Slamdance proud to support and promote ‘outliers’ | ParkRecord.com

Slamdance proud to support and promote ‘outliers’

Festival runs Jan. 20-26

The Slamdance Film Festival hasn't flinched in its mission to support independent maverick filmmakers since 1995.

The proof lies in the films and programs for this year's festival that will run from Friday, Jan. 20, through Thursday, Jan. 26, at Treasure Mountain Inn, 255 Main St., Festival Manager Clementine Leger said. (See Slamdance ticket information below).

"We don't invite filmmakers in advance to submit their films," Leger said during an interview with The Park Record. "Submissions are all blind, because we don't want one filmmaker to have an upper hand on the others,"

The festival doesn't offer fee waivers either, Leger said.

"Once you stick to those simple rules, it's not hard to keep it up," she said. "Because if you break a rule or make and exception even just once, you start a slippery slope."

Leger said Slamdance is proud festival programmers are all Slamdance filmmaker alumni.

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"They are who I call outliers," she said. "They remember what it was like to make films in their basements with jump cables and bobby pins."

The word outlier is a running theme in Slamdance and that even extends into the festival's non-filmmaking programs — Digital Interactive and Gaming (DIG) and Polytecnics.

DIG has expanded in its second year.

"We'll feature some virtual reality [VR], do-it-yourself [DIY] video games and some interactive games," Leger said. "This is exciting because Slamdance tries to help and promote artists and outliers who work outside the system"

"We held the opening gallery in the Big Picture gallery in Los Angeles earlier this year, and it was so cool to see people playing all of these underground games with all of this awesome VR gear," she said. "Big Picture's owner Doug Corocco is one of the DIG programmers as well. He has allowed us to do this cool event."

The Park City DIG exhibit will be held in the Alder Room at Treasure Mountain Inn.

"It's going to have it's own room so people will be able to come and experiencer DIG," Leger said. "Another exciting thing was that we were able to get some of last year's artists' help with the program this year, and that continues the tradition of Slamdance alumni helping to program the festival."

The Polytechnics program provides a learning environment for new ideas and creative methods in filmmaking that emphasize technology, development and do-it-yourself solutions.

"Polytechnics started last year and we've extended it this year," Leger said. "We will offer a lot of free panels and workshops where people can learn things about how to deal with legal stuff and distribution, all of the important stuff that filmmakers may or may not know.

"We also have a panel on Art House convergence that staff members from Variety, and one of our sponsors G-Tech, will present," she said. "We want to arm filmmakers with all of this knowledge."

Of course, Slamdance will feature film screenings: narrative features, documentary features, narrative shorts, documentary shorts, animation shorts and experimental shorts.

"We received many thousands of submissions this year," Leger said. "There is some very exciting stuff that feels new and different and original. They aren't spitting out the variation of the usual indie film that you see time and time again.

"That's so damn cool because people are making films without asking permission to shoot," she said. "They all have this cool internal creative universe and seeing them express that on film is awesome."

Although technological advances over the past decade have made it easier for filmmakers to pick up inexpensive digital cameras, Leger said there are some who are going in new directions.

"Some filmmakers are going back to film — whether it's 8 mm or 16 mm or having fun with other analog methods," she said. "I think there is an excitement when filmmakers remember when they were kids, a teenager, and saw the depth of analog medium, but didn't get a chance to play with it. And there is definitely some of that coming through with the film festival. And that is exciting to me, because we're here to give a voice to the people who are working in the margins."

Slamdance tickets and passes available

  • Tickets and passes for the 2017 Slamdance Film Festival will be available online at http://www.slamdance.com until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 18.
  • All online orders must be picked up in person at the festival box office, during box office hours that start at 9:30 a.m. and close 15 minutes after the final screening of the day starts.
  • A limited number of passes will be available for purchase at the festival box office starting at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 19, at Treasure Mountain Inn, 255 Main St.
  • Individual tickets for screenings will also be available for purchase starting at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 19, at the box office.
  • Ticket prices are as follows:Feature films — $14
    Short blocks — $10
    Polytechnic programs and DIG — free
    Opening and closing night parties — passholders onlyAll prices include a Utah sales tax and all sales are final, with no refunds, exchanges or substitutions.

    Slamdance Film Festival will run from Friday, Jan. 20, to Thursday, Jan. 26, at Treasure Mountain Inn, 255 Main St. For information, film and panel schedules and tickets, visit http://www.slamdance.com.

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