Slamdance Special Screenings and Shorts Program 2012

Ryland Aldrich, Festivals Editor


Last week we brought you the Competition Lineup for this year's Slamdance Film Fest. Today we've got the 8 Special Screening features and 75 Shorts that round out the Park City program.

"We're thrilled about this year's short film slate, which represents a dynamic mix of films from across the world. Our focus is on finding the most essential films from among the over 3000 submissions we received, with an eye toward potentially divisive and provocative films that may not have found a showcase elsewhere. If there's a common thread among these films, it's a shared boldness of vision on the part of the filmmakers that spans all genres, from comedy to experimental," said Joel Garber, Co-Captain of the Shorts Programming Committee. 
A jury will present awards to short films in competition in the following categories: Narrative, Animation, and Documentary. Competition shorts are also eligible for the Spirit of Slamdance Award.
Out of competition shorts and programs include: $99 Special Short Harold's Bad Day, a winner of the 2011 Slamdance Short Screenplay Competition, directed by Slamdance alum Jordan Brady. The $99 Special Program presentation is the culmination of an annual tradition in which filmmakers are challenged to make a short film in 99 days with a budget of $99 dollars.
Made In Iran: 7 Short Premieres, an out of competition shorts program, is a world premiere collection of recent Iranian shorts never seen outside the country, curated by Iranian-American filmmaker Ehsan Ghoreishi, featuring the work of emerging talents from across Iran.
Anarchy Shorts is a curated, non-competitive spotlight on unique and provocative filmmakers who have made visionary, experimental, cult, and underground films.

The full Special Screenings and Shorts Program follows:


SPECIAL SCREENINGS - NARRATIVE:

 

Holiday Road - Directors/Screenwriters: Todd Berger, Bill Palmer, Bobby Miller, Daron Nefcy, Benny Grinnell, Ian Eastin, Marcy McIlwain, Aaron Arendt, Michael Suter, Dee Robertson, Doug Manley, Helena Wei, Andrew Putschoegl. (USA) World Premiere

A feature length comedic anthology celebrating the hilarious, poignant, and absurd aspects of America's twelve most recognized holidays. Cast: Wendi McLendon-Covey, Jerry Trainor, Thomas Lenk, Blaise Miller, James Carpinello, Jeff Grace, Kent Osborne, Christing Ulloa

 

Old Dog - Director/Screenwriter: Pema Tseden. (China) US Premiere

On the high Tibetan plains, an old shepherd will do anything to prevent his Tibetan Mastiff from  being sold to an urban Chinese dealer. Cast: Yanbum Gyal, Drolma Kyab, Lochey, Tamdrin Tso

 

Unconditional - Director: Bryn Higgins, Screenwriter: Jo Fisher. (UK) World Premiere

The psycho-love story of two teenage twins who fall under the spell of a charismatic man offering love on one condition: the boy becomes his own sister. Cast: Christian Cooke, Melanie Hill, Harry McEntire, Madleine Clark

 

SPECIAL SCREENINGS - DOCUMENTARY:

 

Neil Young Journeys - Director: Jonathan Demme. (USA) US Premiere

A personal, retrospective look into the heart and soul of iconoclast Neil Young - as told through intimate performances from Young's 2011 summer solo shows in Toronto's iconic Massey Hall, and insightful, wistful stories from his life while driving from his idyllic Canadian hometown.

 

No Room for Rockstars - Director: Parris Patton. (USA) World Premiere

Through the experiences of four musicians on The Vans Warped Tour, No Room For Rockstars takes you on an emotional journey of hope and determination, and documents the extreme highs and lows that occur in the pursuit of success in today's era of rock and roll.

 

Terra Blight - Director: Isaac Brown. (USA) World Premiere

A global examination of the unseen life cycle of computer consumption, from manufacturing to disposal, that has created one of the largest, most common toxic wastes on our planet.

