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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

Slamdance Announces 2019 Feature Film Competition Lineup

The 25th annual Slamdance Film Festival has announced its Narrative and Documentary Feature Film Competition programs. “By filmmakers, for filmmakers”, Slamdance is the premiere film festival dedicated to fostering a community for independent emerging artists. If you're in the neighborhood of Park City, Utah January 25-31, be sure to check it out.

The feature competition lineup boasts 10 World premieres, 4 North American premieres, and 4 U.S. debuts. These films come from countries around the globe, including Argentina, Belarus, Brazil, Germany, India, Italy, Kenya, Poland, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and, of course, the U.S. All competition films are feature length directorial debuts with budgets of less than $1 million USD, that have yet to establish U.S. distribution. Featured films were selected by a team of festival alumni through a blind submission process, and are programmed democratically. All films are eligible for the Audience Award and Spirit of Slamdance Award, which is voted upon by fellow filmmakers at the festival.

Since established by Co-founders Dan Mirvish and Peter Baxter in 1995, Slamdance has dedicated itself to discovering talent in an artist led community. The 2019 festival will see the return of the Russo Fellowship, a $25,000 prize launched in last year by celebrated festival alumni Anthony and Joe Russo (Captain America: Civil War, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Infinity War). The award is meant to enable a deserving filmmaker the opportunity to continue their journey with mentorship from the filmmaking duo. Last year, the inaugural fellowship was awarded to filmmaker Yassmina Karajah for her narrative short Rupture.

Also announced today is the lineup for the festival’s all-new Breakouts section. Breakouts films are those by experienced feature directors who are genuinely intent on taking bigger risks with their career paths, and demonstrate a determined vision of filmmaking that is distinctively their own. Pushing boundaries in genre and form, the films of these men and women will undoubtedly influence the future of film. The 2019 Breakouts include the work of several festival alumni, including Steven Soderbergh, who executive produced Beats, and Canadian filmmaker Alexandre Franchi who received the Audience Award for best Narrative Feature at the 2010 festival for The Wild Hunt.

Established in 1995, Slamdance is dedicated to discovering and supporting new talents in independent filmmaking. Notable Slamdance alumni include: Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk), Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity), Bong Joon Ho (Okja), Lena Dunham (Girls), Ari Aster (Hereditary), Gina Prince-Blythewood (Shots Fired), and Sean Baker (The Florida Project). An impressive list of filmmakers, indeed. Who knows what new names 2019 will bring. Surely, there will be at least one who will inevitably become well-known.

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