Slamdance announces special screenings and programs | ParkRecord.com

Slamdance announces special screenings and programs

Submitted by Slamdance

Dana Nachman’s “The Pick of the Litter,” a documentary where dogs learn to lead the blind into a more fulfilling life, has been selected as the opening film for Slamdance 2018.

Slamdance announced today the Special Screenings program for their 24th annual festival

In January, the festival will present four features in the Special Screenings Program: "Bernard and Huey," directed by Dan Mirvish; "Roll With Me," directed by Lisa France; "Quest," directed by Santiago Rizzo; and the world premiere of "Pick Of The Litter," directed by Don Hardy and Slamdance alumni Dana Nachman.

"Pick Of The Litter" will screen as the festival's Opening Night Film presentation, and the festival's closing night film will be "Bernard and Huey," a narrative feature directed by Slamdance co-founder Dan Mirvish and written by Pulitzer Prize and Oscar-winning cartoonist, playwright, and screenwriter, Jules Feiffer.

"This year's special screenings at Slamdance are not about movie stars, big name filmmakers or hot trending topics. They share the common theme of humanity—highlighting issues of disability, mental health, the resonance of friendship, and the extraordinary resilience of human beings," shares Paul Rachman, Slamdance co-conspirator and special screenings programmer. "From the extraordinary power of one man's determination to prove himself in Lisa France's "Roll With Me" to the reliance and trust we put in the animals and pets we share the earth with, in Dana Nachman's "The Pick of the Litter," where dogs learn to lead the blind into a more fulfilling life. The message is clear—we are all here to help each other."

In addition, Slamdance returns to Park City with the next evolution of Polytechnic, presented by G-Tech. The year-round program offers a series of cutting-edge discussions designed to provide an inclusive learning environment for new ideas and creative methods in filmmaking with an emphasis on technology, development in craft, industry trends, and DIY solutions.

In collaboration with University of Utah, Columbia University, Seed & Spark, alumni and industry partners, these daily Polytechnic programs focus on empowering emerging artists working with limited budgets in order to create future success and build long term careers.

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The Slamdance showcase DIG (Digital, Interactive & Gaming) returns to Park City and will feature new and unseen works by emerging visual artists and indie game developers from around the world.

This year the showcase will feature 3 unique works: BVOVB: Bruising Vengeance of the Vintage Boxer; The Game: The Game and The (De)escalation Room.

"The (De)escalation Room is a unique presentation that will headline both the DIG and Polytechnic program. It is a workshop-style experience will transform audience members into participants, working together to collaboratively explore de-escalation.

The project is from Columbia University's School of the Arts' Digital Storytelling Lab (Columbia DSL) and School of Social Work's SAFElab, and is led by storyteller and Slamdance alumnus Lance Weiler and interactive narrative designer Nick Fortugno.

BVOVB: Bruising Vengeance of the Vintage Boxer by Michal Rostock is inspired by classic arcade brawlers (Double Dragon, Final Fight) with many enemies, some boss fights and a simple storyline. All in the style of old silent movies with a ragtime themed soundtrack. Both characters and backgrounds are based on original black-and-white photos from the '20s and '30s. The Game: The Game by Angela Washko presents the persistent practices of several prominent seduction coaches (aka pick-up artists) through the format of a dating simulator.

The festival also announced the Directors Guild of America (DGA) as Presenting Sponsor.

This milestone celebrates the 20 years of collaboration between Slamdance and the DGA. The careers of several prominent DGA members can be traced back to Slamdance: Joon-ho Bong ("Barking Dogs Never Bite"), Lena Dunham ("Dealing"), and Rian Johnson ("Evil Demon Golf Ball from Hell!!!"), The Russo Brothers ("Pieces") and Lynn Shelton ("We Go Way Back").

"We stand by Slamdance, the creative community it's developed among directors with its mantra, 'By Filmmakers, For Filmmakers' and eagerly await their next group of filmmakers who will join our ranks." said Valerie Faris & Jonathan Dayton, Co-Chairs, DGA Independent Directors Committee

The 2018 Slamdance Film Festival will run Jan. 19-25. Both DIG and Polytechnic are free programs, open to the public. All presentations will be held at Treasure Mountain Inn.

The following is the special screening, polytechnic program and DIG lineups:

SPECIAL SCREENING LINEUP

Bernard and Huey

(USA) – Narrative Feature, director: Dan Mirvish, screenwriter: Jules Feiffer. Cast: Jim Rash, David Koechner, Mae Whitman, Sasha Alexander, Eka Darville, Richard Kind, Nancy Travis, Bellamy Young

Synopsis: From a script by Oscar/Pulitzer-winner Jules Feiffer (Carnal Knowledge), this is the story of two men behaving badly, and the strong women who rein them in.

