Cast: Vincent Martella, Jennifer Laporte, Julia Aks, Lisa Wilcox, Debbie Rochon

Darkness on the Edge of Town – Director & Screenwriter: Patrick Ryan
(Ireland) US Premiere
A troubled teenage sharpshooter decides to avenge the death of her estranged sister after she is found murdered in a public bathroom.
Cast: Emma Eliza Regan, Brian Gleeson, Maura Foley, Emma Willis, Sam Monaghan

Diamond Tongues – Director: Brian Robertson, Pavan Moondi; Screenwriter: Pavan Moondi
(Canada) World Premiere
Edith Welland is an actress. Things haven’t been going very well. When her ex-boyfriend becomes an actor on a whim and almost immediately books a leading role, Edith decides if she’s going to get ahead, she’ll need to get ruthless.
Cast: Leah Goldstein, Nick Flanagan, Leah Wildman, Adam Gurfinkel, Noah R. Taylor

High Performance – Director & Screenwriter: Johanna Moder
(Austria) US Premiere
Rudi wears a suit, Daniel rides a bike, and they are both interested in Nora for very different reasons; the story of two grown up brothers who still know how to hurt each other.
Cast: Marcel Mohab, Manuel Rubey, Katharina Pizzera

Ratter – Director & Screenwriter: Branden Kramer
(USA) World Premiere
Emma is being watched by a stalker who has hacked into all of her personal technology – laptop, cell phone, and other web connected devices – to record her most intimate moments. Eventually the video feeds aren’t enough and the stalker moves from the virtual to the physical.
Cast: Ashley Benson, Matt McGorry, Rebecca Naomi Jones, John Anderson, Kaili Vernoff

They Look Like People – Director & Screenwriter: Perry Blackshear
(USA) World Premiere
Suspecting that those around him are actually malevolent shape-shifters, a troubled young man questions whether to protect his only friend from an impending war, or from himself.
Cast: MacLeod Andrews, Evan Dumouchel, Margaret Drake, Mick Casale, Elena Greenlee

Tired Moonlight – Director & Screenwriter: Britni West
(USA) World Premiere
Drifting between small-town gossip and dreams of the outside world, two middled aged womens’ lives are slowly upended as they start caring for a young girl and a ramblin’ man from the past rolls through their small town.
Cast: Alex Karpovsky, Liz Randall, Paul Dickinson, Hillary Berg, RainLeigh Vick

Wendell and the Lemon – Director & Screenwriter: Lawrence Krauser
(USA)
A young man finds a lemon on the sidewalk, takes it home, and becomes inordinately fond of it. Complications ensue.
Cast: Todd d’Amour, Rebecca Hart, Jay Smith, Lia Aprile, Danton Stone

DOCUMENTARY FEATURES PROGRAM

20 Years of Madness – Director: Jeremy Royce
(USA) World Premiere
Twenty years after the success of a 90s cult TV show, 30 Minutes of Madness, founder Jerry White Jr. brings the rag tag team of misfits back together to film one final episode – only to find the majority of his cast now suffer from a variety of personal struggles.
Cast: Jerry White Jr., Joe Hornacek, John Ryan, Jesus Rivera, Matt Zaleski

Alberi che Camminano – Director: Mattia Colombo; Screenwriters: Erri De Luca, Mattia Colombo
(Italy) US Premiere
A meditative look at the two distinct lives of trees and their deep relationship with human beings.

Dennis Rodman’s Big Bang in Pyongyang – Director: Colin Offland; Screenwriter: Matt Baker
(UK) World Premiere
An intimate behind the scenes look at Dennis Rodman’s unlikely friendship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and the staging of the most controversial game of basketball the world has never seen.

I Am Thor – Director: Ryan Wise
(USA) World Premiere
Before Chris Hemsworth, there was Jon Mikl Thor – the original hammer-wielding, steel bending, brick smashing rock star of the 70s band THOR. But does he still have the magic to thunder a comeback?
Cast: Jon Mikl Thor, Rusty Hamilton, Mike Favata, Steve Price, Keith Zazzi

My Fathers, My Mother and Me – Director: Paul-Julien Robert
(Austria) North American Premiere
Twenty years after leaving the Austrian commune where he was raised, Paul-Julien Robert embarks on a personal journey to confront what went wrong and explore ideas of family.

On Her Own – Director & Screenwriter: Morgan Schmidt-Feng
(USA) World Premiere
A woman and her family try to save their 5th generation family farm during the Great Recession.

The Resurrection of Jake the Snake – Director: Steve Yu
(USA) World Premiere
Legendary wrestler Jake “The Snake” Roberts charts his personal and professional comeback while battling crippling addictions.
Cast: Jake Roberts, Dallas Page, Chris Jericho, Steve Austin, Adam Copeland

Sweet Micky For President – Director: Ben Patterson
(USA) World Premiere
With the help of Pras Michel of the Fugees, presidential candidate Michel Martelly, aka Sweet Micky, campaigns against all odds in Haiti’s third ever democratic election.
Cast: Pras Michel, Michel Martelly, Wyclef Jean

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