FILM FESTIVAL

The Slamdance Film Festival announced their Narrative and Documentary Feature Film Competition Lineup this week and looks like the festival will continue to be a haven of up-and-coming indie film charm! With 11 Narratives Features, 8 Documentary Features and 8 directorial debuts from female filmmakers, this is the start of a program you’re not going to want to miss!  Check out the full lineup below and while you’re at it you can head over to Slamdance’s site for more info and to purchase festival passes. The 2017 Slamdance Film Festival takes place in Park City, Utah from January 20 - 26. Stay tuned for more program announcements as they are released!       Narrative Features:  Aerotropolis, Taiwan Director & Screenwriter: Jheng-Neng LI Allen invested everything into a beautiful home to flip for profit only to have it languish on the market, turning his daily life into a haze of financial pressures and an erosion of reality.  Beat Beat Heart, Germany Director & Screenwriter: Luise Brinkmann Daydreaming her way out of a broken heart, Kerstin’s denial as well as her days are shaken up with the arrival of her mother, dealing with her own relationship’s demise.  Cortez, USA Director: Cheryl Nichols; Screenwriter(s): Arron Shiver, Cheryl Nichols Struggling musician Jesse tracks down his ex Anne in a small town in New Mexico, and is forced to face the decisions of his past as present day consequences set in.  Dave Made a Maze, USA Director: Bill Watterson; Screenwriter(s): Steven Sears, Bill Watterson Dave builds a fort in his living room and ends up trapped inside by fantastical pitfalls, booby traps and creatures, leaving his girlfriend Annie to head up the eccentric rescue team to go in after him.  Dim the Fluorescents, Canada Director: Daniel Warth; Screenwriter(s): Miles Barstead, Daniel Warth A struggling actress and an aspiring playwright funnel their uninhibited passion into the only paying work they can find: role-playing demonstrations for corporate seminars.  The Family, China/Australia Director & Screenwriter: Shumin Liu Liu and Deng are a couple in their 70s who set off to visit their adult children in three faraway cities, in an immersive exploration of family dynamics and daily life.  Kate Can’t Swim, USA Director: Josh Helman; Screenwriter(s): Jennifer Allcott, Josh Helman When Kate’s best friend Em returns from abroad with a surprising new lover, they embark on a reunion vacation with their partners, but the peaceful getaway quickly becomes emotionally complicated.  Kuro, France/UK/Germany/LuxembourgDirector(s) & Screenwriter(s): Joji Koyama, Tujiko Noriko A Japanese woman living in Paris tends to her paraplegic lover, passing time by recounting a story about the time they once spent together in Japan, rich with anecdotes, myths and an unexpected dark turn.  Weather House, Germany Director(s): Frauke Havemann; Co-Director: Eric Schefter; Screenwriter: Mark Johnson Set in an unspecific time of extreme climate change, an isolated group of disoriented characters develop their own strange belief systems and engage in absurd activities to process their dilemma.  Wexford Plaza, Canada Director & Screenwriter: Joyce Wong Betty is a lonely strip mall security guard, and an unexpected moment with charming deadbeat Danny ends up setting off the unraveling of both their lives.  Withdrawn, Canada Director: Adrian Murray; Screenwriter(s): Adrian Murray, Marcus Sullivan, Dean Tardioli Living in a basement he can’t afford, Aaron spends his days doing drum solos and talking his way out of paying for utilities, until he finds a lost credit card and devises a plan to defraud its owner.  Documentary Features:  Bogalusa Charm, USA Director: Stephen Richardson; Screenwriter: Jennifer Harrington Through the lens of an anachronistic charm school that has existed for almost three decades in rural Louisiana, we explore a town confronted with contemporary issues of class and race.  The Children Send Their Regards, Austria Director: Patricia Josefine Marchart; Screenwriter(s): Jakob Purkarthofer, Sepp Rothwangl, Patricia Josefine Marchart Adult victims of physical abuse by clergy members in Austria revisit the sites of their childhood trauma and make public their stories to shed light into one of the greatest crimes of the post-war period.  Hotel Coolgardie, Australia Director: Pete Gleeson Somewhere between Australia’s most isolated city and it's largest gold pit lies Coolgardie, where the arrival every three months of a new pair of foreign female backpackers to work the only bar in town is keenly anticipated by the town’s hot-blooded males.  The Modern Jungle, Mexico/USA Director(s) & Screenwriter(s): Charles Fairbanks, Saul Kak A story of globalization filtered through the fever dream of a Mexican shaman, this is an intimate portrait of Zoque culture, commodity fetish, and the predicament of documentary cinema.  On The Sly: In Search of the Family Stone, USA Director & Screenwriter: Michael Rubenstone Director and super-fan Michael Rubenstone sets out in search of long-time reclusive funk legend, Sly Stone. Along the way, he meets with some success, but finds countless more failures in trying to capture a man who refuses to be contained.  Strad Style, USA Director: Stefan Avalos A rural Ohio eccentric with an obsession for 'Stradivari' convinces a famous European concert violinist that he can make a copy of one of the most famous and valuable violins in the world. Fighting time, poverty, and most of all - himself - Danny Houck puts everything on the line for one shot at glory.  Supergirl, USA Director: Jessie Auritt Naomi seems like a typical 11-year-old Orthodox Jewish girl; watching her compete to lift almost three times her bodyweight tells a different story.  Who is Arthur Chu?, USA Director(s) & Screenwriter(s): Scott Drucker, Yu Gu Arthur Chu, eleven time Jeopardy! winner turned internet iconoclast, battles dark forces as a blogger and cultural pundit ultimately realizing that to create positive change in the world he must first heal his own wounds.

