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Slamdance Adds Three Features; Shorts Competition Line up

Indiewire By Brian Brooks | Indiewire December 16, 2009 at 8:53AM

Slamdance unveiled additions to its 16th run, with three more features and its shorts competition line up today. Sixty-four films of all genres from around the world will compete in the festival's shorts competition. This compares to 86 which screened last year. The announcement follows last week's announcement for the narrative and documentary competition roster, including Steven Soderbergh's world premiere, "And Everything Is Going Fine." Special screenings include the world debut of Jordan Brady's documentary "I Am Comic", featuring Sarah Silverman, Kathy Griffin, and other top comedic talent, and British double bill of "Tony" directed by Gerard Johnson, and "Down Terrace" directed by Ben Wheatley.
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Slamdance unveiled additions to its 16th run, with three more features and its shorts competition line up today. Sixty-four films of all genres from around the world will compete in the festival's shorts competition. This compares to 86 which screened last year. The announcement follows last week's announcement for the narrative and documentary competition roster, including Steven Soderbergh's world premiere, "And Everything Is Going Fine." Special screenings include the world debut of Jordan Brady's documentary "I Am Comic", featuring Sarah Silverman, Kathy Griffin, and other top comedic talent, and British double bill of "Tony" directed by Gerard Johnson, and "Down Terrace" directed by Ben Wheatley.

In addition to the competition shorts, Slamdance will screen five $99 Special shorts, so named for the individual projects' budget limits. These films were produced by the organization in conjunction with festival alumni, including Matthew Harrison's "Hey Vendor" project, written by Slamdance 2009 short screenplay award winner Christopher Hlas. The $99 experimental comedy embraced work agreements provided by the Director's and Screen Actor's Guild, the festival said.

"This year's Special Screenings reflect the creative spirit and filmmaking that defined Slamdance's founding years," commented Paul Rachman, Special Screening programmer and East Coast Director of Slamdance. "From Steven Soderbergh's intimate portrait of the artist Spalding Gray, to Gerard Johnson's thrilling character study of the London suburbs, this year's selection of films are unique stories by filmmakers with the drive to get them conveyed by whatever it takes."

Special Screenings (Descriptions provided by Slamdance):

"I Am Comic" - directed by Jordan Brady (US). World Premiere, 86 mins.
Slamdance alum Jordan Brady (Dil Scallion) returns to Slamdance with his documentary about Stand-up comedians revealing the art and occupational hazards of their craft. With Sarah Silverman, Tommy Davidson, Carrot Top, Kathy Griffin, Carlos Mencia, Jeff Foxworthy and Phyllis Diller

"Down Terrace" - directed by Ben Wheatley (UK). US Premiere, 89 mins.
A darkly comedic drama about a family of crooks whose daily travails tries to keep their criminal enterprise from falling apart. With Bob Hill, Rob Hill and Julia Deakin.

"Tony" - directed by Gerard Johnson (UK). US Premier, 72 mins.
Tony is an urban loner, but that doesn't stop him trying to make friends in the most gruesome of ways. With Peter Ferdinando. Ricky Grover, George Russo and Francis Pope.

"And Everything Is Going Fine" - directed by Steven Soderbergh (US). World Premiere. 89 mins. Previously Announced. Intimate documentary about the life and work of the late performance artist Spalding Gray.


Narrative and Experimental Shorts (all films are from the US unless otherwise noted - Descriptions provided by Slamdance):

"Blood From a Stone" - directed by Bill Palmer. World Premiere, 8 min.
Renegade cop Sean Sharpstone gets behind the wheel of his t-top Camaro, looking good, kicking ass and spitting one-liners in this tongue-in-cheek homage to "Fascist Action" films of the 1980's.

"Bolt From the Blue" - directed by Sebastian Bear-McClard. World Premiere, 22 min
In the middle of a scheme at a computer repair shop, a comically self-deluded rap producer and petty thief meets the beautiful Poly, a DJ. She saves his day.

"Broken Records" - directed by Steven Cohen. World Premiere, 8 min.
A hilariously vapid sitcom parody takes a sinister turn when the characters discover they are trapped in their artificial and repetitious world.

"Brother" - directed by Mary Bing. 14 min.
A charmingly eccentric little boy torments and outwits his ballet-student sister, below the radar of their wealthy, Manhattan art-world mother.

"Celestial Avenue" - directed by Colin Cairnes. 20 min. (Australia)
An Australian woman's blind date turns into sweetly surreal madcap comedy when she meets a Mandarin-speaking Caucasian kitchen worker and tries to fend off an undaunted suitor.