 

Wild in the Streets - Director: Peter Baxter, Screenwriters: Peter Baxter, Jay Nelson. (UK/USA) World Premiere

Every year, thousands of locals from rival sides of a rugged English town brutally compete in an ancient sports game that is the lifeblood of the community - and the origin of soccer, rugby, and football. Narrator: Sean Bean

 

With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story - Directors: Will Hess, Nikki Frakes, Terry Dougas,

Screenwriters: Will Hess, Nikki Frakes. (USA)

The story of maverick pop culture icon Stan Lee - one man's journey of perseverance, and how by sticking to what he loved, he became an internationally influential and successful artist. Cast: Stan Lee, Nicolas Cage, Michael Chiklis, Roger Corman, Kirsten Dunst, Danny Elfman,

James Franco, Samuel Jackson, Tobey Maguire, Eva Mendes, Frank Miller, Seth Rogen, Bryan

Singer, Kevin Smith, Ringo Starr

 

SPECIAL SCREENINGS - SHORTS:

 

Ed Wood's Lost Film Final Curtain - Director/Screenwriter: Edward D. Wood, Jr. (USA) World

Premiere

In a never before seen Ed Wood television pilot, a weary actor prowling a darkened theater at night searches anxiously for meaning which leads him to a surprising end. Cast: James "Duke" Moore, Dudley Manlove, Jenny Stevens

 

Franchi is Back - Director/Screenwriter: Alexandre Franchi. (Canada) World Premiere

A Filmmaker talks about his bout with cancer in a self-promo film in order to avoid repeating his damn story 1000 times to people because it's a pain in the ass. Cast: Alexandre Franchi

 

SPECIAL SCREENING - $99 SPECIAL:

Filmmakers are challenged to make a short film in 99 days with $99

 

Harold's Bad Day - Director: Jordan Brady, Screenwriter: R.J. Buckley. (USA) World Premiere

A wry, dark comedy about a well-intentioned teacher with a gambling debt. Cast: Doug Benson, Nicholas Sadler, Zack Pearlman, Curtiss Frisle

 

SPECIAL SCREENING - MADE IN IRAN: 7 SHORT PREMIERES:

 

Dances With The Armchair - Director/Writer: Dariush Nehdaran. (Iran) US Premiere

As an armchair burns down to the ground, all the faces and memories embedded inside it dance away from its body through the flames.

 

Far From Him, Towards Him - Director/Screenwriter: Javad Rezaei Monfared. (Iran) World

Premiere

An atheist with a terminal disease goes on a journey to find and reconnect with his father whom he believes is a servant in a holy shrine.

 

Room No. 8 - Director/Screenwriter: Zohreh Keshavarz Motlagh Shirazi. (Iran) World Premiere

A story about a group of people trapped in various social and psychological confines who yearn to break free.

 

Pondering - Director/Screenwriter: Mohammad Hossein Keshavarz Motlagh Shirazi (Iran)

World Premiere

On a crisp night, under the blue moonlight, a man explores his inner child as he strangely interacts with the streetlights hovering above him.

 

A Pore As Big As a Knuckle - Director/Screenwriter: Ali Ahmadi. (Iran) World Premiere

A story about a family that has to face the consequences of a painfully unusual rape incident committed by one of their own.

 

The Tree - Director/Screenwriter: Hamed Siami. (Iran) World Premiere

A studio photographer loses the ability to associate people with their pictures.

 

When The Kid Was a Kid - Director/Screenwriter: Anahita Ghazvinizadeh. (Iran) World

Premiere

A ten-year-old girl strives to understand her divorced mother's world, while preparing for a play in which children imitate their parents.

 

SPECIAL SCREENING - ANARCHY SHORTS PROGRAM:

 

At The Formal - Director/Screenwriter: Andrew Kavanagh. (Australia). US Premiere

Modern and ancient rituals collide in this macabre depiction of a high school formal.

