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(PARK CITY, UT – September 2nd, 2014) The Slamdance Film festival, celebrating its 20th year and still running concurrently with the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, will bring special independent feature film events to Utah, on September 10 in Salt Lake City, and September 11 in Park City, as part of its critically acclaimed annual Slamdance On The Road series.

Slamdance On The Road is a worldwide, year-round, and rapidly growing traveling celebration of Slamdance filmmakers and their bold vision for independent film. The series brings Slamdance films to unique venues across America and internationally, to audiences that would otherwise not have the chance to experience them. Next month, the 2014 Slamdance On The Road presented by CreativeFuture will have completed thirteen successful events in eight months, in cities like New York, Los Angeles, Austin, San Francisco, and Vancouver, among others.

On September 10th, Slamdance On The Road in collaboration with the Salt Lake Film Society, brings Academy-Award nominated animator Bill Plympton’s new feature film Cheatin’ to the Tower Theatre in Salt Lake City. Cheatin’ features a lush, hand-drawn animation style designed for a dramatic film-going audience. "I'm so excited to have my feature film Cheatin' premiere at the Slamdance On The Road in Salt Lake City. It's the kind of film that will make Walt Disney roll over in his freezer," states director Bill Plympton.

On September 11th, Slamdance On The Road will showcase Pat Kiely’s Slamdance feature film selection Three Night Stand as part of the 2014 Park City Film Series at the Prospector Theater. Three Night Stand is a comedy of errors that plays out as a married couple’s romantic vacation is diverted by the husband’s ex-girlfriend. The feature film will be preceded by Matthew Salleh's short, Pablo's Villa.

Feature filmmakers will be present for Q&A’s via Skype at both events.

"There's nothing quite like coming home to Utah after a successful On The Road tour and presenting your final program at the Tower and Prospector Theaters,” states Slamdance’s Peter Baxter who will be in attendance for both screenings.

"We're thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase Slamdance films at the Park City Film Series and kick off our 2014/2015 season with a celebration of truly independent film and filmmakers," states Katharine Wang, Executive Director of the Park City Film Series. "As the only mission-driven Art House Cinema in Summit County, this is a great opportunity to introduce our patrons to the breadth of talent that comes out of the Slamdance Film Festival."

"Salt Lake Film Society loves working with Slamdance because we have similar goals: fostering filmmakers and exhibiting independent films," states Amy Beth Leber, Director of Operations & Community Programs at the Salt Lake Film Society.

The Slamdance Film Festival will return to Park City, UT for its 21st edition, taking place from January 23rd - 29th, 2015 at the Treasure Mountain Inn, located at 255 Main Street, Park City, UT 84060. Film submissions are currently open until October 16th, 2014.

Slamdance is a year-round organization and film festival that serves as a showcase for the discovery and development of emerging independent talent and innovative filmmaking. Slamdance is the only festival programmed entirely by filmmakers and is a fertile ground for new filmmakers to begin their careers. The film festival began as an alternative to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah and they continue to run concurrently.

Notable Slamdance alumni who first gained notice at the festival include: Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Rises), Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity), Marc Forster (World War Z), Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite), Lena Dunham (Girls), Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Anthony & Joe Russo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses) and Lynn Shelton (Humpday).

Slamdance's On The Road events and Slamdance Studios' developing commercial distribution platform continue to increase opportunities for filmmakers both internationally and domestically. Slamdance Studios released earlier in the year Nicole Teeny's Bible Quiz theatrically and in partnership with Virgil Films on Netflix, other VOD platforms and DVD. In partnership with Vimeo On Demand, Slamdance Studios is developing Slamdance 20, a collection of twenty festival award-winning and audience favorite films; titles include Matt Johnson's The Dirties, Andrew Edison's Bindlestiffs, and Daniel Martinico's OK, Good. The 2014 On The Road tour is presented by CreativeFuture.

The 2015 Slamdance Film Festival is currently open for submissions until October 16th, with its regular deadline on September 5th. Submission categories include Narrative Features & Shorts, Documentary Features & Shorts, Beyond Features, Animation & Experimental Shorts. Although the features competition is reserved for first time filmmakers only, the Beyond Features section is for filmmakers working beyond their first films. The festival program is selected entirely from blind submissions.

2014 Slamdance Film Festival Sponsors included Blackmagic Design, Gawk, MixBit, the Directors Guild of America, Vimeo and Salt Lake City's BlueStar Juice Bar and Cafe. Slamdance is proud to partner with sponsors who support emerging artists and push the boundaries of independent filmmaking.

Additional information about Slamdance is available at www.slamdance.com.

Connect with Slamdance:
twitter.com/slamdance | facebook.com/SlamdanceFilmFestival

‪#‎AskSparky‬, is Slamdance's Q&A series where you can ask ‪#‎Slamdancers‬ questions on Twitter. Our second session took place on June 12th at 11am PST. Josh Mandel, producer and Slamdance alum & programmer was online to answer, in 140 characters or less, questions about filmmaking and programming for Slamdance. The new film he produced, UNCERTAIN TERMS, premieres at LA Film Fest on 6/14.

In case you missed the Q&A, here's how it went down:

JM: Hi guys! @JMMandel here. Today I'm talking @Slamdance programming & producing films. Look forward to your questions. Use #AskSparky hashtag.