"The Constant" - directed by Raul Navarro. World Premiere, 3 min. (Spain)
A Spanish man feels a special vibe, and starts to let his freak out for the woman he's brought home, but how much is too much?

"Eagles are Turning People into Horses" - directed by Brian McElhaney. World Premiere, 14 min.
Lyle wants to break up with his girlfriend. Too scared to do it honestly, he enacts a scheme to convince her that they MUST break up because he is on the frontlines of a vicious battle between man, beast and fowl.

"Feeder" - directed by Joseph Ernst. 4 minutes (Netherlands/UK)
A day in the life, from an entirely new perspective - astonishing footage shot from inside a human being.

"Gayby" - directed by Jonathan Lisecki. World Premiere, 12 min.
A gay man and a straight woman decide to have a child together the old-fashioned way. Hey, it's a recession.

"GirlLikeMe" - directed by Rowland Jobson. North American Premiere, 12 min. (UK)
An intense modern-day Lolita from a broken home meets a middle-aged man for a date that quickly goes off the rails.

"Golden Prize" - directed by That Go. World Premiere, 3 min.
Apes & Androids do a drive by on your grandmomma with plenty of retro-futuristic style in this explosive music video.

"The Growing Season" - directed by Susan Sfarra. World Premiere, 18 min.
The subtle, meditative experience of a hot summer day, as an adolescent boy explores the world of trimming Christmas trees with his grandfather.

"Ha'agam (The Lake)" - directed by Boaz Lavie. 26 min. (Israel)
An Israeli man reluctantly agrees to bring his comically irresponsible slacker brother in on a very unusual family business

A scene from Jordan Brady's "I Am Comic." Image courtesy of the Slamdance Film Festival.

"Head in the Sand" - directed by David Baldwin, Jr. World Premiere, 15 min.
A man who grew up with cartoon fantasies of military life enlists for Afghanistan. But the lighthearted camaraderie of a soldier's life is inevitably interrupted by the harsh realities of war.

"His White Eyes" - directed by Betty Jiang. US Premiere, 40 min. (Canada)
A raw and powerful exploration of cultural identity: an Asian girl falls in love with an absent White man in multi-cultural Vancouver.

"Horsefingers 2: But I am the Tiger" - directed by Kirsten Kearse. World Premiere, 8 min.
From birth to re-birth, a female Horsefingers accepts her silent, lyrical journey, following a changing map and animated arrows through the forest and metropolis.

"In Space" - directed by Visra Vichit Vadakan. World Premiere, 16 min. (Thailand)
A young Thai man living with his grandparents reluctantly becomes a Buddhist monk and finds a safe space between the present and the afterlife.

"Joey & Jerome's Artistic Meaningful Indie Movie" - directed by Josh Bass. World Premiere, 18 min.
Two dudes, exposed to the lyrical, poetic world of independent film for the first time, are inspired to make their own lyrical, poetic independent film, with no money, resources, or know-how.

"Junko's Shamisen" - directed by Solomon Friedman. World Premiere, 11 min. (Canada)
A young Japanese orphan and her mystical friend exact poetic justice on a malevolent samurai lord, in a lavishly art-directed piece combining live action with multiple styles of animation.

"Latte America" - directed by Jesse Clark, Gabriel Caldwell & Enzo Zanatta. World Premiere, 10 min. (Canada)
Shot backwards in a single take, a seedy and surreal comical adventure in a future world in which coffee has been made illegal.

"LOWbASIC" - directed by Frank Rinaldi. World Premiere, 29 min.
Josh Intrator and Thomas Seely of Punk-Rock-Duo LOWbASiC struggle to maintain their friendship and sanity as they prepare to debut their music on Dr. Bob's Rock 'n Roll T.V. show FALSE MEDIA. LOWbASiC: Beat Your Media.

"Massacrator" - directed by Pierre Ayotte. World Premiere, 4 min. (Canada)
A young woman and Elvis, rising from the grave in spirited stop-motion, struggle to escape from a killer cyborg from the future.

"Members of the Resistance" - directed by Pegah Ghaemi. 15 min. (Iran, United Arab Emirates)
A villager carries a piece of modernity in a big box on his back all the way home. His family is exposed to the violence of Iran's political uprising, and take action in their own way.

"Mixtape" - directed by Timothy S. Pfeffer & Peter Corina. World Premiere, 22 min.
Young Bobby lives to the rhythms of his tape recorder that he turns on whenever he feels like it. Follow him on a remarkable journey into a fantastic world of colors and sound.

