TromaDance Film Festival

TromaDance Film Festival
Photo: tromadance.com
The TromaDance Film Festival is an independent film festival organized by Troma Entertainment, a film production and distribution company that produces independent B-movies known for their surrealistic nature. The festival was originally held in Park City, Utah, but subsequently moved to New Jersey and then to New York City.

The TromaDance Film Festival was conceived by the co-founder of Troma Entertainment Lloyd Kaufman as an independent alternative to the Sundance Film Festival. It was founded in 1999 and ran at the same time as the Sundance Festival in Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah.

Kaufman felt that the Sundance Film Festival had become too “Hollywood” by showing independent movies with multimillion-dollar budget and too many mainstream films, practicing an elitist structure and film selection process, and charging high entry fees. South Park co-creator Trey Parker encouraged Kaufman to create his own film festival designed as the direct opposite of Sundance – a truly independent film festival for a wide audience.

The TromaDance Film Festival is billed as “the first and only film festival of the people, for the people, and by the people.” Its main goal is to bring independent art back to the people. The festival is 100% free; it doesn’t charge admission fees for cinema-lovers to attend film screenings and there is no entry fee for filmmakers. TromaDance is run by unpaid volunteers and primarily relies on donations and numerous sponsors.

The festival is known for its equality policy. Emerging and experimental filmmakers have as many chances to participate as established film directors. There are no VIP seats of VIP passes: admittance to all film screenings, panels, and other events is on a first come, first served basis. Viewers can freely talk to industry professionals thanks to TromaDance’s informal atmosphere.

Although Troma Entertainment is primarily known for low-budget independent horror movies, the program of TromaDance encompasses various genres and formats, including drama, comedy, animation, documentary, experimental film, and others, though horror, sci-fi and fantasy typically make up a significant portion of the entries.

Troma Entertainment has launched a number of satellite festivals in the United States and abroad, including TromaDance Portland, Tromafling (Edinburgh), Tromanale (Berlin), TromaDance North (Winnipeg), TromaDance New Mexico (Albuquerue), TromaDance Indiana (Franklin), and TromaDance Detroit. It also sponsors the so-called TromaPaloozas, fan-organized music festivals that serve as fundraisers for TromaDance.

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