 

The Dude - Director: Jeff Feuerzeig. (USA) Documentary

As the inspiration for the beloved central character in the Coen Brothers' cult-favorite film The Big Lebowski, Jeff Dowd has become a popular figure at Lebowski Fests around the country.

 

The Fritzl Effect - Director/Screenwriter: Stefanos Sitaras. (Greece)

A musician keeps a young woman in his basement for inspiration. As she tries to escape, she only falls deeper into his trap.

 

I Saw Your Sister Yesterday - Director: Mina Park. (USA)

Experimental animation about a woman's inner pain due to societal restrictions.

 

The Magic Man - Director/Screenwriter: DC Kasundra. (USA)

Hoping to secure fame and fortune, a struggling vaudeville magician turns to the dark arts, but the power unleashed could cost him the one thing he truly loves.

 

Mahahula The Giant Rodent of Happiness - Director/Screenwriter: Nomint Motion Design.

(Greece)

An animated short film about happiness.

 

The Severe Psychosis of a Musicless Man - Director: Ian McClerin, Screenwriter: Matt

Gomez. (USA) World Premiere.

A cartoonish journey into the mundane life of Preston: a middle-aged family man who begins hearing music in his head, fusing with his eccentric family, that plummets him into insanity.

 

Stihl - Directors/Screenwriters: James Benning, James Raymond (USA) World Premiere

Experimental filmmaker James Benning and video artist James Raymond collaborate to create a world founded on modern day fears: darker images of chainsaws, teddy bears, porno and masked men that question whether we are the monsters we envision and perhaps want to be.

 

Stokje - Director/Screenwriter: Léonie de Boer. (Netherlands)

A tale of two boys at the playground, and their descent from child's play to immorality.

 

We'll Become Oil - Director/Screenwriter: Mihai Grecu. (Romania/Hungary) World Premiere

The story of oil taking over history.

 

LIVE ACTION COMPETITION SHORTS:

 

33 Teeth - Director/Screenwriter: Evan Roberts. (USA)

A 14 year-old boy has a heightened fascination with the comb of his attractive neighbor, Chad.

 

The Agony and Sweat of the Human Spirit - Directors/Screenwriters: D. Jesse Damazo, Joe

Bookman (USA)

Two cowboys on a hunt. What are they hunting? Triumph.

 

Angelito - Director: Paula Lima, Screenwriter: Vitor Coral. (USA/Brazil)

Luisa the nanny tries to find peace taking care of a defiant young boy.

 

Another Bullet Dodged - Director: Landon Zakheim, Screenwriters: Landon Zakheim, Todd

Luoto. (USA)

A wolf in sheep's clothing who thinks he is a sheep.

 

The Centrifuge Brain Project - Director/Screenwriter: Till Nowak. (Germany)

Portrait of a group of American scientists who in the 1970s conducted bizarre experiments involving amusement park rides.

 

Codes of Honor - Director/Screenwriter: Jon Rafman. (Canada)

A pro arcade gamer relives his triumphs, defeats and fading legacy.

 

Cold Blood - Director/Screenwriters: Martin Thibaudeau. (Canada)

An exhausted mother brings her terrified son to the hospital.

 

Crown - Director/Screenwriter: AG Rojas. (USA) World Premiere

A middle-aged junkie experiences a surreal high.

 

DeafBlind - Director/Screenwriter: Ewan Bailey. (UK) World Premiere

A deaf and blind woman and a young man share a spiritual and disturbing connection.

 

Eat - Director/Screenwriter: Janicza Bravo. (USA)

After locking herself out of her apartment, a young woman finds herself in the company of a reluctant neighbor.

 

Eileen Pratt - Director/Screenwriter: Michael Kratochvil. (Austrailia) World Premiere

A socially awkward bus driver seeks to return to the only place she feels she belongs.

 

February - Director/Screenwriter: Nick Singer. (USA) World Premiere

A young plumber has a series of abbreviated encounters.