"Mochi" - directed by Chung Lee. 19 min. (Taiwan & US)
A young private nurse from Indonesia tries to convince her needy old Taiwanese client to let her go home. Soon she realizes there is only one way to get free, and that it comes with a price.

"Monsters Down the Hall" - directed by S. Vollie Osborn. World Premiere, 14 min.
Michael, a young boy with a strung out single mom, has terrifying visions of what happens just outside their apartment.

"Mosquito" - directed by Jeremy Engle. World Premiere, 12 min.
The humiliation and struggle for redemption of a 13-year old Dominican boy, who fights to win the respect of his teenage tormentors on the streets of New York City in 1974.

"Off Season" - directed by Jonathan Van Tulleken. US Premiere, 13 min., (US & UK)
A transient who steals from summer cottages during the brutal winter of the off-season makes a haunting discovery.

"Olympus" - directed by Giovanni Fantoni Modena. World Premiere, 13 min. (Italy)
A photographer witnesses and gets drawn in to a ritualistic, violent mob scene at a hyperreal rally of terrifying power.

"Planet Sun" - directed by Matthew Atkinson. World Premiere, 15 min. (Canada)
The vacuous life of Shay, Stay and their friend, Fay, as they face the many trials and tribulations of working reception at a tanning salon in a strip mall, blossoms into an over-the-top music video fantasy.

"Prvi Dan Mira (First Day of Peace)" - directed by Mirko Rucnov. 16 min. (Bosnia and Herzegovina and US)
When a peace agreement is announced, a peasant undertakes a dangerous voyage to his still-volatile home village on the disputed Bosnian border, to plow his land.

"Sandhill Boys" - directed by Laura Klein. World Premiere, 20 min.
Amidst the tobacco barns and sandy fields of North Carolina, Donald relives the only meaningful moment of his past, and A.D. decides to tell the woman of his dreams that he loves her.

"Saturday Morning Blues" - directed by Yvonne Michelle Shirley. World Premiere, 12 min.
The light of morning brings a sleepover and a friendship to an abrupt and painful end, as an adolescent gets equal doses of knowledge and poison from her world-wise pal.

"Solatrium" - directed by Chris Bower. World Premiere, 20 min.
Bria Living, a female astronaut, attempts to cure her regret and ennui by abusing her medication. Little does she know she is the test subject for Nevco Corporation who is developing the experimental drug Solatrium.

"Surface Film" - directed by Varathit Uthaisri. World Premiere, 3 min.
What would the world be like from an underground perspective?

"Yes, Yesterday" - directed by Van Vu. World Premiere, 12 min.
On the Fourth of July in New York, a Chinese waiter crosses paths with a woman from his past; under the fireworks he has a chance to recapture what he lost on the same day a decade earlier.

Animation Shorts (all films are from the US unless otherwise noted - Descriptions provided by Slamdance):

"Deux Regards" - directed by Kangmin Kim. World Premiere, 3 min. (South Korea/US)
At the interstice between materiality and immateriality, Direct work on the filmstrip is digitally rendered, creating tension between surface and depth.

"Gul" - directed by Adnan Hussain. World Premiere, 9 min.
A young girl is awakened by her mother's dying breath. Raw, painted, computer animation is scored with Sindhi Folk music from Pakistan. Can love create hope in the face of oppression?

"Ledo and Ix Go to Town" - directed by Emily Carmichael. World Premiere, 7 min.
The titular 8-bit adventurers are back, this time headed towards a blot on the map that's either a village or brain fungus.

"Over the River and Thru the Higher Dimensions" - directed by Dillon Markey. World Premiere, 8 min.
A trip to Grandma's house takes a turn for the extraordinary when Grandma builds a teleporter and explains string theory.

"Patience of the Memory" - directed by Vuk Jevremovic. World Premiere, 7 min. (Germany & Spain)
A memory of Dresden, the city which was the most painted and destroyed in the last century, rendered in animated oil painting.

"Roue" - directed by Taili Wu. World Premiere, 5 min.
An animated self-portrait composed by fragments of dreams, childhood memories and emotions.

"Seed" - directed by Ben Richardson and Daniel Bird. World Premiere, 11 min. (Czech Republic)
An egg and an apple build competing broadcast towers that vie for the attention of a transistor radio.

"Synchronicity Series" - directed by Eileen Reynolds. 2 min. (Singapore)
Just as a school of fish operates in synchrony, this animation reveals the synchronous movement amongst a community of people, symbolizing an idealized view of the power of human cooperative action.

"Together!" - directed by David Sheahan. World Premiere, 4 min.
A moth and a roach, beating the odds - Together!

