Slamdance Film Festival

Slamdance Film Festival
The Slamdance Film Festival is an annual independent film festival which focuses on low-budget independent films and emerging filmmakers. It has been held in Park City, Utah since 1995. What started as a modest film festival has since become a year-round organization that also organizes a Screenplay Competition and educational events for emerging filmmakers.

The Slamdance Film Festival was founded by Dan Mirvish, Peter Baxter, Shane Kuhn and Jon Fitzgerald with the assistance of Paul Rachman. They were not accepted into the famous Sundance Film Festival so they decided to start an alternative event which would represent and celebrate truly independent cinema and named it Slamdance: Anarchy in Utah. The inaugural edition of Slamdance was held in 1995.

Over the next two decades, Slamdance has grown to become a year-round organization focused on discovering, supporting and promoting emerging filmmakers noted for their unique and innovative approach to filmmaking. The film festival is Slamdance’s flagship event. Other events and activities hosted by Slamdance include Screenplay Competition, Slamdance Studios, Slamdance on the Road, Slamdance Cinema Club, Slamdance Presents, and Slamdance Digital, Interactive & Gaming (DIG).

Slamdance is held in Park City at the exact same time as Sundance, usually starting a day later than its counterpart. Up-and-coming directors, screenwriters and film producers, alongside seasoned industry veterans and film lovers from across the country, come to Utah to spend an entire week celebrating independent filmmaking and watching the best of new independent cinema.

The motto of the Slamdance Film Festival is “Filmmakers for Filmmakers”. No other film festival in the world is entirely run and organized by a team consisting solely of filmmakers. Slamdance strives to give emerging filmmakers a chance to showcase their work and a platform to launch their careers. It focuses on premiering debut works by emerging film directors and screenwriters working within the creative confines of limited budgets.

Slamdance discoveries have included now renowned film directors Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland, Quantum of Solace), Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight trilogy, Inception, Interstellar), Jared and Jerusha Hess (Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho Libre), Oran Peli (Paranormal Activity), Behn Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Lynn Shelton (Humpday, Your Sister’s Sister), Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses), and Lena Dunham (Girls, Tiny Furniture).

In 2021, the event was primarily held online due to the coronavirus pandemic. Physical events for filmmakers took place in Joshua Tree, California. The 2022 edition was fully virtual.





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