By Ray Pride


(LOS ANGELES, CA – December 3, 2013) The Slamdance Film Festival today announced their Narrative and Documentary Feature Film Competition programs for its 20th Festival season. As the premiere film festival for filmmakers by filmmakers, Slamdance’s showcase for emerging filmmakers includes 10 narrative and 8 documentary films, including 11 World Premieres, 4 North American, and 1 US Premiere. After receiving over 5,000 submissions this year, Slamdance is proud to present the best of first time feature filmmakers pushing the boundaries of filmmaking with innovation and unique talent. All competition films are feature film directorial debuts with budgets of less than $1 million and without US distribution, and were programmed entirely from blind submissions by the Slamdance filmmaking community.

Jury Awards are presented to feature films in both categories and all films are eligible for the Spirit of Slamdance Award judged by the filmmakers themselves, as well as the Audience Awards.

“The 2014 Feature Competition bristles with raw talent and innovative filmmaking. As an organization run by filmmakers for filmmakers, we couldn’t imagine a truer way of representing the first 20 years and beginning our next,” states Peter Baxter, Slamdance President and Co- Founder.

The 2014 Slamdance Film Festival will take place from January 17th – 23rd, 2014 in Park City, Utah at the Treasure Mountain Inn, located at 255 Main Street, Park City, UT 84060.


Copenhagen – Director & Screenwriter: Mark Raso

(USA, Canada, Denmark) World Premiere

A charming scoundrel visiting the city of his father’s birth, William is drawn to his impromptu guide Effy – wise, spontaneous, and half his age.

Cast: Gethin Anthony, Frederikke Dahl Hansen, Sebastian Armesto, Tamzin Merchant


Goldberg & Eisenberg – Director & Screenwriter: Oren Carmi


A lonely computer programmer finds his life disrupted by a boorish thug who becomes dangerously obsessed in this darkly absurd drama.

Cast: Yitzhak Laor, Yahav Gal, Roni Dotan


I Play With The Phrase Each Other – Director & Screenwriter: Jay Alvarez

(USA) North American Premiere

Young city dwellers with lyrical musings and a sliding sense of entitlement hold court in this film comprised entirely of cell phone conversations.

Cast: Jay Alvarez, Will Hand, Megan Kopp, Alexander Fraser


I Put A Hit On You – Directors & Screenwriters: Dane Clark, Linsey Stewart

(Canada) World Premiere

A broken-hearted woman teams up with her ex-boyfriend to try and stop the hitman she accidentally hired to kill him.

Cast: Aaron Ashmore, Sara Canning


My Blind Heart – Director & Screenwriter: Peter Brunner

(Austria) North American Premiere

Suffering from an incurable disease, a young man rebels against his body and the expectations forced upon him in this black and white expressionist film.

Cast: Christos Haas, Jana McKinnon, Susanne Lothar, Robert Schmiedt, Georg Friedrich


The Republic of Rick – Director: Mario Kyprianou; Screenwriters: Mario Kyprianou, Becky Leigh

(USA) World Premiere

In this politic satire, a self-proclaimed President of the Republic of Texas rallies to lead a paranoid militia for Texas’s independence in the late 1990s.

Cast: Dave Abed, Angie Gregory, Lori Jean Wilson


Rezeta – Director & Screenwriter: Fernando Frias de la Parra

(Mexico) US Premiere

A jet-setting model leads a freewheeling and spontaneous life in Mexico City that starts to change when she falls in love with an unexpected young artist.

Cast: Rezeta Veliu, Roger Mendoza, Paulina Davila, Sebastian Cordova


Rover – Director & Screenwriter: Tony Blahd

(USA) World Premiere

A dispirited cult awaits the sign to off themselves when their leader fakes a prophecy instructing them to make a movie and share their story with the world.

Cast: Liam Torres, Jonathan Randell Silver, Steve Siddell, Natalie Thomas


The Sublime and Beautiful – Director & Screenwriter: Blake Robbins

(USA) World Premiere

David and Kelly descend into a complicated hell of grief but they take very different paths to make things right after losing their children to a drunk driver.

Cast: Blake Robbins, Laura Kirk, Matthew Del Negro, Armin Shimerman


Wizard’s Way – Director & Screenwriter: Metal Man

(UK) North American Premiere

A champion online fantasy video game player, his encouraging best friend, and two ambitious would-be filmmakers who decide to capture it all for posterity.

