Slamdance Announces 2011 Selections

Todd Brown, Founder and Editor
With the complete Sundance lineup now out in public you had to know that Slamdance couldn't be far behind. And it wasn't. The complete list of competition selections for Slamdance 2011 was announced today and it's a compelling mix of titles.

On the genre front Fernando Barreda Luna's found footage shocker Atrocious is the festival's one true horror entry while Simon Arthur's Silver Tongues also sounds like it could delve into dark thriller territory. Experimental effort The Beast Pageant is probably worth a look as well and I've been hearing growing buzz about inner city crime moc doc Snow On The Bluff as well.

On the real documentary side of things there are a couple music themed pieces - Road Dogs and Last Fast Ride - cranked up to 11. Stephan Wassman's Scrapper - the story of a group of men who collect scrap from a US military bombing range still in active use - sounds absolutely fascinating. But my pick for the cult breakout goes to Superheroes, a documentary about real life costumed heroes from director Michael Barnett. Read the complete list below.

SLAMDANCE FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2011 FEATURE FILM COMPETITION

"All Is Not Lost" for Filmmakers in Park City and Commercially Year-Round


LOS ANGELES - December 7, 2010 - Slamdance today announced the 2011 Feature Competition slate for the 17th Annual Slamdance Film Festival taking place January 21-27, 2011 in Park City, Utah.  Slamdance will debut ten narrative and eight documentary feature films, 14 of which are World Premieres. With a record number of over 5,000 submissions, Slamdance has selected an exciting and eclectic slate of films, made by today's up and coming independent filmmakers. The selected films have all been made on a small budget and head to Park City without distribution - all full of immense promise.

"All Is Not Lost" is the theme for the 2011 Festival. In today's tough economic climate, fewer and fewer films are being picked up for distribution, although there are actually more films being made today than ever before.  Even when an indie film does get released, the filmmaker often will not profit from it. In direct line with Slamdance's mission statement of "by filmmakers, for filmmakers," this year Slamdance will donate 10 percent of ticket proceeds back to the filmmakers. By taking this mission to a new level, Slamdance hopes to help cut down on an epidemic of bankrupt and "one time only" filmmakers and help bring back to life the working independent filmmaker.
 
"The quality and breadth of independent film has increased exponentially over the past few years. However, even as audience dissatisfaction with the standard studio fare grows, independent film continues to be squeezed out at the box office. Slamdance to the rescue! We are screening this year's most exciting, intriguing and INDEPENDENT films," stated Peter Baxter, Slamdance President and Co-Founder.
 
Supporting the filmmakers beyond the festival and improving distribution opportunities for its films has become increasingly essential and at the core of what Slamdance stands for. After announcing an exclusive video on demand partnership with Microsoft at last year's festival, Slamdance will continue to expand its year-round platform and exhibition efforts in 2011 both theatrically and online. This year Slamdance introduces a new distribution award to the best feature film that provides an alternative to the traditional US theatrical system. Screenings will begin in summer 2011 as collaboration between the filmmakers, sponsors and regional film organizations. In addition, the winning feature will also be offered international distribution via Xbox and Zune's international platforms.
 
 
NARRATIVE COMPETITION (all films are from the US unless otherwise noted)
 
"Atrocious" - directed by Fernando Barreda Luna. (Mexico, Spain) World Premiere, 75 min
Recorded evidence of the "Quintanilla Murder Investigation."
Cast: July Quintanilla, Cristian Quintanilla
 
"Beneath Contempt" - directed by Benjamin Brewer. World Premiere, 101 min
A young man returns to his hometown after serving a prison sentence for killing his friends in a drunk driving accident.
Cast: Colin Janson, Melanie May, Eric Eastman, Mike Bash, Abby Austin, Sarah Newhouse
 
"Drama" - directed by Matias Lira. (Chile) World Premiere, 80 min
Three kids thinking that life is theatre.
Cast: Benjamin Vicuña, Diego Ruiz, Eusebio Arenas, Fernanda Urrejola, Isidora Urrejola
 
"Fred and Vinnie" - directed by Steve Skrovan. 89 min
Lonely guy Fred Stoller is thrilled when his good buddy, Vinnie D'Angelo, the world's happiest agoraphobic and fattest vegetarian, comes to live with him, until Vinnie also proves to be the world's most maddening roommate.
Cast: Fred Stoller, Angelo Tsarouches, Scott Chernoff, Bill Rutkoski, John Asher, Harriet Rose, Sarah Rush, Lee Reherman
 
