Slamdance Feature Film Competition Lineup
NARRATIVE COMPETITION FILMS
Birds Without Feathers
USA // Desperate for human interaction, six emotionally damaged individuals risk self respect, shedding their disillusionment in a last grasp for happiness. A cruel-world comedy populated by struggling Instagram stars, Russian cowboys, self-help gurus and more, their lives collide and crash in astounding ways.
Charlie And Hannah’s Grand Night Out
Belgium // Two girls. One night. Magical candy consumed. Twenty-somethings Charlie and Hannah find themselves strolling through the city as events take a wildly surreal turn. Transported to a trippy galaxy, filled with cosmic wisdom and contradictions, the pair realizes the search for love can take many forms.
Canada // Shy Theo finds himself unexpectedly kicked in the heart by a punk-rock romance on his 18th birthday as Mag bursts into his life for a rollicking encounter. Set against a backdrop of music and mayhem, this coming-of-age tale explores the thrashing fragility of summer love as life choices and separation loom with no true answers in sight.
USA // Hana, a Korean immigrant on winter break, is caught between worlds. While struggling to find peace with her conservative mother and the expectations surrounding her future, Hana finds herself falling for Nico, a tender and affectionate Latina music producer.
USA // This richly earnest drama follows Geneviève, a surrogate who must reckon with her ambivalence about the pregnancy and her precarious feelings for the parents-to-be.
Denmark // In the streets, parks and cafes of Copenhagen, a triptych of love stories come to vivid life. Framed with a superb naturalism, these tales through the seasons tackle the ever-rising tide of loneliness and self-doubt that can come in the face of new love.
Canada, Germany // Wayward Canadian Matthew, crushed by the isolation of being new to Berlin, turns his sexual desires toward Matthias that spiral into a dark fixation of assumed identity. Soon, this obsessive power struggle between the two careens toward brutal passion and violence in a bid for dominance.
Rock Steady Row
USA // Demented chaos rules this bizarro-world college campus where the reigning gang-frats target a freshman who dares cross their path. Trapped between a blaze of twisted ‘Mad Max’ style power games, he shrewdly plays both sides, fueling apocalyptic battles that escalate to ensnare the school dean, who’s coming unglued.
Songs in the Sun
Denmark // Off the coast of Denmark, young Anna discovers she is the only lifeline to ailing childhood friend Julie and Sonja, Julie’s apathetic mother. Over the course of one momentous afternoon, Anna will learn the healing power of belief and mythmaking in everyday living.
The Starry Sky Above Me
France // Bruno is happy to live out his days luxuriating in the existential highs and lows only a brilliant literary mind can appreciate. But when his loved ones seek to intervene with the help of a psychiatrist, Bruno’s bohemian lifestyle may in fact be the perfect anecdote to the colorless, PC lives they didn’t know they hated.
DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION FILMS
Ecuador, USA // James and Ashley travel to the jungles of Ecuador to make a documentary about a school being built for an indigenous community only to discover that the community may or may not be involved in aliens, gold smuggling, human trafficking and murder.
Freedom for the Wolf
Germany, USA // From Hong Kong to Tunisia to Bollywood, people are fighting against elected leaders who are dismantling freedom and democracy. These seemingly disparate international stories are cohesively tied into what is happening in the U.S. to reach some very compelling conclusions.
USA // An intimate look at a woman who left her life as a successful fashion designer and mother in Texas to become a reclusive hermit, immersed in nature, focused solely on creating art.
Netherlands // An essayistic quest for the secret of instant film, the magic appeal of Polaroid and what that tells us about the fascinating relationship we have with the photographic image.
Man on Fire
USA // Grand Saline, Texas was a sleepy, unremarkable town — until a white preacher lit himself on fire to protest the town’s racism in 2014.
USA // Germán is a young artist and filmmaker struggling to complete his first feature film and express his undying love to a girl while secretly living at an airport and trying to stay sane.
Mr. Fish: Cartooning From The Deep End
USA // This personal documentary follows a controversial political cartoonist as he struggles to provide for his family and stay true to his creativity in a world where biting satiric humor has an ever-diminishing commercial value.
Belgium, Netherlands // On a seaside mountain in Northern California two old friends (one a visionary architect and the other an influential sound artist) dream, talk, live, and create.
SLAMDANCE SPECIAL SCREENINGS
Bernard and Huey
USA // 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 // 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.
USA // 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 // After hitting rock bottom, a newly-sober paraplegic attempts to save his gangbanger 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.
Crowdfunding for Career Independence
With Emily Best & Gerry Maravilla, Friday, Jan. 19 – Noon – 1:30 p.m.
(De)escalation Room by Columbia DSL
With Lance Weiler, Sunday, Jan. 21 – Noon – 2 p.m.
Two Brothers, Twenty Years: The Russo Brothers’ Past and Future
With Joe and Anthony Russo, Saturday, Jan. 20 – Noon – 1:30 p.m.
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.
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
Your glory days as a boxer are long gone. Once a champ, now a bum. All you care about is beer and your dog – Max the Rottweiler. Unfortunately, your faithful dog has been stolen and you must get him back and punish the ones responsible.
The Game: The Game by Angela Washko
This video game presents 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.