By Peter Knegt | Indiewire December 15, 2008 at 8:59AM
The Slamdance Film Festival will celebrate its 15th Anniversary in 2009 with 86 short films in four different competition categories - documentary, narrative/experimental, animation and music video, which is new this year - will be showcased and be eligible for a Grand Jury Award. All accepted entries have been selected to screen by the Shorts Programming Committee, which is comprised primarily of Slamdance alumni filmmakers. "As my first year heading up Slamdance's film competitions, I'm certainly more invested than ever in presenting an amazing collection of short films that we believe truly reflects the diversity of independent voices and content, and shows the best work from emerging and first time filmmakers," said Sam Roberts, the Festival's Director of Film Competitions / Co-Chair of Shorts Programming, in a statement.
"The films range from quiet dramas rich with beautiful cinematography to the bombastic animation with mind blowing effects," continued Roberts, "a perfect snapshot of short films in general. Short Films, more than any other type of filmmaking, really allow artists to experiment, to find their voice, and to tackle topics that are taboo and untouchable, and are proud to include that powerful creative energy to our festival."
In addition to the four jury competitions, Slamdance also has two out-of-competition shorts categories, the "Anarchy Online Film Competition" and "$99 Specials." Slamdance developed its Anarchy Online Film Competition in 2000. Each month, from March through November, three short films (10 minutes or under) are selected to play online. Anarchy is open to all types of films and the winner are decided by online voting. Each month's winner screens at Slamdance, competing for a prizes and a "Slamdance Sparky Award."
$99 Specials are produced by Slamdance and directed by Slamdance alumni. Slamdance gives $99 to these alums, and sets them loose with the latest in filmmaking technology. 99 days later they return with a five-minutes-or-under short film experiment. $99 Specials are shown at the festival in January and online.
As always, Slamdance will run concurrently with the Sundance Film Festival. Slamdance and the box office will be headquartered and films will screen at the Treasure Mountain Inn , 255 Main Street, the Festival's Park City, Utah, headquarters since 1998.
DOCUMENTARY SHORT COMPETITION
Circles of Confusion Pheobe Tooke, Writer/Director Regional Premiere / 2008 / USA / 11 Minutes A meditative, experimental musing about loss after Hurricane Katrina.
The First Kid to Learn English from Mexico Peter Jordan, Writer/Director International Premiere / 2008 / USA / 20 Minutes Nine-year-old Pedro's reluctant journey through elementary school in pursuit of the American Dream, which he describes as a "nightmare".
Grand Teton Julia Kim Smith, Writer/Director World Premiere / 2008 / USA / 5 Minutes A video portrait of a first generation Korean-American family in transition.
King Surfer (Sanza Hanza) Nadia Hallgren, Director World Premiere / 2008 / USA / 7 Minutes Follows V.I.R.U.S., a gang of young train surfers on their journey through Soweto, South Africa.
Rare Chicken Rescue Randall Wood, Writer/Director North American Premiere / 2008 / Australia / 26 Minutes After a long battle with depression, Queensland rare chicken breeder Mark Tully is now on a mission to protect the endangered chickens to which he owes his life.
Theo Georgi Banks-Davies, Director World Premiere / 2008 / United Kingdom/Netherlands / 3 Minutes An intimate look at the artist Theo Jansen.
NARRATIVE/EXPERIMENTAL SHORT COMPETITION
City Girls Jon Rafman, Writer/Director/Producer World Premiere / 2008 / Canada / 10 Minutes An anonymous narrator is tortured by the thought that he has encountered the different women he passes on the street earlier in his life.
The Covenant of Mr. Kasch Joshua Beahan and Ruwan De Silver, Writers/Directors World Premiere / 2008 / Australia / 11 Minutes Lured from his hovel by his desire for a panda girl, Mr. Kasch discovers a cruel solace in the scars of love.
Cute Couple Courtney Moorhead Balaker, Writer/Director/Producer Utah Premiere / 2008 / USA / 14 Minutes Zach and Kendra were the cutest... until Tim and Tammy came into town.