"Visit" - directed by Kangmin Kim. World Premiere, 7 min. (South Korea/US)
He visits a city. The city already forgot him. The city is still sinking in his dream. Only the lighthouse has his memory.

[Additional Slamdance section line ups continued on Page 2]

Documentary Competition (All films are from the US unless otherwise noted - descriptions provided by Slamdance):

"Point of Entry" - directed by Zeus Quijano, Jr. 26 min.
An intimate look at modern immigration.

"Bout that Bout" - directed by Nico Sabenorio. World Premiere, 26 min.
High school seniors in rural Florida come of age competing in an illegal after-school fight club.

"Cease & Desist" - directed by John Carluccio. World Premiere, 20 min.
Branding, addiction, sneaker culture and legal infringement are explored when artist/designer Ari Saal Forman mashes-ups the lively Newport cigarette brand into a cool Nike-like sneaker.

"Close to Home" - directed by Theo Rigby. 6 min.
The story of a father broken from the murder of his son, and a daughter waiting for the father that she once had.

"Finding D.Q.U." - directed by Christopher Newman. World Premiere, 27 min.
In 2005 D-Q University, California's only tribal college, was shut down after a 35-year struggle, but its supporters fight to hold on to a dream that was never fully realized.

"Not a Willing Participant" - directed by Alex Barnes. World Premiere, 27 min. (Australia)
Aboriginal artist Vernon Ah Kee has been selected to represent Australia at the prestigious 53rd Venice Biennale of art. How will his important cultural work be perceived by the rest of the world?

"Poinciana Sunrise" - directed by Chuck Gomez. World Premiere, 20 min.
The life and spirit of the "Queen of the Road", the only female member of The Highwaymen, a group of African-American Florida artists who created a beautiful and historic record of landscapes now lost to developers and modernization.

"Q & A" - directed by Tim & Mike Rauch. 4 min.
Joshua Littman, an inquisitive 12-year-old with Asperger's Syndrome, interviews his mother Sarah about everything from cockroaches to her feelings about him as a son.

"Redemption Stone - The Life and Times of Tom Lewis" - directed by Tom Dziedzic. 30 min.
A spiritual vision inspires Tom Lewis, a storyteller of quiet power, to open a neighborhood safe haven called The Fishing School and to turn hardship into hope for the children in his community.

"The Individualist" - directed by Zoë Banks. World Premiere, 19 min.
Tinkerer, musician, and inventor of the world's first solid-state heat engine, Ridgway Banks quietly solved the clean energy problem in his workshop 35 years ago, without fame, fortune or attention.

"The Sundowner" - directed by Steve Christolos. World Premiere, 19 min.
An engineer becomes a man of the sea on his handcrafted fifty-three foot sailboat, with the incredible ambition to sail around the world.

"Wahid's Mobile Bookstore" - directed by Anjoo Khosia. World Premiere, 10 min. (US & India)
Nine-year-old Wahid makes a living selling pirated international bestsellers to customers stopping in their cars at traffic intersections in Mumbai, India.

Twilight Shorts (All films are from the US unless otherwise noted - descriptions provided by Slamdance):

"Culebra" - directed by Sean Carter. World Premiere, 15 min.
A pregnant Mexican woman follows a shady human smuggler into an underground border crossing that goes terribly awry.

"Dance Macabre" - directed by Pedro Pires. 9 min. (Canada)
A chilling death sets the stage for a dark choreography.

"Love and Volts" - directed by Normand Daneau. World Premiere, 20 min. (Canada)
Donald works in a small town slaughterhouse. He is infatuated with Francine, an animal-loving young spinster who owns a pet shop. Will love be enough to overcome their differences and unite these two lonely souls?

"Prince of Milk" - directed by Eisuke Naitou. World Premiere, 15 min. (Japan)
A completely new type of erotic and grotesque horror film, covered with milk.

"Skinned" - directed by Wotsisname. World Premiere, 11 min. (UK)
"I f*** my patients," a Spanish TV doctor tells a drunk woman in a park, marking the beginning of his dissent into turmoil.

"Sleep Now" - directed by Joseph Cahill. World Premiere, 12 min. (France)
A surreal horror-comedy in which a couple is abducted and taken to a strange dentist's office where two men perform a dark medical experiment on the woman and discover she is pregnant.

"Spunkbubble" - directed by Tom Browne. World Premiere, 12 min. (UK)
Three men are in search of something they can never possess and in a hotel room they meet. And die in a blizzard of extreme pornography and hardcore violence.