By Peter Knegt | Indiewire January 12, 2011 at 5:55AM
A week before its 2011 edition kicks off, the Slamdance Film Festival has announced plans for both their second annual filmmaker summit, and for an extension of the distribution partnership they started last year with Microsoft.
The noted extension will see the Festival Showcase - which launched with four films during the 2010 festival - extend to 17, five of which are featured in the Festival Showcase running exclusively on Xbox LIVE and Zune for the duration of the festival, January 20-27, 2011. Those five films are Doug Manley's "Modern Imbecile's Planet World," Shane Aquino's "Road Dogs," Stephan Wassman's "Scrapper," Damon Russell's "Snow on Tha Buff," and Albert Birney and Jon Moses's "The Beast Pageant." In addition to this year’s films’ debut, previous Slamdance films will also be available starting January 20th and continue year-round.
"Our mission is clear; we want to take greater responsibility working with and supporting our independent talent year-round. We have an identity and the ability of finding great films to do it,” said Slamdance President and Co-Founder Peter Baxter in a statement.
Full release below.
TODAY, TOMORROW AND THE NEXT 50 YEARS OF FILMMAKING
Slamdance launches 2011 with its Second Annual Filmmaker Summit
and Extends VOD and Theatrical Distribution
LOS ANGELES - January 12, 2011 – Slamdance celebrates a new year with some of the most talented up-and-coming filmmakers and continues to create new avenues for the filmmakers of today and tomorrow. The Slamdance Film Festival comes once a year, but its support of independent filmmakers carries on past the festival week. Continuing all efforts to support its filmmakers beyond the festival and improving distribution opportunities for its films, Slamdance and Microsoft will once again present a special Festival Showcase and extend its year-round distribution on Zune and Xbox platforms. Slamdance also presents its second annual Filmmaker Summit, a collective gathering of some of the most innovative thinkers in the industry to discuss the future of independent filmmaking in a new technological era.
At last year’s festival, Slamdance announced a distribution partnership with Microsoft and launched a Festival Showcase with four films from the 2010 festival. This year the list of films extends to 17, five of which are featured in the Festival Showcase running exclusively on Xbox LIVE and Zune for the duration of the festival, January 20-27.
Zune video Marketplace will make these, and more, selected films available through video-on-demand or download to own in the US for viewing on Xbox 360, Windows PC, Zune devices or Windows Phone 7. Movie fans have the opportunity to rent some of the best films screened at the Slamdance Film Festival, both past and present, on their computers or through Xbox LIVE.
“Our mission is clear; we want to take greater responsibility working with and supporting our independent talent year-round. We have an identity and the ability of finding great films to do it,” says Slamdance President and Co-Founder Peter Baxter.
Slamdance is also further developing its year-round exhibition by offering a theatrical distribution award to a best feature and short film during its Park City Festival. The new award offers an alternative to the traditional US theatrical system by collaborating with the filmmakers, sponsors and regional film, arts and community organizations. Theatrical showings of the winning short and feature program will begin in summer 2011. Bookings will be focused in both traditional and non-traditional venues such as the IFC Center in New York and 14 Pews in Houston.
In addition, and in direct line with Slamdance’s mantra “by filmmakers, for filmmakers,” the festival is providing 10 percent of its Park City box office proceeds back to the filmmakers.
Competition Feature Films selected for this year’s Festival and VOD Showcase are:
Modern Imbecile's Planet World - Doug Manley writes and directs a new film in which two of Hollywood’s hottest stars learn the true meaning of “caliente” in this absurd, irreverent comedy.
Road Dogs - directed by Shane Aquino and making its world premiere, the film follows three of Hollywood's most visually vibrant and heavily psychotic bands across the U.S. on a D.I.Y. tour occasionally having disastrous results.
Scrapper - directed by Stephan Wassman and making its world premiere, this documentary follows a defiant group of survivalists who eke out a deadly living by scavenging the kill zones of a US military bombing range near the California/Mexico border.
Snow On Tha Bluff - directed by Damon Russell and making its world premiere, this is the story of Curtis Snow, an Atlanta robbery boy and crack dealer who steals a video camera from some college kids during a dope deal, and begins documenting his life.
The Beast Pageant - written and directed by Albert Birney and Jon Moses, this is a story about Abraham who lives in a confined apartment where his only companion is a giant machine; inside the machine are a man and woman who take care of his every need, until a tiny singing cowboy leads him into the wild.
In addition to this year’s films’ debut, previous Slamdance films will also be available starting January 20th and continue year-round. These films include documentary features: B.I.K.E. by Fredric King; Circus Rosaire by Robyn Bliley; Mind Of The Demon by Adam Barker Off The Grid by Jeremy and Randy Stulbery; Orwell Rolls in His Grave by Robert Kane Pappas; Rock The Bells by Casey Suchan and Denis Hennelly; Zombie Girl by Justin John and Aaron Marshall and narrative features bgFATLdy, by Oscar® nominated Adam Pertofsky; Dante’s Inferno by Sean Meredith Omaha: The Movie, narrative feature by Slamdance Co-founder, Dan Mirvish; Punching The Clown by Gregori Viens; We Go Way Back, by Slamdance Grand Prize winner Lynn Shelton.
While in Park City, Slamdance, along with the Ford Foundation, IndieFlix and Banyan Branch, will present the second annual Filmmaker Summit on Saturday, January 22, 2011. Last year the Filmmaker Summit gathered some of the most innovative thinkers in the industry and started a discussion centered on how the film community could help support and encourage the release of independent film. Since then, Slamdance and its partners have continued to make big strides in this endeavor, teaming up with independent curators and micro-cinemas to support and help filmmakers survive economically and broker partnerships with big distributors, theatrically and on alternate platforms, such as Microsoft’s Zune and Xbox.
The truth, nonetheless, remains that most in the independent film community are having a hard time just sustaining a living, much less thriving. Thus, this year’s Filmmaker Summit will take a long hard look at the realities behind the buzzwords, as well as focusing on an examination of the future of storytelling. Crowdsourcing, transmedia, branded content, social media – what do these terms really mean for the independent filmmaker? Should new internet-era tools be embraced and can they help us create a realistic model for a self-sustaining independent community? Or are they simply buzzwords that are a growing distraction for organic independent filmmaking?
This year’s Summit speakers include: Scilla Andreen (IndieFlix), Tiffany Shlain (Director: 'Connected', 'Yelp'), Brian Newman (subgenre media), Jenny Samppala (Banyan Branch), Amy Powell ('Paranormal Activity'), Lance Weiler ('Pandemic 1.0'), John Anderson (journalist), Orlando Bagwell (Ford Foundation), and Greg Pak (comic book scribe and filmmaker).
Slamdance’s 2011 festivities kick off with a program including an opening song by newcomer Joss Scheinberg, Adam Pertofsky’s short Dead In The Room written by Slamdance script winner Marjorie Kaptanoglu and Alexandre’s Rockwell’s Pete Smalls Is Dead. Opening Housewarming Party to follow includes a performance by Insaints from Lilly Ayers’ competition documentary Last Fast Ride and is sponsored by Dos Equis and Ty Ku Sake.