×

Slamdance Festival Competition Lineup Unveiled (EXCLUSIVE)

The Slamdance Film Festival has unveiled 20 titles for its narrative and documentary feature film competition programs for its 22nd edition during Jan. 22-28, Variety has learned.

The festival, launched in 1995 as an alternative to Sundance, has included showings of such notable titles as Oren Peli’s “Paranormal Activity.”  The fest, which takes place at the Treasure Mountain Inn in Park City, Utah, will include 12 world premieres, two North American premieres and one U.S. premiere.

The narrative competition has 12 titles and eight have been selected in the documentary category.

Notable titles include Leonardo Guerra Seragnoli’s drama “Last Summer” (pictured above), starring Rinko Kikuchi, Yorick van Wageningen and Lucy Griffiths; Derek Kimball’s drama “Neptune,” set on an island off the coast of Maine and centered on an orphan girl raised by the church; Paul Taylor’s dialogue-free “Driftwood,” starring Joslyn Jensen, Paul C. Kelly and Michael Fentin; and Andrea Marini’s “Art of the Prank,” starring Joey Skaggs, Robert Forster and Peter Maloney.

Along with 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.

“The standard of DIY filmmaking around the world is the highest we’ve seen, and the diversity of storytelling is the most we’ve experienced,” said Peter Baxter, co-founder and president. “With a record breaking number of submissions to select from, the narrative and documentary feature line-up has never been so competitive or as exciting to program.”

NARRATIVE FEATURES PROGRAM

All the Colors of the Night – Director: Pedro Severien; Screenwriter: Luiz Otávio Pereira
(Brazil)
Iris wakes up in her spacious seafront apartment, discovers a body in the living room and enlists the help of other women, setting off a spiral of redemption in an atmospheric drama of dark imagery and questionable reality.
Cast: Sabrina Greve, Sandra Possani, Brenda Ligia, Giovanna Simões, Rômulo Braga

Alvin’s Harmonious World of Opposites – Director & Screenwriter: Platon Theodoris
(Australia/Indonesia) North American Premiere
Agoraphobic Alvin prefers stuffed pandas and online shopping to the aggressive rantings of his neighbor Virginia, until the sludge seeping from his ceiling forces him to search for answers in this offbeat comedy with a tender heart.
Cast: Teik-Kim Pok, Vashti Hughes, Dessy Fitri, Ailis Logan, Nitin Vengurlekar, Tina Andrews, Alicia O’Donnel

Chemical Cut – Director & Screenwriter: Marjorie Conrad
(USA) World Premiere
23-year-old Irene is an artistic misfit turned LA model busy searching for identity, inspiration and a kindred spirit while surrounded by competition, absurdity, and so many nude bras.
Cast: Marjorie Conrad, Ian Coster, Leah Rudick, Michael Lucid, Stephen Saban, Deven Green, Nicolas Coster, Vicki Marlane

Driftwood – Director & Screenwriter: Paul Taylor
(USA) World Premiere
A young woman washes ashore and is claimed and conditioned by an older man in this intricately layered, dialogue-free exploration of familial roles, isolation and captivity.
Cast: Joslyn Jensen, Paul C. Kelly, Michael Fentin

Honey Buddies – Director: Alex Simmons; Screenwriters: Alex Simmons, David Giuntoli, Flula Borg
(USA) World Premiere
Jilted groom David is convinced by his excitable best man Flula to continue with his planned honeymoon, a backcountry trek in the mountains of Oregon, in a highly comedic ode to friendship and the great outdoors.
Cast: David Giuntoli, Flula Borg, Brian T. Finney, Claire Coffee, Jeanne Syquia

Hunky Dory – Director: Michael Curtis Johnson; Screenwriters: Michael Curtis Johnson, Tomas Pais
(USA) World Premiere
After his ex disappears, Sidney, a dive bar drag queen, is forced to look after his 11-year-old son in a tale of unconventional fatherhood, the fear of mediocrity, and the pulsing reality of dreams deferred.
Cast: Tomas Pais, Peter Van Norden, Jeff Newburg, Joy Darash, Edouard Holdener, Nora Rothman, Chad Borden, Chad Hartigan

