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Slamdance Film Festival Announces 2011 Award Winners

Written by: FFT Webmaster | February 2nd, 2011

Park City, Utah – Slamdance announced its 2011 Award Winners. The 2011 Slamdance Film Festival, which concluded tonight with an Awards Ceremony at Treasure Mountain Inn, received a record number of over 5,000 submissions and programmed 83 films this year. 2011 marked the 17th anniversary of the Slamdance Film Festival, one of the few remaining film festivals whose sole mission is to support truly independent works from first-time filmmakers staying true to its mission of “by filmmakers, for filmmakers.”

There are three competitive divisions at Slamdance: Grand Jury, Audience Awards and Special Sponsored Awards provided by Kodak, Panasonic, Dos Equis and Good Health. In addition this year Slamdance adds a theatrical distribution award to best feature and short film, offering an alternative to the traditional US theatrical system. Theatrical showings of the winning short and feature program, along with selections from the Grand Jury and Audience Award winning films will be screened in several domestic venues throughout the year, including the IFC Center in New York and 14 Pews in Houston.

As always the Feature competitions are limited to first-time filmmakers working with production budgets of $1 million or less. In addition, this year Slamdance donated 10 percent of its Park City box office proceeds back to the filmmakers.

Slamdance continued to create new avenues for its filmmakers expanding beyond Park City during the festival with the second annual Filmmaker Summit and its exclusive VOD/EST distribution agreement with Microsoft. Slamdance presented the second annual Filmmaker Summit, along with the Ford Foundation, IndieFlix and Banyan Branch, bringing together some of the most innovative thinkers in the industry. Speakers included Scilla Andreen (IndieFlix), Tiffany Shlain (Director: ‘Connected’, ‘Yelp’), Brian Newman (subgenre media), Jenny Samppala (Banyan Branch), Amy Powell (‘Paranormal Activity’), Lance Weiler (‘Pandemic 1.0’), John Anderson (Variety), Orlando Bagwell (Ford Foundation), and Greg Pak (comic book scribe and filmmaker).

As of opening day at the festival, select Competition Feature Films were made available via Zune video Marketplace as part of this year’s Festival and VOD Showcase for the duration of the festival, January 20-27. Select films included narrative features Modern Imbecile’s Planet World, Snow On Tha Bluff and The Beast Pageant; documentary features Road Dogs and Scrapper, as well as films from previous years’ festivals. In addition, opening this week at the IFC Center in New York is past Slamdance Grand Jury Documentary Winner, Strongman.

“Not every filmmaker is going home with a Sparky award but like never before it seems everyone is a winner at Slamdance. By coming together as a community, each of our filmmakers has been empowered by what Slamdance has created this week and in the long run I think this experience will be most useful and rewarding,” stated Peter Baxter, Co-founder and President of Slamdance.
The winners of the 17th Annual Slamdance Film Festival and their prize packages are as follows:


Grand Jury Sparky Award for Best Narrative Film
Winner: STRANGER THINGS, written and directed by Eleanor Burke and Ron Eyal
Special Jury Mention: WITHOUT, written and directed by Mark Jackson
The Slamdance jury would like to recognize Joslyn Jensen with a special jury award for her creative, nuanced, and moving performance in WITHOUT.

Grand Jury Sparky Award for Best Documentary Film
Winner: BHOPALI, directed by Van Maximillian Carlson
Special Jury Mention: FORDSON, directed by Rashid Ghazi
The Slamdance jury was moved by this great American story about life, liberty and the pursuit of football.

Grand Jury Sparky Award for Best Animated Short
Winner: BOTTLE, written and directed by Kirsten Lepore

Grand Jury Sparky Award for Best Narrative Short
Winner: BIRD, written and directed by Petr Stupin
Special Jury Mention: SON OF NONE, written and directed by Todd Looby
For its compelling docudrama approach, wonderful lead performance, and stunning final sequence, the Slamdance jury would like to give a special mention to SON OF NONE.

Grand Jury Sparky Award for Best Documentary Short
Winner: OAKS, directed by Charles Wittenmeier


Audience Sparky Award for Best Narrative Film
Winner: SILVER TONGUES, written and directed by Simon Arthur
Winner also receives $3500 in Legal Services from Pierce Law Group.

Audience Sparky Award for Best Documentary Film
Winner: BHOPALI, directed by Van Maximilian Carlson
Winner also receives $3500 in Legal Services from Pierce Law Group.

Spirit of Slamdance Sparky Award
Winner: SHUNKA, directed by CJ Gardella
Awarded by the Class of 2011 filmmakers to the film teams that best embodies the spirit of the festival, creatively promoting their film, joyfully participating in screenings and events, as well as showing exceptional talent as an artist. Sponsored by Good Health.


Kodak Vision Award for Best Cinematography
Winner: SHUNKA, directed by CJ Gardella
Winner also receives 10,000 feet of Kodak film for the filmmaker to make their next feature.

Panasonic AF100 Award for Best “Road To Park City” Short Film Award
Winner: The Road to Park City is Paved with Artists, written and directed by Kevin Brennan and Doug Manley
Director of Photgraphy, Louis Holland

Slamdance / Adobe Re-cut Competition Award
Winner: Nelson Vunda

Slamdance Theatrical Release Offer Award
Feature Winner: SUPERHEROES, directed by Michael Barnett; written by Michael Barnett & Theodore James
Short Winner: HELLO CALLER, directed by Andrew Putschoegl; written by Tom Lenk

Slamdance 2011 Awards are sponsored by Adobe, Dos Equis, Kodak, Panasonic, Good Health and Pierce Law Group.

About Slamdance
As a year-round organization, Slamdance serves as a showcase for the discovery of new and emerging talent and is dedicated to the nurturing and development of new independent artists and their vision. For the 2011 Festival, Slamdance received a record number of over 5,000 submissions. Slamdance Film Festival, presented again by Kodak, will run concurrently with the Sundance Film Festival, January 21-27, 2011 in Park City, Utah. Slamdance lives by its mantra: “By Filmmakers, For Filmmakers.” No other festival is fully programmed by filmmakers. Slamdance counts among its alumni many notable writers and directors who first gained notice at the festival, including Christopher Nolan, Marc Forster, Jared Hess and Oren Peli. In 2010, Slamdance began a video on demand partnership with Microsoft and will continue to expand its exhibition efforts in 2011 both theatrically and online. New filmmakers and writers today realize Slamdance is a great place to launch their careers. For more information, log onto and follow Slamdance on Twitter and Facebook.

Sponsors of Slamdance include Kodak, Adobe, Dos Equis, Good Health, Panasonic, Pierce Law Group, Directors Guild of America, POM Wonderful and One Bar USA.

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