Slamdance has revealed its 2011 Award Winners. The 2011 Slamdance Film Festival, which concluded Thursday with an Awards Ceremony at Treasure Mountain Inn, received a record number of over 5,000 submissions and programmed 83 films this year. 2011 marked the 17th anniversary of the Slamdance Film Festival, one of the few remaining film festivals whose sole mission is to support truly independent works from first-time filmmakers staying true to its mission of "by filmmakers, for filmmakers."

There are three competitive divisions at Slamdance: Grand Jury, Audience Awards and Special Sponsored Awards provided by Kodak, Panasonic, Dos Equis and Good Health. In addition this year Slamdance adds a theatrical distribution award to best feature and short film, offering an alternative to the traditional US theatrical system. Theatrical showings of the winning short and feature program, along with selections from the Grand Jury and Audience Award winning films will be screened in several domestic venues throughout the year, including the IFC Center in New York and 14 Pews in Houston.

As always the Feature competitions are limited to first-time filmmakers working with production budgets of $1 million or less. In addition, this year Slamdance donated 10 percent of its Park City box office proceeds back to the filmmakers.

Slamdance continued to create new avenues for its filmmakers expanding beyond Park City during the festival with the second annual Filmmaker Summit and its exclusive VOD/EST distribution agreement with Microsoft.


Slamdance presented the second annual Filmmaker Summit, along with the Ford Foundation, IndieFlix and Banyan Branch, bringing together some of the most innovative thinkers in the industry. Speakers included Scilla Andreen (IndieFlix), Tiffany Shlain (Director: 'Connected', 'Yelp'), Brian Newman (subgenre media), Jenny Samppala (Banyan Branch), Amy Powell ('Paranormal Activity'), Lance Weiler ('Pandemic 1.0'), John Anderson (Variety), Orlando Bagwell (Ford Foundation), and Greg Pak (comic book scribe and filmmaker).

As of opening day at the festival, select Competition Feature Films were made available via Zune video Marketplace as part of this year's Festival and VOD Showcase for the duration of the festival, January 20-27. Select films included narrative features "Modern Imbecile's Planet World," "Snow On Tha Bluff" and "The Beast Pageant;" documentary features "Road Dogs" and "Scrapper," as well as films from previous years' festivals. In addition, opening this week at the IFC Center in New York is past Slamdance Grand Jury Documentary Winner, "Strongman."

"Not every filmmaker is going home with a Sparky award but like never before it seems everyone is a winner at Slamdance. coming together as a community, each of our filmmakers has been empowered by what Slamdance has created this week and in the long run I think this experience will be most useful and rewarding," stated Peter Baxter, Co-founder and President of Slamdance.

The winners of the 17th Annual Slamdance Film Festival and their prize packages are as follows:

Grand Jury Awards

Grand Jury Sparky Award for Best Narrative Film

Winner: "Stranger Things," written and directed by Eleanor Burke and Ron Eyal

Special Jury Mention: "Without," written and directed by Mark Jackson

The Slamdance jury would like to recognize Joslyn Jensen with a special jury award for her creative, nuanced, and moving performance in "Without."

Grand Jury Sparky Award for Best Documentary Film

Winner: "Bhopali," directed by Van Maximillian Carlson

Special Jury Mention: "Forsdson," directed by Rashid Ghazi

The Slamdance jury was moved by this great American story about life, liberty and the pursuit of football.

Grand Jury Sparky Award for Best Animated Short

Winner: "Bottle," written and directed by Kirsten Lepore

Grand Jury Sparky Award for Best Narrative Short

Winner: "Bird," written and directed by Petr Stupin

Special Jury Mention: "Son of None," written and directed by Todd Looby

For its compelling docudrama approach, wonderful lead performance, and stunning final sequence, the Slamdance jury would like to give a special mention to "Son of None."

Grand Jury Sparky Award for Best Documentary Short

Winner: "Oaks," directed by Charles Wittenmeier

Audience Awards

Audience Sparky Award for Best Narrative Film

Winner: "Silver Tongues," written and directed by Simon Arthur

Winner also receives $3500 in Legal Services from Pierce Law Group

Audience Sparky Award for Best Documentary Film

Winner: "Bhopali," directed by Van Maximilian Carlson

Winner also receives $3500 in Legal Services from Pierce Law Group

Spirit of Slamdance Sparky Award

Winner: "Shunka," directed by CJ Gardella

Awarded by the Class of 2011 filmmakers to the film teams that best embodies the spirit of the festival, creatively promoting their film, joyfully participating in screenings and events, as well as showing exceptional talent as an artist. Sponsored by Good Health.

Sponsored Awards

Kodak Vision Award for Best Cinematography

Winner: "Shunka," directed by CJ Gardella

Winner also receives 10,000 feet of Kodak film for the filmmaker to make their next feature

Panasonic AF100 Award for Best "Road To Park City" Short Film Award

Winner: "The Road to Park City is Paved with Artists," written and directed by Kevin Brennan and Doug Manley

Director of Photgraphy, Louis Holland

Slamdance / Adobe Re-cut Competition Award

Winner: Nelson Vunda

Slamdance Theatrical Release Offer Award

Feature Winner: "Superheroes," directed by Michael Barnett; written by Michael Barnett & Theodore James

Short Winner: "Hello Caller," directed by Andrew Putschoegl; written by Tom Lenk

Slamdance 2011 received a record number of over 5,000 submissions. Slamdance Film Festival, presented by Kodak, ran concurrently with the Sundance Film Festival, January 21-27, 2011 in Park City, Utah. For more information, log onto and follow Slamdance on Twitter and Facebook.