If There’s A Hell Below – Director: Nathan Williams; Screenwriters: Nathan Williams, Matthew Williams
(USA) World Premiere
In a desolate landscape, an ambitious young journalist in a dusty car meets covertly with a national security whistleblower, and their roving exchange becomes increasingly cloaked in paranoia, tension and escalating threat.
Cast: Conner Marx, Carol Roscoe, Paul Budraitis, Mark Carr

Last Summer – Director: Leonardo Guerra Seragnoli; Screenwriters: Leonardo Guerra Seragnoli, Igort
(Italy) US Premiere
Set on board a luxury yacht in sparkling international waters, this tense and stylish drama captures the four final days a mother is granted with her 6-year-old son to say goodbye after losing a custody battle.
Cast: Rinko Kikuchi, Yorick van Wageningen, Lucy Griffiths, Laura Bach, Daniel Ball, Ken Brady

The Lesson – Director & Screenwriter: Ruth Platt
(UK) North American Premiere
A grisly study of the relationship between a tormented teacher and the troubled teens who bear his wrath once he snaps; this morally challenging horror film is dark, claustrophobic, and shockingly eloquent.
Cast: Evan Bendall, Robert Hands, Michaela Prchalova, Tom Cox, Rory Coltart, Dolya Gavaniski, Michael Swatton, Charlotte Croft

MAD – Director & Screenwriter: Robert G. Putka
(USA) World Premiere
A matriarch past the point of a nervous breakdown, her two daughters that don’t give a damn, and the heat-seeking missiles of resentment they toss at each other create a lively backdrop for this dark and dramatic comedy.
Cast: Jennifer Lafleur, Maryann Plunkett, Eilis Cahill, Mark Reeb, David Sullivan, Conor Casey, Shaun Weiss, Chris Doubek

Neptune – Director: Derek Kimball; Screenwriters: Derek Kimball, Matthew Konkel
(USA)
Set in the late 1980s on an island off the coast of Maine, an orphan girl raised by the church becomes obsessed by the disappearance of a classmate, and her haunted dreams and visions propel her to push past her sheltered life.
Cast: Jane Ackermann, Tony Reilly, William McDonough III, Christine Louise Marshall, Dylan Chestnutt, Maureen Butler

The Tail Job – Directors & Screenwriters: Bryan Moses, Daniel Millar
(Australia) World Premiere
Nicholas hires a taxi driver to follow his fiancé when he suspects her of cheating in this micro-budget comedy action tale that makes every wrong turn crackle with genuine humor and unexpected insight.
Cast: Blair Dwyer, Craig Anderson, Laura Hughes, Kellie Clarke, Dorje Swallow, Grant Dodwell, Gary Waddell, Ursula Mills

DOCUMENTARY FEATURES PROGRAM

1ha 43a – Director & Screenwriter: Monika Pirch
(Germany) North American Premiere
After inheriting a plot of farming land near Dusseldorf, Monika explores the potential of her field through administrative, historic and poetic methods and manages to reconnect with the land and her ancestry in a beautiful and unexpected way.

Art of the Prank – Director & Screenwriter: Andrea Marini
(USA)
Legendary funny man Joey Skaggs has been pulling Americas chain since 1965. His next hoax? Film festivals.
Cast: Joey Skaggs, Robert Forster, Peter Maloney, Charlie Todd, Richard Johnson, Buck Wolf, Sarah Farrell, Jeff Cohen

Dead Hands Dig Deep – Director: Jai Love; Screenwriters: Jai Love, Spencer Heath
(USA/Australia ) World Premiere
From the isolation of his secluded desert compound Edwin Borsheim, founder of the shock metal band Kettle Cadaver, ruminates on a life of violence, mayhem and personal destruction lived on the absolute edge of the known musical universe.

