Slamdance making plans for an in-person 2023 festival in Park City |

Slamdance making plans for an in-person 2023 festival in Park City

Event will include an expanded virtual component

Slamdance is currently accepting submissions for its 2023 film festival. For information, visit
Peter Baxter, president and co-founder of the Slamdance Film Festival, speaks to a crowd during the festival’s the last live film awards at the Treasure Mountain Inn in 2019. After two years of virtual festivals, Slamdance plans to bring the in-person event back to Park City.
Tanzi Propst/Park Record

After two years of presenting a virtual film festival due to coronavirus concerns, Slamdance is ready for an in-person return to Park City.

The 2023 Slamdance Film Festival is scheduled to take place Jan. 20-26 at Treasure Mountain Inn, said Peter Baxter, Slamdance president and co-founder.

“To think that we’re coming back to Park City and we’re planning that right now is very exciting,” he said. “We’re beginning to look at flm submissions that are pouring in that will eventually become part of Slamdance 2023. So we’re in the full-steam-ahead mode.”

Baxter thanked Pat Quigley, general manager and managing partner of Club Lespri, which owns Treasure Mountain Inn, and former owner Andy Beerman and his wife, Thea Leonard, who made the festival’s return to Park City possible.

“They have supported us and hung in with us, even though they have been going through some challenging times,” Baxter said. “We really appreciate them and value our relationship with them, because Treasure Mountain Inn is our home on the top of Main Street.”

In addition to the in-person return, the 2023 Slamdance Film Festival will also include a virtual component that will run Jan. 23-29 on the Slamdance Channel — one of the positives that came out of Slamdance’s pivot to online screenings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Baxter.

“I think it’s important that we will never go back to the way we were before,” he said. “We had plans to begin a channel, and those plans were brought forward because of COVID.”

Launching the channel, which is available year round, allowed Slamdance to increase its audience and become more accessible to artists and film lovers around the world, Baxter said.

“We intend to keep the online presence that allows us not only to share and grow what we have,” he said. “But it also helps us with our dedication to supporting our filmmakers and independent film.”

Since its formation in 1995, Slamdance has kept to its mission to be a film festiva by filmmakers for filmmakers, Baxter said.

“We are artist driven and artist organized, and what that means is all of our films are programmed by those filmmakers who have taken part in Slamdance themselves before,” he said. “They come back to program the next Slamdance Film Festival.”

Some programmers, like Baxter, select films annually while others program for shorter periods of time.

“They leave and then they come back, but we are in touch with each and everyone of the filmmakers who have been part of Slamdance,” he said. “So it’s because of our alumni that we’re able to make Slamdance happen.”

Some of the filmmakers, such as Christopher Nolan and the Russo Brothers, have become successful in the field, Baxter said.

“Some have taken longer, but Slamdance always tries to embrace new artists who are coming through,” he said.

While Slamdance’s virtual component has helped the festival reach more people, Baxter said there is nothing like in-person gatherings where artists and audiences can share an experience centered around independent film.

That is especially true of the pandemic era, which impacted and closed down many art house theaters, he said.

“Because a number of theaters haven’t reopened, film festivals like Slamdance have a greater role to play in supporting new filmmakers and new films that have been independently made,” he said. “While we know about the bigger festivals in the United States, when we look at the collective whole of other festivals that tie into local communities you find a very powerful platform for cultural expression like the one that takes place at Treasure Mountain Inn. Long may it continue.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Park City and Summit County make the Park Record's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.