Dish Brian H. Krinksy, Writer/Director World Premiere / 2008 / USA / 15 Minutes High school buddies dish about their sex lives, classmates, and hair.
Diversions Peggy Bruen, Writer/Director/Producer 2008 / USA / 10 Minutes Avant garde exploration of sexual deviance with food.
El Ladroncito Yamin Segal, Writer/Director North American Premiere / 2008 / Nicaragua / 16 Minutes Oscar, a poor child from the Nicaraguan barrios, struggles on the street to earn himself an unattainable video game system.
An Evening With Emery Long Brad DeMarea, Writer/Director World Premiere / 2008 / USA / 14 Minutes Industrial carpet salesman, Emery Long, prepares for his first date with receptionist and 'office hottie', Della. Emery has planned the perfect evening, but he soon realizes things might not turn out as he had imagined.
Feelings and Stuff Samuli Valkama, Writer/Director Utah Premiere / 2008 / Germany / 13 Minutes The first step toward a new relationship can be like a jump into cold water.
Funny Guy Frank Rinaldi, Writer/Director World Premiere / 2008 / Singapore / 15 Minutes All Jamie wants is a friend who will laugh at his jokes, but grabbing the attention of a willing ear proves far more difficult than he expects.
Happy Rabbit Patrick Jackson and Francois Gamaury, Directors; Patrick Jackson, Writer. World Premiere / 2008 / UK / 5 Minutes The story of a dedicated, but misunderstood, performer.
Hatemail Frazer Churchill, Writer/Director North American Premiere / 2008 / UK / 12 Minutes The story of Danny, a young boy whose life is abruptly changed one day by two drunken men and a crossbow.
Hold Your Fire Wes Benscoter, Writer/Director/Producer World Premiere / 2008 / USA / 8 Minutes A ghostly soldier comes face to face with the grim reality of his war-torn existence, on the battlefield and beyond.
Horsefingers 3: Starfucker Kirsten Kearse, Writer/Director Utah Premiere / 2008 / USA / 13 Minutes A questionable tale of animal attraction.
I Don't Sleep I Dream J.P. Chan, Writer/Director World Premiere / 2008 / USA / 15 Minutes A woman refuses a ride to a dangerous looking hitchhiker, but soon finds herself in need of help after causing a horrific accident.
I Think It's Love Susan Hippen, Writer/Director World Premiere / 2008 / USA / 5 Minutes Jemma goes on a date to escape her caustic mother.
Immersion Richard Levien, Writer/Director World Premiere / 2008 / USA / 14 Minutes Moises, a ten-year-old immigrant who speaks no English, struggles to fit in at his new school in the US.
Imminent Randall Good, Writer/Director World Premiere / 2008 / USA / 9 Minutes Two friends shop. One stares at the other. They go places.
It Shines and Shakes and Laughs Matthew Wade, Writer/Director 2008 / USA / 7 Minutes An experimental piece wherein a young man searches a desolate landscape in an attempt to make himself whole.
let[s] go Maxim Kuphal, Writer/Director US Premiere / 2008 / Germany / 14 Minutes Roman and his friends follow his ex-girlfriend from party to party.
A Little Mouth to Feed Jack Daniel Stanley, Writer/Director Regional Premiere / 2008 / USA / 9 Minutes A simple and devoutly Christian Appalachian woman makes a deal with the devil in hopes of having her own little child to love.
The Maid Heidi Saman, Writer/Director 2008 / Egypt/USA / 19 Minutes When a housemaid's suspicions of her employer are strangely confirmed, she is forced to come to terms with her own insecurities and her place within the family household.
Milbe Karl Tebbe, Writer/Director US Premiere / 2008 / Germany / 6 Minutes A short animation about a grandmother, Oma Grete, and the gigantic dust mites that threaten to destroy the world.