 

The Good Person - Director: Yukihiro Katô. (Japan) US Premiere

A housewife with a missing husband has a bizarre encounter with mysterious visitors.

 

Hope. You Like Crap. - Director/Screenwriter: Shaun Parker. (USA) World Premiere

Me, looking back and painfully deconstructing my stupid, insipid student film 20 years later.

 

I Am John Wayne - Director/Screenwriter: Christina Choe. (USA) World Premiere

A young black cowboy struggles with the death of his best friend.

 

I'm Coming Over - Director/Screenwriter: Sam Handel. (USA)

In an eccentric mountain town, a borderline neo-luddite struggles to maintain and share a fragile state of enlightenment.

Cast: Lauren Ambrose

 

The Kook - Directors/Screenwriters: Nat Livingston Johnson, Gregory Mitnick. (USA)

A gentle and unassuming member of an eccentric religious sect in the Catskill Mountains experiences a crisis in faith.

Lin - Director/Screenwriter: Piers Thompson. (UK/Bulgaria/Turkey)

A woman appears to be running away from her past.

 

Little Horses - Director/Screenwriter: Levi Abrino. (USA)

A divorced small town postal worker tries to use a pony to win his family back.

 

Memory by Design - Director/Screenwriter: Nathan Punwar. (USA)

The objects that three young women use to mark their past take on memories of their own.

 

New Skin - Director/Screenwriter: Vladimir de Fontenay. (USA)

Helen spends New Year's Eve working at a gas station, where she meets an intriguing young man just before midnight.

 

Park - Director/Screenwriter: Liz Cambron. (USA)

An unnamed girl living in a trailer park, drifting through life, beginning sexual explorations, and stealing her dad's Vicodin.

 

People Parade - Director: John Wilson, Screenwriters: John Wilson, Chris Maggio. (USA)

World Premiere

After the star of a long-running variety show passes away, his son is obligated to reunite a weathered cast of television performers and host the final episode.

 

Reinaldo Arenas - Director/Screenwriter: Lucas Leyva. (USA)

Told from the point of view of a dying shark, the film captures the last moments in the life of an unintentional immigrant in downtown Miami.

 

Rose and Sophia - Director/Screenwriter: Natalie Neal. (USA) World Premiere

A childhood interest in spying is rekindled among two teenage girls stuck between adolescence and adulthood.

 

A Scene at the Sea - Director/Screenwriter: Jaehee Lee. (South Korea)

A father and son, roles now reversed as one becomes the caretaker of the other, execute a delicate dance at the edge of the sea.

 

A Short Film About Ice Fishing - Director/Screenwriter: Jason Shahinfar. (USA)

In rural South Dakota, two friends go out for an explosive day of ice fishing.

 

Silent River - Director/Screenwriter: Anca Miruna Lazarescu. (Germany) US Premiere

Gregor and Vali want to get away from Romania and the Ceausescu regime in 1986.

 

Solipsist - Director/Screenwriter: Andrew Huang. (USA) World Premiere

A three part psychedelic fantasy film about otherworldly beings whose minds and bodies converge into one entity.

 

Soy Tan Feliz - Director/Screenwriter: Vladimir Duran. (Argentina/Colombia) US Premiere

Fragments of a Saturday winter day with the Vittenzein brothers, who find themselves in a strange intimacy on a stop during a drive to their mother's house.

 

TMI - Director: Jeff Tomsic, Screenwriters: Jordan Klepper, Laura Grey. (USA) World Premiere

Obnoxiousness begins at conception.

 

When Rabbits Fly - Director: Helgi Jóhannsson, Screenwriters: Helgi Jóhannsson, Halldor Ragnar Halldorsson. (Iceland) North American Premiere

A family of three living with a rabbit in a cardboard box seeks six strangers to get their old life back.

 

ANIMATED COMPETITION SHORTS:

 

Birdboy - Directors/Screenwriters: Alberto Vázquez, Pedro Rivero. (Spain)

A terrible industrial accident changes little Dinky's life forever.


Follow the Sun!
- Director/Screenwriter: MK12. (USA)

An homage and/or affront to a Great American Tradition: the drive-in intermission snack reel.

 

Hietsuki Bushi - Director/Screenwriter: Ryo Hirano. (Japan)

A seamless mixture of traditional Japanese song, blip music, universe, and agriculture.

 

Hollow - Director/Screenwriter: Oliver Anderson. (USA)

Two young brothers stumble across a disturbing secret in the fleeting light of a Midwestern summer.

 

The House - Director/Screenwriter: David Buob. (Germany)

A family story in a revolving house.

 

The Observer - Director/Screenwriter: Abbey Luck. (USA) World Premiere

A disenchanted citizen learns how to free his village from a tyrant king by observing patterns in nature.

 

Peekaboo - Director/Screenwriter: Cecilia Fletcher. (USA)

A woman must decide between reporting a crime and going on vacation.

 

Soil - Director/Screenwriter: Meejin Hong. (USA)

As imagery transforms between figures and abstraction, the life cycle of an organism and dualities within human nature are explored.

 

Thumb Snatchers from the Moon Cocoon - Director/Screenwriter: Bradley Schaffer. (USA)

A short tempered Texas sheriff uses his cowboy logic to recklessly defeat a race of condescending, cocoon dwelling critters.

 

Venus - Director: Tor Fruergaard, Screenwriter: Sissel D. Thomsen. (Denmark)

An erotic comedy in claymation.

 

DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION SHORTS:

 

Ben Franklin Blowing Bubbles at a Sword: The Journeys of a Mental Athlete - Director:

Jonathan Napolitano. (USA) World Premiere

Three mental athletes stretch the limits of their minds as they train for and compete in the 2011 USA Memory Championship.

 

The Devotion Project: More Than Ever - Director: Antony Osso. (USA)

The inspiring true story of two men who forged a 54-year love story despite the odds.

 

I'm Never Afraid! - Director: Willem Baptist. (The Netherlands)

Eight-year-old Mack 'the motor midget' should be dead but nothing is stopping him.

 

Kiss the Paper - Director: Fiona Otway. (USA)

A poetic documentary contemplating the revival of the nearly obsolete, centuries-old craft of letterpress printing.

 

Kudzu Vine - Director: Josh Gibson. (USA)

This ode to the climbing, trailing, and coiling species Pueraria lobata evokes the agricultural history and mythic textures of the American South.

 

The Lookout - Director: Brian Bolster. (USA) World Premiere

Watching over some of the most fire-prone landscape in North America, a Fire Lookout reflects upon his work.

 

Murder Mouth - Director: Madeleine Parry. (Australia)

Could you kill what you had for dinner? Maddie, a 21 year-old meat eater, decides to take the question into her own hands.

 

No Relation - Director: Kieran Dick. (Canada)

What is real and how do you capture it?

 

No Wine Left Behind - Director: Kevin Gordon. (USA)

An Iraq War hero leads a ragtag group of veterans as they try to conquer the wine industry.

 

On Tender Hooks - Director: Kate Shenton. (UK)

Freak show magician Damien Lloyd-Davies pierces his flesh with meat hooks and performs a "suicide suspension."

 

The Professional- Director: Skylar Nielsen. (USA)

Metal-fabricator Neil Youngberg never planned on taking over his grandfather's business and is now faced with passing on his legacy.

 

We Win or We Die - Director: Matthew Millan. (Libya, USA) World Premiere

The inspiring story of one man's heroic sacrifice that liberated a city from the yoke of oppression.

 

You Can't Win - Director: Jorge Torres-Torres (Puerto Rico/USA) World Premiere

A typical night at the cockfights in the island of Puerto Rico.

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