Q: First as a filmmaker and then as a Slamdance programmer what advice would you give a filmmaker starting out today?

JM: To kick off our #AskSparky, I'd like to offer a valuable piece of advice to all filmmakers starting out today: watch movies. Lots of them. How can you know what festivals, distributors, audiences are looking for if you don't watch films being made around you?

Q: How do you find the films/filmmakers you produce with?

JM: One of the perks of programming for Slamdance is getting to meet exciting new filmmakers on the verge of breaking out. I found the director of my latest film, UNCERTAIN TERMS, through Slamdance. Nathan was a Shorts alumnus.

Q: What are you most excited about in 2015 programming for Slamdance?

JM: Slamdance 2015 is about expanding the scope and reach, giving more opportunities to filmmakers to connect with audiences.

Q: In terms of time, effort and money, do you think people understand what is involved in the the making of a film?

JM: It's easier than ever to start a film. Crowd-funding, cheaper gear, etc. But, many underestimate one cost: time.

Q: What is the most important part of a short film, for you?

JM: A great short is never too long. Length, style, are secondary. What you're trying to say in your film is key. Voice.

Q: What qualities do you look for in a writer/director you'd consider working with?

JM: Many qualities I look for in a director I want to work with: fresh voice, passion, vision and being a collaborator.

Q: You're the co-captain of Beyond at Slamdance, can you explain to everyone what that category is?

JM: Beyond section showcases films from emerging filmmakers working just beyond their 1st feature, but yet to break out.

Q: What advice would you give to a young filmmaker about how they should distribute their work?

JM: Best advice for distributing your work goes back to watching current films. See which distributors took similar films.

Q: Are you seeing any major trends in your current submissions?

JM: We're early in submissions to note trends. But, we always see trends every year that reflect the state of filmmaking.

Q: Money is a tricky web in film, what are your rules for financing small films?

JM: They say more money means more problems. Micro budget has its own problems. But, major benefit of making small films is the control.

Q: Have you ever found your work available for free online without your permission? How did you feel about that?

JM: I've found earlier films available free online. I'd rather see them on legit sites with higher quality, even for no money.

Q: Any stats on how many Slam films use crowd-funding campaigns?

JM: We'd love to get more stats on Slamdance films using crowd-funding, and not limited to just Kickstarter.

Q: There are some who say that the way to reach audiences today is to give your stuff away for free. Thoughts?

JM: Filmmakers already make too little. Giving away films for free hurts. But, exposure can lead to next film and more money.

Q: What's the most important thing a filmmaker can do to be true to their vision?

JM: Filmmakers can draw inspiration from other films/filmmakers, but should experiment a lot to find their own voice.

Q: If there were one ineffective trend in current indie filmmaking that you could eradicate, what would it be?

JM: Ongoing & ineffective trend in indie film that should die: underwriting characters such that stories lack purpose.

Q: Should young filmmakers still invest in short films or strive for producing their own feature right away?

JM: Shorts are still valuable. Some filmmakers go from directing 1 short to 1st feature. Others need 5 shorts. No rush.

Q: How best for filmmakers who live outside of major film centers to meet collaborators?

JM: Filmmakers are everywhere. A good way to connect with other filmmakers when not in LA, NY etc is at film festivals.

Q: How beneficial can a festival like Slamdance prove to be for foreign filmmakers?

JM: Foreign films shine at Slamdance & introducing foreign filmmakers to US distributors and audiences. Bong Joon-Ho, Marc Forster...

Q: How has Slamdance helped you since your premiere in 2005? #RingersLordoftheFans

JM: Slamdance gave my filmmaking career a jump start with RINGERS. The exposure I got led to distribution and more films. One thing that makes Slamdance unique among other top festivals is that it's programmed 100% by working filmmakers. As a programmer & producer, I work year round to support indie film. UNCERTAIN TERMS was made with the same spirit as the films I program.

Q: So you've got a feature script, a trailer and a package...what's your advice for finding the money to make it come to life?

JM: A good package is important for financing. Seek investors that know your work or like the kind of film you want to make.

JM: Thanks for all the great questions! UNCERTAIN TERMS plays at LA Film Fest on 6/14 & 6/17. Hope to see you there! http://bit.ly/1nLjxQO 

This concluded our 2nd round of #AskSparky! Thanks to Josh Mandel & for all the questions, if yours wasn't answered, join us next time!

Stay tuned @Slamdance for our future #AskSparky Q&As!

As of June 10 2014, Slamdance Studios' newest release, Bible Quiz, is available on home video and VOD! You can watch the film now on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Instant, and DVD through Virgil Films.

Bible Quiz, the 2013 Slamdance Film Festival Grand Jury winner, follows seventeen-year-old Mikayla as she memorizes thousands of Bible verses on her quest to win the National Bible Quiz Championship and the heart of JP, her quiz team captain. This John Hughes-eque documentary explores coming of age in the midst of faith, doubt, fierce competition, and teen love.

Praise for Bible Quiz:

"an unpredictable pleasure" - Los Angeles Times

"vulnerable and charming" - LA Weekly

"It’s a nicely drawn character piece that hits so many chords about what it’s like to be a teenager. While the tiny budget and team of newbie filmmakers are almost always in evidence, this doc more than makes up for it in heart". - NonFics.Com

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