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Slamdance Back, More Legitimate Than Ever

Slamdance Back, More Legitimate Than Ever

Slamdance Back, More Legitimate Than Ever

by Eugene Hernandez

Taking a quick break from final preparations for Slamdance ’98 are
(l-r): Jeremy Taylor, Dan Mirvish, Laura J. Hoffman, and Peter Baxter pictured with

Photo Credit: Diane Becker

Physically, this town is probably too small for more than one film festival —
witness Park City 1997 when Main St. was home to two festival headquarters —
Sundance and its upstart alternative Slamdance, not to mention the “alternative
to the alternative” — Slumdance. As the 1998 festivals begin, Sundance has
relocated to new digs away from Main St., Slumdance is no more, and Slamdance,
as well as a host of new alternatives, are hoping to prove to attendees that
this town can indeed support more than just Sundance.

“The independent world is not one world,” Slamdance Co-founder at Large
Dan Mirvish told indieWIRE yesterday, “it is two or three or four worlds.”
Armed with that knowledge, Mirvish and company are aiming their festival at
the part of the indie world that is not focused on the specialty divisions
of Hollywood studios (Miramax, Fine Line, October) — as they charge Sundance
is. Now in its fourth year, the festival seems poised to make quite a splash
— witness a schedule that features an opening night party with Moby, a
screenplay reading sponsored by SAG and FILMMAKER Magazine, a “Music in Film”
event sponsored by Arista, and finally consider that the festival received
1,300 entries submissions for this year’s event.

However, the establishment of Slamdance as a legitimate Park City brand should
not lead anyone to believe that its organizers are taking themselves too
seriously. Perhaps infused with a greater sense of purpose and “alternative-ness”
following the emergence of Slumdance last year, organizers hosting parties at
“The Underground,” site of last year’s Slum, and plan to unveil a new trophy at
tonight’s opening. “The Sparky,” inspired by the festival’s canine mascot, is
a golden dog statue that Mirvish says is somewhere “between an Oscar and a

Undoubtedly inspired by the success of last year’s Slumdance are a host of new
alternatives. According to an email sent to indieWIRE earlier this week, “No
Dance” is promising 8 – 12 films, including “The New Gods,” directed by James
Boyd and produced by Slamdance’s Peter Baxter. Meanwhile, “The Son of Sam
” guarantees a white pickup truck converted into a roving projection
booth for a host of unannounced outdoor screenings, among them: “They Call Me
&Slu#148; directed by Rus Merril & Charles Chapelton, “World of Fandom,” directed
by Mike White, and Jeff Krulik’s “Neil Diamond Parking Lot.” Finally, a third
event — dubbed “Slam Dunk”– is also reportedly in the works.

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