Moon Lady Sulyn Zan, Writer/Director/Producer 2008 / USA / 14 Minutes A little boy must find a way to bring his schizophrenic mother back to life.
One-Half World Daniel Berube, Writer/Director/Producer World Premiere / 2008 / USA / 13 Minutes A young man cannot stop playing a virtual game that haunts his dreams and continues to challenge him, even after he has died.
The Pond Sonja Phillips, Writer/Director 2008 / UK / 16 Minutes For Maisie, the pond is a place to escape her troubled home life and explore her strengthening allure to the boys; it is the place where she holds all the power over them. What she doesn't know is that it also holds a deep dark secret.
Princess Margaret Blvd. Kazik Radwanski, Writer/Director North American Premiere / 2008 / Canada / 14 Minutes Subtly exploring the mindset of senior citizen Isabelle Rodarte, as she defiantly confronts the frustration, confusion, and loneliness that are the effects of Alzheimer's disease.
The Rapture of the Athlete Assumed into Heaven Keith Bogart, Director; Don DeLillo, Writer Utah Premiere / 2008 / USA / 5 Minutes A reporter interviews a tennis player who achieves his greatest thrill as an athlete on the last day of his life.
River Guinness Rider, Writer/Director World Premiere / 2008 / Japan / 17 Minutes A man in crisis sets out on a journey of penance, and on the way encounters his past, his present, and his future.
Sapsucker Christopher Holmes, Writer/Director/Producer West Coast Premiere / 2008 / USA / 12 Minutes One man is set on the warpath by his determination to track down and dispatch with a rare woodpecker wreaking havoc on his house.
Shor Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK, Writers/Directors World Premiere / 2008 / India / 14 Minutes A noisy, fast-paced satire and visual metaphor for the noise, breakneck pace and grit of the city, highlighting the apathy of the urban youth and their deep cynicism for the system with a unique sense of humor.
A Short Ride (Scurta Plimbare Na Masina) Paul Negoescu, Writer/Director; Simona Ghita. Writer North American Premiere / 2008 / Romania / 9 Minutes Two young people go to a restaurant, but their meeting ends unexpectedly.
Six and a Half Ana Lily Amirpour, Writer/Director 2008 / USA / 5 Minutes A little girl tries to catch a frog, offering us a look at "innocence" and the sometimes brutally capricious nature of children.
The Skooks Norwood Cheek, Writer/Director US Premiere / 2008 / USA / 6 Minutes Lill Skooks and her brother are stuck in a strange, backwards world.
Tony Zoreil Valentin Potier, Writer/Director 2008 / France / 20 Minutes Tony is a single 28-year-old who has inherited a remarkable physical deformity. Like the rest of his family, he has very big ears and suffers from extreme sensitivity to the slightest noise.
Una y Otra Vez Antonio Mendez, Writer/Director North American Premiere / 2008 / USA / 27 Minutes Ballad of the everyday.
Vapid Lovelies Frank Feldman, Writer/Director; David Luna and Chris Lemon, Writers World Premiere / 2008 / USA / 22 Minutes Two Middle-American gay fashionistas set out to create the perfect outfit.
Vodka & Women Xavier Tatarkiewicz, Writer/Director World Premiere / 2008 / Poland / 18 Minutes When Stefan, a depressed accountant, suspects his girlfriend is cheating on him he decides to visit his neighbor, a retired prostitute, for advice.
5 Graeme Hawkins, Writer/Director/Producer North American Premiere / 2008 / UK / 3 Minutes The five senses through the eyes and imagination of a young boy.
The Adventures of Ledo and Ix Emily Carmichael, Writer/Director World Premiere / 2008 / USA / 5 Minutes Two 8-bit video game characters confront the void.
Alice's Attic Robyn Yannoukos, Writer/Director; Brian LoSchiavo, Writer. World Premiere / 2008 / USA / 4 Minutes A fragile Alice tries to overcome the fears that overwhelm her.