"Pleasant People" - directed by David Bonawits. World Premiere, 69 min
When a frustrated singer songwriter finds herself at odds with friends and coworkers, she pushes through it the only way she knows how - faking a smile.
Cast: Jiyoung Lee, Josh Hall, Dave Marder, Sarah Atchison, Paula Trude
 
"Silver Tongues" - directed by Simon Arthur. World Premiere, 87 min
Two lovers travel from town to town playing a dark game of deceit that soon spirals out of control, threatening their very relationship.
Cast: Lee Tergesen, Enid Graham, Tate Ellington, Emily Meade, Harvey Evans, Portia, Rosa Arrendondo, Adam Lefevre
 
"Snow On Tha Bluff" - directed by Damon Russell. World Premiere, 79 min
Snow On Tha Bluff is the story of Atlanta robbery boy and crack dealer, Curtis Snow who stole a camera from some college kids in a dope deal and made a documentary about his life.
Cast: Curtis Snow, Frank Ringer, Curtis Lockett, Adrienne Lockett, D'Angelo Snow, Brandon Snow, Kita Snow
 
"Stranger Things" - directed by Eleanor Burke and Ron Eyal. (United Kingdom, US) 77 min
An unusual and touching bond develops when grieving Oona reaches out to a mysterious homeless man, offering him a place to stay in her garden shed.
Cast: Bridget Collins, Adeel Akhtar
 
"The Beast Pageant" - directed by Albert Birney and Jon Moses. 74 min
THE BEAST PAGEANT is about a man who goes on an adventure.
Cast: Jon Moses, Ted Greenway, Emily Osinski, S. Michael Smith, Sam Hughes, Jon Eaton, Ron Bauerle, and Tigran Vardanyan
 
"Without" - directed by Mark Jackson. World Premiere, 88 min
On a remote wooded island, a young woman becomes caretaker to an old man in a vegetative state. Her isolated routine devolves into a struggle with sexuality, guilt and loss.
Cast: Joslyn Jensen, Ron Carrier

 
DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION (all films are from the US unless otherwise noted)
 
"Bhopali" - directed by Van Maximilian Carlson. (India, US) World Premiere, 84 min
In 1984, the world's worst industrial disaster devastated and contaminated Bhopal, India. Today the suffering continues, prompting victims to fight for justice and corporate responsibility, which has long been ignored.
 
"Fordson: Faith, Fasting, Football" - directed by Rashid Ghazi. World Premiere, 93 min
Fordson follows a predominately Arab-American high school football team from Dearborn, Michigan during the last ten days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and unearths the story of a community desperately holding onto its Islamic faith while struggling to gain acceptance in post 9-11 America
 
"Last Fast Ride - The Life, Love and Death of a Punk Goddess" - directed by Lilly Scourtis Ayers. World Premiere, 86 min
Last Fast Ride is a documentary film about the infamous bay-area punk rock performer Marian Anderson. Marian died all too young, and this is her story.
 
"Road Dogs" - directed by Shane Aquino. World Premiere, 83 min
Road Dogs 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 Wassmann. World Premiere, 81 min
As the global war on terror takes a heavy toll on some local economies, a defiant group of desert outlaws turn an active US military bombing range near the Mexican border into their own free-enterprise zone of extreme survival.   Driven by adrenaline and hunger, Crystal Meth and even scripture, they risk their lives to scavenge lucrative debris from exploded and unexploded ordnance in the kill zones.
 
"Shunka" - directed by CJ Gardella. US Premiere, 75 min
Shunka is a vision of the material and spiritual worlds, and their coalescence; and of finding stark poetry in the haze of the every day in a small community in the Badlands.
 
"Superheroes" - directed by Michael Barnett. World Premiere, 90 min
Superheroes is a journey inside the world of real life caped crusaders. From all over America, these self-proclaimed crime fighters, don masks, homemade costumes and elaborate utility belts in an attempt to bring justice to evildoers everywhere.
 
"Zielinski" - directed by Chase Thompson and Ryan Walker. World Premiere, 65 min
The rise and fall of John Zielinski - the most blacklisted author in the history of Iowa.
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