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‘Dim the Fluorescents,’ ‘Strad Style’ Win Slamdance Awards (EXCLUSIVE)

Daniel Warth’s “Dim the Fluorescents” and Stefan Avalos’ documentary “Strad Style” have won the Sparky Awards for grand jury prizes at the 23rd Slamdance Film Festival.

Strad Style” also won audience award for documentaries while Bill Watterson’s “Dave Made a Maze” took the audience trophy for narrative features. The winners were announced Thursday night at the Treasure Mountain Inn in Park City, Utah.

“Independent film is made beautiful not by those individual artists that form celebrity culture but by creative collaboration,” said Peter Baxter, Slamdance co-founder and president. “At Slamdance this year we’ve experienced an entire program of beautiful independent film and the promise of great emerging artists continuing the legacy of what we set out to do. With our awards we honor several filmmakers yet we know and must acknowledge Slamdance has just been made stronger by everyone of them who has taken part.”

“Dim the Fluroescents,” directed by Warth from a script he co-wrote with Miles Barstead, focuses on an actress (Claire Armstrong) and a playwright (Naomi Skwarna) as they support themselves by starring in corporate role-playing demonstrations.

“It’s empathetic, weird and insanely funny,” said the Slamdance jurors. “This film delivers its crazy script with guts and panache. It’s a delight — beautifully executed and smart as a whip.”

“Strad Style” centers on Danny Houck, who is obsessed with constructing violins. The jury honored the film “for capturing a journey of passion and commitment, honesty and the triumph of one vision against all odds.”

“Dave Made a Maze,” starring Nick Thune, focuses on a man who builds a complex cardboard maze in his living room.

The feature competition films in the Documentary and Narrative Programs are limited to first-time filmmakers working with production budgets of less than $1 million. The Slamdance Festival was founded as an alternative to the larger Sundance film festival.

Full list of winners:

Jury Awards | Narrative Features

Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize
Dim the Fluorescents
(Canada) World Premiere
Director: Daniel Warth; Screenwriter(s): Miles Barstead, Daniel Warth

Narrative Features Honorable Mention
Kate Can’t Swim
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Josh Helman; Screenwriter(s): Jennifer Allcott, Josh Helman

Jury Awards | Documentary Features, Documentary Shorts

Documentary Feature Grand Jury Prize
Strad Style
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Stefan Avalos

Documentary Feature Honorable Mention
The Modern Jungle
(Mexico/USA)
Director(s) & Screenwriter(s): Charles Fairbanks, Saul Kak

Documentary Short Grand Jury Prize
Moriom
(Switzerland)
Director(s): Francesca Scalisi, Mark Olexa

Documentary Short Honorable Mention
Irregulars
(Italy)
Director: Fabio Palmieri

Jury Awards – Narrative Shorts/Animated Shorts
Narrative Shorts Grand Jury Prize
No Other Way To Say It
(USA)
Director and Screenwriter: Tim Mason

Narrative Shorts Honorable Mention
Oh What a Wonderful Feeling
(Canada)
Director and Screenwriter: François Jaros

Animated Shorts Grand Jury Prize
Hold Me (Ca Caw Ca Caw)
(USA)
Renee Zhan

Animated Shorts Honorable Mention
My Father’s Room
(South Korea) North American Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Nari Jang

Jury Awards – Experimental Shorts/Anarchy Shorts
Experimental Shorts Grand Jury Prize
UpCycles
(USA)
Director: Ariana Gerstein

Experimental Shorts Honorable Mention
Blua
(Colombia)
Director and Screenwriter: Carolina Charry Quintero

Anarchy Shorts Grand Jury Prize
Ape Sodom
(Canada)
Director and Screenwriter: Maxwell McCabe-Lokos

Anarchy Shorts Honorable Mention
Horseshoe Theory
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Jonathan Daniel Brown

Spirit of Slamdance Award Winner:
Neighborhood Food Drive
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Jerzy Rose; Screenwriter(s): Halle Butler, Mike Lopez, Jerzy Rose

Audience Awards

Audience Award for Narrative Feature:
Dave Made a Maze
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Bill Watterson; Screenwriter(s): Steven Sears, Bill Watterson

Audience Award for Documentary Feature:
Strad Style
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Stefan Avalos

Audience Award for Beyond Feature:
Future ‘38
(USA) World Premiere
Director and Screenwriter: Jamie Greenberg

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