Pick Of The Litter

(USA) World Premiere – Documentary Feature, directors: Dana Nachman, Don Hardy, screenwriter: Dana Nachman. Synopsis: Pick of the Litter follows a litter of puppies from birth through the day they make it to become a Guide Dog and into the hands of a blind person, or… get cut from the program. The audience comes along on the two-year odyssey as the five dogs train to become guide dogs. Only the best dog will make the cut.

Quest

(USA) Narrative Feature, director: Santiago Rizzo, screenwriters: Santiago Rizzo, Darren Anderson. Cast: Dash Mihok, Lou Diamond Phillips, Lakeith Stanfield, Betsy Brandt, Greg Kasyan, Marlyne Barrett, Sepideh Moafi, Tobit Raphael

Synopsis: Quest is a non-romantic story of love, about a friendship between a 12-year-old graffiti addict who faces constant abuse from his step-father, and a teacher named Tim Moellering who believes there is no such thing as a bad kid — only a bad situation. Based on the stories of their lives, the first draft of Quest was written by director Santiago Rizzo and his teacher Tim Moellering. This is their story.

Roll With Me

(USA) Documentary Feature, director: Lisa France, screenwriter: Jeff Buccellato, Lisa France. Documentary subjects: Gabriel Cordell, Christopher Kawas. Synopsis: After hitting rock-bottom, a newly sober paraplegic attempts to save his gang-banger nephew's life by bringing him along on a 3,100-mile wheelchair trek across the United States. What starts out as a challenge to push an unmodified wheelchair from California to New York, morphs into a transcendent journey.

POLYTECHNIC PROGRAM

Crowdfunding for Career Independence

With Emily Best & Gerry Maravilla, Friday, Jan. 19, noon-1:30 p.m.

Emily Best and Gerry Maravilla from Seed&Spark will share how crowdfunding can be an important tool for raising funds, widening your audience, and communicating with current and future fans.

Two Brothers, Twenty Years: The Russo Brothers' Past and Future

With Joe and Anthony Russo, Saturday, Jan. 20, noon-1:30 p.m.

While working on myriad projects over two decades, the Russos have seen old-fashioned theater-going give way to pocket computers, streaming services, and endless OnDemand options. Amidst these changes, the brothers rose to studio heights while retaining the authenticity and artist-driven focus of independent filmmakers.

(De)escalation Room by Columbia DSL, with Lance Weiler, Sunday, Jan. 21, noon-2 p.m.

The goal of the (De)escalation Room project is to design a creative framework that allows people to take the lead in creating their own immersive, collaborative experiences. Within these experiences, they'll be able to teach each other how to identify escalating situations and safely de-escalate them; change norms around escalation; and leave room for self and group reflection on the process.

When I Was You I Wish I Knew: The Ins and Outs of Distribution With John Charles Meyer & Cullen Hoback, Monday, Jan. 22, noon-1:30 p.m.

Slamdance alums John Charles Meyer ("Dave Made a Maze") and Cullen Hoback ("What Lies Upstream") remember how exhausting, overwhelming, and scary a time like this can be, no matter what sort of distribution possibilities filmmakers are considering.

DIG LINEUP

(De)escalation Room Columbia University's School of the Arts' Digital Storytelling Lab and School of Social Work's SAFElab, and is led by storyteller, entrepreneur and Slamdance Alumnus Lance Weiler.

BVOVB: Bruising Vengeance of the Vintage Boxer by Michal Rostocki.

The game is inspired by classic arcade brawlers (Double Dragon, Final Fight) with many enemies, some boss fights and a simple storyline. All in the style of old silent movies with a ragtime themed soundtrack. Both characters and backgrounds are based on original black-and-white photos from the '20s and '30s.

The Game: The Game by Angela Washko

The Game: The Game is a video game presenting the practices of several prominent seduction coaches (aka pick-up artists) through the format of a dating simulator. In the game these pick-up gurus attempt to seduce the player using their signature techniques taken verbatim from their instructional books and video materials. Washko hopes to add levels of complexity to public conversations around both pick-up and feminism which have both found themselves most often presented in highly polarized, dichotomous positions in mainstream media.

"Slamdance was born out of a determination to show the direct, unfiltered voice of independent artists to audiences." said Peter Baxter, Slamdance Co-Founder and President. "Our line-up, and the massive support shown from our alumni and partners, embody who we are; an artist-led and artist-driven organization that influences media culture and discovers commercial trends before others do."

For information visit http://www.slamdance.com.