Dear Fatty Hsin-I Tseng, Writer/Director 2008 / USA / 7 Minutes A little girl writes a letter to her pet hamster Fatty.
ELA, In Love At First Byte Fernando Sarmiento, Director/Producer; Alejandro Sarmiento and J.F. Mackeprang, Writers / North American Premiere / 2008 / Argentina / 11 Minutes In an action packed adventure of epic proportions, we follow the final adventure of E.L.A. Young Warrior Princess, forced to finally face her darkest nemesis and save Earth from total destruction.
Flute Babies Gretta Johnson, Writer/Director/Producer Utah Premiere / 2008 / USA / 5 Minutes A lonely alligator and an imaginative cat are introduced.
Forestry Woodpecker, Writer/Director/Producer World Premiere / 2008 / Japan / 4 Minutes The story of the mischief of the forest.
Kanizsa Hill Evelyn Lee, Writer/Director North American Premiere / 2008 / USA / 8 Minutes A forgetful body desperately searches for his head as the two find themselves lost in an oasis of illusions.
Seeking You Jean-Julien Pous, Writer/Director North American Premiere / 2008 / Canada / 3 Minutes A man wanders through the night in Hong Kong.
Swimming Moon Nahomi Maki, Writer/Director/Producer Utah Premiere / 2008 / USA / 4 Minutes A being is driven to madness by the full moon, discovering a sensitive, beautiful, and deep dream world.
Suncrow Martin Falconer, Writer/Director/Producer International Premiere / 2008 / UK / 4 Minutes A young fledgling makes an extraordinary first flight.
Trepan Hole Andy Cahill, Writer/Director/Producer 2008 / USA / 6 Minutes A film about spastic movement and concentric circles.
Undone Hayley Morris, Writer/Director/Producer Regional Premiere / 2008 / USA / 7 Minutes An old man floats in the sea of his diminishing mind.
An Unquiet Mind Chihwen Lo, Writer/Director/Producer 2008 / USA/Taiwan / 6 Minutes A mercurial journey of mood swings and deep restlessness.
Adele "Chasing Pavement" Matthew Cullen, Writer/Director 2008 / USA / 4 Minutes A surreal dance links an accident and a broken relationship.
Blonde Redhead "Top Ranking" Mike Mills, Director 2007 / USA / 4 Minutes Miranda July performs one pose per second.
Darker My Love " Two Ways Out" Toben Seymor, Writer/Director 2008 / USA / 3 Minutes A performance within a black void of distorted perceptions and shadows.
Don McCloskey "Mister Novocaine" Peter Rhoads, Writer/Director/Producer 2008 / USA / 4 Minutes In a fever dream where hands are people, one hand fights the pleasure of the bottle by telling his story through song.
Feist "My Moon, My Man" Patrick Daughters, Director 2008 / USA / 4 Minutes Transforming the bustle of the staid, humdrum world of the airport terminal into a fantastic, synchronized spectacle.
Gnarls Barkley "Who's Gonna Save My Soul" Chris Milk, Writer/Director 2008 / USA / 3 Minutes This is the story of a girl who dumps a boy who tears out his heart for her... literally.
Kaiser Cartel "Okay" Grizlet, Writer/Director 2008 / USA / 3 Minutes A hand-drawn world where missing someone seems to lead the way back home.
Omodaka "Kokiriko Bushi" Teppei Maki, Writer/Director 2008 / Japan / 4 Minutes A mutational fusion of music and motion graphics, where a dancing skeleton is mastered by a disembodied hand.
Meghan Smith "A Little Love" Roboshobo, Writer/Director 2008 / USA / 4 Minutes Performance and animation blend in the cutest kind of way.
My Morning Jacket "Touch Me I'm Going to Scream Pt.2" Mixtape Club, Director; My Morning Jacket, Writers 2008 / USA / 4 Minutes Set deep in a verdant jungle on a dark night, starring a furry, timid creature with gigantic eyes.