Cast: Chris Killen, Joe Stretch, Kristian Scott, Socrates Adams-Florou, Sadie Frost




Elliot – Directors & Screenwriters: Matthew Bauckman, Jaret Belliveau

(Canada) World Premiere

The bizarre story of Elliot Scott, his supportive partner Linda Lum, and their cast and crew of outrageous dreamers all striving to achieve success.

Cast: Elliot Scott, Blake Zwicker, Linda Lum


Glena – Director & Screenwriter: Allan Luebke

(USA) World Premiere

Glena Avila is a single mother in her 30’s who is fighting to become a professional Mixed Martial Artist.

Cast: Glena Avila, Stormy Back, Ron Andersen


Huntington’s Dance – Director: Chris Furbee

(USA) World Premiere

Told through 20 years of home movie footage, Huntington’s Dance is a personal and devastatingly raw look at how hereditary disease can shatter a family and a future. Cast: Chris Furbee, Rosemary Shockey, Gene Furbee


Kidnapped For Christ – Director: Kate S. Logan; Screenwriters: Yada Zamora, Kate S. Logan (USA, Dominican Republic) World Premiere

The personal stories of American teenagers who are taken from their homes and sent to an Evangelical Christian reform school located in The Dominican Republic.

Cast: David Wernsman, Tai Matheiu, Elizabeth Engle


Little Hope Was Arson – Director: Theo Love


January 2010: In the buckle of the Bible Belt, 10 churches burn to the ground igniting the largest criminal investigation in East Texas history.


Skanks – Director: David McMahon

(USA) World Premiere

A community theatre in Birmingham, Alabama mounts a gender-bending new musical titled “Skanks In A One Horse Town.”


Sometimes I Dream I’m Flying – Director & Screenwriter: Aneta Popiel-Machnicka (Poland) North American Premiere

The poignant story of a young dancer preparing to perform at the Berlin Opera and the serious injury that threatens her lifelong dream.

Cast: Weronika Frodyma, Anna Linnik, Sergey Basalayev


Vanishing Pearls: The Oystermen of Pointe à la Hache – Director & Screenwriter: Nailah Jefferson

(USA) World Premiere

In Pointe à la Hache, Louisiana, the residents of this ruined fishing community continue dealing with the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, one of the worst man-made environmental disasters in US history.

Cast: Byron Encalade, Stanley Encalde, Kenneth Feinberg

All Access, Industry, Local’s, and Student Festival Passes are available now online, and individual tickets will be available shortly. To purchase, click here:


About Slamdance


The 2014 Slamdance Film Festival will run concurrently with the Sundance Film Festival, January 17-23, 2014 in Park City, Utah. Slamdance continues to serve as a showcase for the discovery and development of emerging independent talent and their unique cinematic vision. Slamdance is the only festival programmed entirely by filmmakers. With over half of 2013’s feature films having found distribution after premiering in Park City, Slamdance continues to be a fertile ground for new filmmakers to begin their careers.


Notable Slamdance alumni who first gained notice at the festival include: Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Rises), Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity), Marc Forster (World War Z), Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite), Lena Dunham (Girls), Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Anthony & Joe Russo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses) and Lynn Shelton (Humpday).


The organization supports its alumni beyond the festival, by increasing exhibition opportunities through international and domestic On The Road events and developing commercial distribution through Slamdance Studios. 2013 VOD releases include Daniel Martinico’s OK, Good, Rudd Simmons’ The First Season, Monteith McCollum’s Hybrid, and Eleanor Burke’s and Ron Eyal’s Stranger Things. Slamdance’s 2013 On The Road program has traveled to Austin, Detroit, Los Angeles and New York further supporting award-winning feature films such as Nicole Teeny’s Bible Quiz, Matt Johnson’s The Dirties and James E. Duff’s Hank and Asha, as well as a selection of local short filmmakers.


Presented by JuntoBox Films, the Slamdance Screenplay Competition welcomed a record number of entries in 2013 with Butterfly Children by Melanie Schiele winning its Grand Jury Prize and an unprecedented award of $60,000.

The 2014 Slamdance Film Festival Sponsors include MixBit, Blackmagic Design, Vimeo, and The Directors Guild of America. Further support is given by Different By Design, Pierce Law Group, InkHead Promotional Products, and Kodak. Slamdance is once again proud to partner with sponsors who share our unique vision and support emerging artists who are pushing the boundaries of independent filmmaking.

Additional information about the Slamdance Film Festival is available at

Connect with Slamdance: and



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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon