Slamdance 2012 Preview

Ryland Aldrich, Festivals Editor

Sundance ain't the only film game in town during Utah's busiest week of the year. Our Park City Preview Week wraps up today with a look at what's in store from the Slamdance Film Festival.

We had a chance to speak briefly with Slamdance co-founder and president Peter Baxter. We asked Mr. Baxter for his thoughts on about the competition slate:

"The documentary and narrative competitions are very strong this year. In many ways both represent the dramatic times in which we currently live. The filmmakers have drawn inspiration from the daily challenges of life that has provided a great sense of innovation and experimentation. It's exciting because you are left thinking these emerging filmmakers really are leading us into the next wave of indie film."

While it often plays second fiddle to the much larger Sundance fest, Slamdance is a great opportunity for the smallest of the small independent films to find an audience. Mark Jackson's Without from last year's fest is the perfect example of such a film. Audiences raved about the film, giving particular kudos to star Joslyn Jensen's performance. Critics took note, and the film showed up on many year-end best of lists. What will be this year's Without? Here are a few of candidates that caught our attention:

Narrative Competition



DOPPELG ÄNGER PAUL (OR A FILM ABOUT HOW MUCH I HATE MYSELF)
This oddball comedy directed by Dylan Akio Smith and Kris Elgstrand tells the story of a middle aged dude who forges a relationship with a man he believes to be his doppelganger.


BINDLESTIFFS
Andrew Edison's farce about three virgins who are suspended from high school and head to the inner city to "attempt to live out the plot of The Catcher in the Rye - a book they neither have read nor understand," promises to be one of the funniest offerings of the fest.


ROLLER TOWN
Canadian comedian Andrew Bush's feature directorial debut is this wacky sounding adventure about a group of roller skaters who team up to stop the mob from installing video games in their roller rink.

Documentary Competition



I WANT MY NAME BACK
Whatever happened to The Sugarhill Gang (you know, Rapper's Delight)? Find out in Roger Paradiso's doc about one of hip-hop's pioneering acts.


DANLAND
Alexandra Berger follows 'Porno Dan' on his three year odyssey to build his adult movie empire in this feature debut documentary.


WE ARE LEGION: THE STORY OF THE HACKTIVISTS
Brian Knappenberger takes into the bowels of Anonymous and their 4Chan beginnings in this look at the intersection of civil disobedience and hacker culture.

Special Screenings



NEIL YOUNG JOURNEYS
Fresh from its premiere at TIFF, Jonathan Demme's road-trip-with-Neil-Young doc will screen at the Slam along with a special conversation over coffee with both the luminaries.


WITH GREAT POWER: THE STAN LEE STORY
Demme and Young aren't the only celebs on hand for the Slam. Stan Lee is also talking over coffee about his illustrious career and this Slamdance doc by Will Hess, Nikki Frakes, and Terry Dougas.


NO ROOM FOR ROCKSTARS
Director Parris Patton hits the road with The Warped Tour to tell the story of some of the musicians who undergo this grueling tour for the fun and the fame.


UNCONDITIONAL
This narrative feature by Bryn Higgins tells the story of 16 year-old British twins who fall for the same strange man in his 20s. A darkly comic psycho-romance ensues.


WILD IN THE STREETS
Sean Bean narrates this documentary by Peter Baxter about an English town that spends two days each year playing a game that dates back to medieval times where half the town has to get a ball from one side of the town, 3 miles to the other team's goal. No holds barred.

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