Got some free time, love the arts and looking for something to do in the city this weekend? Lucky you because the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival kicked off this week in high gear. From films, talks, games, music, TV, VR, new technologies and more, there’s pretty much something for everyone going down this weekend. Head over to the official website to check out the full schedule. Remember, grab tickets fast while you still can - many are already sold out or rush only. Good news is you have until April 30th to enjoy all of the innovative events Tribeca Film Festival is introducing!

If you can’t make it to SXSW 2017, what better way to numb away the sadness and pain by spending a few hours this week checking out Vimeo’s Streaming SXSW Channel? Watch films and music videos as if you were right there in Austin with all the other cool cats. And all from the comfort of your own home! Though the majority of selections available on the channel are narrative shorts and music videos, there are also feature length options to check out. Itching for some SXSW in your life? Head on over to Streaming @ SXSW 2017 and get watching NOW!

A few days ago, the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival announced their exciting competiton feature film line up, which you can learn more about here. And now, finally, we have been gifted with an incredible full slate of short films to look forward to next month! 57 films. 10 sections. 1 out of this world festival experience. You can check out the full list of shorts over on Variety! And don't forget: the 16th edition of the film festival runs April 19-30. 

The 2017 Tribeca Film Festival line up announcements are starting to roll in and we are already super psyched for what's on the table so far! The US Narrative, Documentary, and International Narrative competition categories have been announced, as well as Spotlight, Viewpoints, and the popular Midnight section. The 16th annual Tribeca Film Festival takes place April 19th - 30th. You can check out the latest revealed chunk of their program here - and make sure to stay tuned for more!

Last week, SXSW announced the bulk of their 2017 line-up, including all 100+ feature screenings. This week, the short films and midnighters were finally unveiled, along with SXSW’s new, inaugural virtual reality section. If you’re looking to satisfy all of your weird, sick, twisted, bizarre, innovative, eclectic, controversial tastes and get acquainted with some of the best in well-crafted storytelling that 2017 has to offer, you don’t want to miss out on this line-up! Head over to SXSW’s website to get the full program rundown.

Happy February! While you're bundling up and trying to stay WARM, it's looking like the full lineup for SXSW 2017 is shaping up to be very, very COOL. This year, the festival will screen 125 feature films, including 85 World Premieres and 51 films from first-time directors. Films, technology, panels, special events, music and more - what else could you want?! Austin is definitely the place to be this March if you're a lover of all things innovative and new. Terrence Malick's highly anticipated "Song to Song" is set to open the festival. Check out the full schedule here and start planning!

