The often-times overlooked film festival, Slamdance, which takes place in that same quaint ski town of Park City, Utah at the same time as Sundance, is about to begin. While the festival may be much smaller than Sundance, the significance of the films are just as great. Last year, the breakout film HONEY BUDDIES aka BUDDYMOON premiered along with THE TAIL JOB, MAD, and many more. This year, the list looks just as promising and I’m excited to share a few of my recommendations:
In an era where we seem to have to question everything in our environment, “What Lies Upstream” goes against the governmental current to dive into the contamination of our water sources. What are you really drinking? Writer/director Cullen Hoback tackles one of the largest chemical drinking water contaminations to give us information and knowledge about a situation that may not be isolated.
“Beat Beat Heart” takes us on a journey of love, love lost, and the ever-challenging mother-daughter relationship. This film promises to make us laugh and sigh in empathy because we’ve all had a broken heart.
“Suck It Up” finds two former best friends having gone their very separate ways, uniting as they deal with loss. It’s a road trip story of friendship, secrets, and confessions with a few laughs promised as well.
“Dave Made a Maze” brings us on a fantastical journey of what could happen by building a living room fort and then getting trapped inside! It’ll be up to Dave’s girlfriend to rescue him from this magical place full of booby traps and strange creatures.
“Dim the Fluorescents” creates a darkly comic situation as a struggling actress and a playwright must make ends meet, but aren’t willing to give up their craft. The compromise? Get paid to create role-playing demonstrations for corporations.
“Kate Can’t Swim” brings us back to the innocence of young love and the delicate balance of friendships. This promises to be a refreshing look at growing up and the emotional complications associated with it.
“Automatic At Sea” blurs the lines of reality while a young traveler is stranded on an island. Is she even there? “Automatic At Sea” looks like a mind-boggling thriller that will have you glued to every scene.
“Weather House,” set in the future where climate change has made its mark, catapulting housebound residents into bizarre belief systems and actions. It’s sure to be a sometimes funny and ironic film, but may plant a few seeds of fear for our actual future.
“Neighborhood Food Drive” set with Chicago as its backdrop, follows a group of well-meaning misfits as they attempt to better their community. Their misguided intentions may bring some rather unsettling or unexpected results full of humor and drama.
And finally, “Wexford Plaza” focuses upon a lonely strip mall security guard, Betty, and her chance encounter with “deadbeat Danny.” Awkwardly hilarious yet realistic situations promise to unfold as we get to know these two characters.
One of the charming aspects of the Slamdance Film Festival is the fact that a coordinating short film is shown before the feature film, getting you ready for what’s to come. If short films are more your style, they also offer blocks of short films with specific headings such as “Experimental Shorts” and “Documentary Shorts.”
For more information about the Slamdance Film Festival, programming, location, and ticket purchases, go to Slamdance.com/Film-Festival