Fursonas – Director & Screenwriter: Dominic Rodriguez
(USA) World Premiere
Like any community, the Furry world is one with gossipers, dreamers, followers, whistleblowers and the one guy who wants to rule them all.

Los Punks; We Are All We Have – Director: Angela Boatwright; Screenwriter: Christine Triano
(USA) World Premiere
A cobbled-together family of Hispanic youth comprise the thriving backyard punk scene of South Central and East L.A.: bands, fans, and production are interwoven into a sub-culture of thrash, noise and pits.
Cast: Gary Alvarez, Nacho Corrupted, April Desmadre, Jennie Oi, Alex Pedorro, Natalie Rodriguera

The Million Dollar Duck – Director: Brian Golden Davis; Screenwriter: Martin J. Smith
(USA) World Premiere
Artists from different walks of life vie to win the Federal Duck Stamp Contest, the only art competition of its kind sponsored by the U.S. government.
Cast: The Hautman Brothers, Rebekah Nastav, Tim Taylor, Dee Dee Murry, Rob McBroom, Adam Grimm

Myrtle Beach – Directors: Neil Rough, Michael Fuller
(Canada) World Premiere
Myrtle Beach is a disturbingly intimate peek into the lives of the deviants, outcasts and forget-me-nows that inhabit this deformed stepsister of Coney Island.

Peanut Gallery – Director & Screenwriter: Molly Gandour
(USA)
An intimate and unflinching exploration of one family’s tragic loss and their attempt to heal after decades of silence.
Cast: Jackson Gandour, Mary Jane Gandour, Molly Gandour, Aimee Gandour

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Sony Pictures: 'We Are Disappointed' by

    Sony 'Disappointed' by Disney's Divorce on 'Spider-Man' Projects

    Sony Pictures has gone public over its divorce with Disney on future “Spider-Man” projects. In a rare public rebuke to Disney, Sony announced Tuesday night that it was “disappointed” over the decision, highlighting Disney’s refusal to allow Marvel President Kevin Feige to continue as a producer on the projects. It also praised Feige, who teamed [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    ‘Good Boys’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Universal Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Good Boys.” Ads placed for the comedy had an estimated media value of $4.42 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Demi Lovato

    Demi Lovato Joins Netflix Comedy 'Eurovision'

    Demi Lovato has joined the upcoming Netflix comedy film “Eurovision.” Will Ferrell, who co-wrote the film with Andrew Steele, announced the news Tuesday with an Instagram post, in which he wished Lovato a happy birthday with a “homemade” cake. Following the announcement, Lovato can be seen blowing out candles on the cake next to a “Eurovision” [...]

  • Rob Schneider'The Week Of' film premiere,

    Film News Roundup: Rob Schneider Wins SAG-AFTRA National Board Seat

    In today’s film news roundup, Rob Schneider wins a SAG-AFTRA board seat; “Badland,” “Sorry We Missed You” and “Extracurricular” find homes; and “The Shawshank Redemption” gets a re-release.  SAG-AFTRA Rob Schneider has won a SAG-AFTRA national board seat as a member of presidential candidate Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate. Schneider won a four-year term [...]

  • This photo shows actor David Oyelowo

    David Oyelowo Joins George Clooney in 'Good Morning, Midnight' Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)

    David Oyelowo is in final negotiations to join George Clooney in Netflix’s untitled adaptation of Lily Brooks-Dalton’s 2016 novel “Good Morning, Midnight,” sources tell Variety. Felicity Jones and Kyle Chandler are also on board, with Clooney set to helm the pic — his first feature film directing gig since 2017’s “Suburbicon.” “The Revenant” screenwriter Mark [...]

  • Disney Delays 'Cruella,' 'Woman in the

    Disney Delays 'Cruella,' 'Woman in the Window'

    Disney is shaking up its release calendar, delaying its live action “Cruella” until Memorial Day 2021 and pushing Fox 2000 drama “The Woman in the Window” to 2020. “Cruella,” starring Emma Stone, is based on the classic “101 Dalmatians” villain Cruella de Vil. The revisit to Disney’s animated classic was originally set to hit theaters [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content