With another Slamdance Film Festival over and done with, a whole slew of oddball, outlier and unique indie films and stories are set to be unleashed out into the world and around the festival circuit. The 23rd annual festival saw a program of promising, emerging talent that will be on our radar for years to come. Check out the full list of winners below!  Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize: Dim the Fluorescents (Canada, Director: Daniel Warth)  Narrative Features Honorable Mention: Kate Can’t Swim (USA, Director: Josh Helman)  Documentary Feature Grand Jury Prize: Strad Style (USA, Director: Stefan Avalos)  Documentary Feature Honorable Mention: The Modern Jungle (USA/Mexico, Directors: Charles Fairbanks, Saul Kak)  Documentary Short Grand Jury Prize: Moriom (Switzerland, Directors: Francesca Scalisi, Mark Olexa)  Documentary Short Honorable Mention: Irregulars (Italy, Director: Fabio Palmieri)  Narrative Shorts Grand Jury Prize: No Other Way To Say It (USA, Director: Tim Mason)  Narrative Shorts Honorable Mention: Oh What a Wonderful Feeling (Canada, Director: François Jaros)  Animated Shorts Grand Jury Prize: Hold Me (Ca Caw Ca Caw) (USA, Director: Renee Zhan)   Animated Shorts Honorable Mention: My Father’s Room (South Korea, Director: Nari Jang)  Experimental Shorts Grand Jury Prize: UpCycles (USA, Director: Ariana Gerstein)  Experimental Shorts Honorable Mention: Blua (Colombia, Director: Carolina Charry Quintero)  Anarchy Shorts Grand Jury Prize: Ape Sodom (Canada, Director: Maxwell McCabe-Lokos)  Anarchy Shorts Honorable Mention: Horseshoe Theory (USA, Director: Jonathan Daniel Brown)  Spirit of Slamdance Award Winner: Neighborhood Food Drive (USA, Director: Jerzy Rose)  Audience Award for Narrative Feature: Dave Made a Maze (USA, Director: Bill Watterson)  Audience Award for Documentary Feature: Strad Style (USA, Director: Stefan Avalos)  Audience Award for Beyond Feature: Future ‘38 (USA, Director: Jamie Greenberg) 

With another exciting festival week about to wrap up, the 2017 Sundance Film Festival announced its short film awards on Wednesday, with the jury granting seven prizes overall. Check out the winners below and keep your eyes peeled for these shorts as they continue their successful runs on the festival circuit!  Short Film Grand Jury Prize: “And so we put goldfish in the pool.” (Japan, Director: Makoto Nagahisa)  Short Film Jury Award, US Fiction: “Lucia, Before and After” (USA, Director: Anu Valia)  Short Film Jury Award, International Fiction: “And The Whole Sky Fit In the Dead Cow’s Eye” (Chile/USA, Director: Francisa Alegria)  Short Film Jury Award, Non-Fiction: “Alone” (USA, Director: Garrett Bradley)  Short Film Jury Award, Animation: “Broken - The Women’s Prison at Hoheneck” (Germany, Directors: Volker Shlecht, Alexander Lahl)  Special Jury Award for Cinematography: “Dadyaa - The Woodpeckers of Rotha” (Nepal/France, Directors: Pooja Gurung, Bibhusan Basnet)  Short Film Special Jury Award for Editing: “Laps” (USA, Director: Charlotte Wells)

Yesterday, a new president. Today, a women’s march. What a time to then be in the snowy depths of Sundance Film Festival, where passionate people are celebrating a medium of storytelling. Think of all of the discussions that the independent film communities are currently having regarding their roles in the future - how they can become an even more driven, powerful force in delivering the messages we need. In light of the nationwide (heck, even worldwide) marches happening today, No Film School asked 5 female filmmakers with films at Sundance this year where they see the future of indie film. The result? Five totally different perspectives. This a total must read, so check out the full article via No Film School now!

While this week has been quite the politically challenging one, at least the indie film community had something to look forward to at week's end. Though we can't ignore the power shift happening in DC today, we can soothe our souls with a bit of filmic therapy. This is why we are estatic that both the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and Slamdance Film Festival are officially a-go! The power of cinema is strong and both festivals will introduce new indie big hitters as well as lower budget indie outliers. We can't wait to hear about the excitement, new technologies, and new stories that come out of Park City this year. If you'll be in the area, are a dreamer or just want to keep up with both of the festivals' schedules, be sure to give the Slamdance and Sundance line-ups another peak over the next week!