The Myriad "A Clean Shot" Josh Forbes, Director 2008 / USA / 5 Minutes The band take on puppets, crossbows and woodsy sojourns.
Sia "Buttons" Kris Moyes, Director 2008 / USA / 3 Minutes Sia pushes buttons and makes faces.
Thunderheist "Jerk It" Noel Paul and Stefan Moore, Directors/Writers 2008 / USA / 4 Minutes Skin jiggling in slow motion, strobing animal prints, a rooster and a girl.
Woodhands "I Wasn't Made for Fighting" Asif Mian, Writer/Director 2008 / USA / 4 Minutes People frozen in time become inspiration for the band to manipulate.
ANARCHY ONLINE FILM COMPETITION
Alexa Todd Tinkham, Director USA / 5 Minutes / Color When 12-year-old Alexa goes for a forbidden swim, she unlocks a world of intrigue and surprise.
An Artist Dan O'Malley, Director USA / 7 Minutes / Color An artist who's pretentiously unclear.
DJ:LA Jerry Chan, Director USA / 4 Minutes / Color A short film that remixes the frenzied sights and sounds of the LA landscape to uncover the rhythm and melody of the city, by using turntablism - the record manipulation techniques of a DJ - and translating it to film.
Eulogy Lisa Arianna, Director USA / 7 Minutes / Color Two sisters bury their recently deceased dog and discuss the death of their mother. A twisted reveal turns this innocent ritual into an odd, humorous and horrific event.
Frog Jesus Ben Peters, Director USA / 1 Minute / Color A nostalgic voyage takes a darker turn, exploring the naivete of mankind through the eyes of a young boy.
Frozen Dreams Xochitl Dorsey, Director USA / 6 Minutes / Color From sun up to sun down, Gabriel Martinez pushes his cart through the Mexican barrios of Los Angeles selling colorful popsicles and ice cream to the young and old. His unique insight into the world of paleteros presents an unexpected testimonial about the immigrant experience in East Los Angeles.
The Passion of Enid Grubman Jessica Guerra, Director USA / 6 Minutes / Black & White Enid Grubman seems to be cursed to a lifetime of loneliness, until one day an infomercial for an "Inflatable Companion" changes her destiny.
Rock Pockets Trevor Anderson, Director USA / 5 Minutes / Color A sugar rush of sex, politics, and rock 'n' roll, as seen through the eyes of a ten-year-old-boy at the fair.
The Tides Eva Flodstrom, Director USA / 9 Minutes / Color During an attempt to find solace by leaving the house, Emi's chance encounter with a BMX sparks up a journey to the ocean's edge.
Catus Interruptus Gudrun Cram-Drach, Director World Premiere / USA / 2 Minutes / Color An unexpectedly sexy, animated take on male-female relations.
Dahlia Michael Langan, Director World Premiere / USA / 3 Minutes / Color A moving portrait of the bustle and permanence of a city, "Dahlia" juxtaposes the stable forms and patterns of life with the frenetic behavior of humanity, set to a driving score of vocal percussion.
Franz Kafka's The Vulture Darren Way, Director World Premiere / USA / 2 Minutes / Color This story contains the logic of a dream, or perhaps a nightmare, uniquely realized in stop motion animation with custom designed, carved wooden puppets.
My Dog Doesn't Have a Job Karl Tebbe, Writer/Director World Premiere / Germany / 5 Minutes / Color A man comes to the realization that if he is not a hunter but his dog is a pointer, then his dog really doesn't have a job when they're together.
Pony Boy:The Musical Ryan Piotorwicz, Director World Premiere / USA / 10 Minutes / Color An operatic saga of a kindly stable boy who finds freedom from tyranny, but must seek vengeance for the ponies he loves.
Sky Drops Burke Roberts, Director World Premiere / USA / 9 Minutes / Color In a future primitive war, we find paratroopers confined to the ultimate Russian roulette: descending into an all out fire-storm. Trapped in the heads and harnesses of this abstract limbo, Sky Drops examines propaganda versus the individual.