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2012 Slamdance Winners

Written by: FFT Webmaster | February 1st, 2012

Amidst the heady week of activities in Park City, Utah, the Slamdance Film Festival had one of its strongest line-ups in years. Savvy buyers and programmers sampled the films at the event, which was held at the Treasure Mountain Inn at the top of Main Street. The 18th edition of the Festival announced its jury and audience awards at a low-key celebration last Thursday. Feature films and shorts were in the running in the Audience, Grand Jury, and Sponsored Award categories. The award winners were announced at the annual Closing Night Awards Ceremony on Thursday evening at the Treasure Mountain Inn. As in previous years, juries of leading industry experts and esteemed filmmakers chose among the titles. The feature competition films in the Documentary and Narrative Programs are limited to first-time filmmakers working with production budgets less than $1 million. For more information on the winners and the other films at this year’s 2012 Slamdance Film Festival, visit:



Audience Award for Feature Documentary: GETTING UP by Caskey Ebeling

Audience Award for Feature Narrative: BINDLESTIFFS by Andrew Edison


Grand Jury Sparky Award for Feature Narrative: WELCOME TO PINE HILL by Keith Miller, “for  its poetic and emotionally honest depiction of one man’s final journey in life, crafted from a true spirit of humanity and community.”

Special Jury Award for Bold Originality: HEAVY GIRLS by Axel Ranisch, “for its joie de vivre, an incredibly life-affirming film that is presented with a unique vision and an amazing cast.”


Grand Jury Sparky Award for Feature Documentary: NO ASHES, NO PHOENIX by Jens Pfeifer, “for its adeptly piercing and cinematic look at a basketball team’s impassioned struggle not for glory, but to just avoid losing.”

Grand Jury Sparky Award for Short Documentary: THE PROFESSIONAL by Skylar Neilsen, for “an honest and natural portrayal of work-as-life, and the slowly disappearing craft of an American working man.”


Grand Jury Sparky Award for Animation: VENUS by Tor Fruergaard, “for its creative use of claymation characters to explore sexual adventure and its lighthearted, touching and memorable story.”

Grand Jury Sparky Award for Short Film: I AM JOHN WAYNE by Christina Choe, “for its unique storytelling, cinematography and performances, including the brilliant use of a real horse in an urban environment.”

Special Jury Prize for Experimental Short: SOLIPSIST by Andrew Huang, “for its unique blend of live action footage of the human body, puppetry and computer animation that creates a colorful and insightful fantasy world.”

Honorable Mention for Best Ensemble: I’M COMING OVER by Sam Handel, “for its extraordinary ensemble which creates a world that extends beyond the film’s 25 minute length.”


Spirit of Slamdance Sparky Award: HEAVY GIRLS (Dicke Mädchen) – Axel Ranisch, Heiko Pinkowski, Anne Baeker. Awarded by the Class of 2012 Slamdance Filmmakers to the film team that best embodies the creative, independent, and entrepreneurial spirit of the festival, as well as showing exceptional talent as artists.

The Kodak Vision Award for Best Cinematography: FAITH, LOVE AND WHISKEY by Kristina Nikolova, “for shooting every single frame of this picture in a way that is not only pleasing to the eye, but also strongly supportive to the story being told.”

Panasonic AF100 Award for ‘The Five Flavors of Filmmaking’ Competition: Josh Gibson, director of the short film KUDZU VINE. Five filmmaking teams created one-minute films during the 2012 Slamdance Film Festival. The winning team exemplifies excellence in visual storytelling and receives a Panasonic AF100 Camera Package.

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