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Los Angeles, CA - October 16, 2014Search For Life, written by Andrea Janakas, has won the 2014 Slamdance Screenplay Competition Grand Prize. Search For Life tells the story of a widowed man who, when he investigates why his wife’s internal organs are missing, discovers that both she and other human beings are alive - and being replaced! Janakas was awarded a total of $7,000 in cash prizes for her Original Teleplay at an Awards Ceremony hosted by the Writers Guild of America, West last night on October 15th, 2014.

Over 2,500 submissions competed for prizes in the 2014 Slamdance Screenplay Competition. Slamdance recognizes four categories; each top place received additional cash prizes, or in the case of best Short/Webisode, the option to be produced and premiere at the 2016 Slamdance Film Festival. The top Slamdance screenplays in each category are as follows:

Search For Life by Andrea Janakas
$5,000 cash prize

1st Place - The 3 Faces of Hunger & Thirst by HF Crum
$2,000 cash prize & entertainment legal service award from Pierce Law Group, LLP
Based on a true story, the 116 minutes leading up to the assassination of a visionary Mexican presidential candidate told from the POVs of three would-be assassins.

2nd Place - Tween the Ropes by Elizabeth Oyebode
3rd Place - Southern Knights by Scott Bloom & Myra Turley

1st Place - The Hounds of House Rearden by Sean Patrick Geraghty
$2,000 cash prize
A park ranger is recruited by his father and former senator to hunt a murderous creature which turns out to be nothing like anyone expected.

2nd Place - The Chapel by Ben Botwick
3rd Place - Monstrous by Melody Cooper

1st Place - Over the Line (And Far Away) by David Shushan
Option to be produced & premiere at Slamdance 2016, plus entertainment legal service award from Pierce Law Group, LLP
Ready to end his life, a man climbs on a building ledge only to discover he has to take a number and wait in line.

2nd Place - ERAe by Ande Cunningham
Joint 3rd Place - Parable From Calcutta by Thom Newell
Joint 3rd Place - Scallywags by Donna Mae Foronda

1st Place - Search For Life by Andrea Janakas
$2,000 cash prize

2nd Place - Thread by Dane Anderson
3rd Place - Chronology by Julie Restivo & Oren Kaplan

The Slamdance Screenplay Competition is sponsored by Pierce Law Group, LLP and its Awards Ceremony is hosted by the Writers Guild of America, West. WGAW Vice President Howard A. Rodman states, "The WGAW joins Slamdance in supporting emerging writers. Slamdance's annual Screenplay Competition has always found writers of talent and promise, and has helped expose their truly deserving work to the larger community."

“This year’s screenplays stood out from the thousands of submissions and impressed us with their originality and strong storylines,” states Festival Director Anna Germanidi. “We are very excited to welcome these talented writers into the Slamdance family and follow their work to the big screen.”

The Competition has established a reputation for finding production-worthy screenplays written by emerging talent. Early examples include Joshua Marston's Maria Full of Grace and The Woodsman written by Nicole Kassel and Stephen Fetcher. Every year finalists' work is acquired for production, such as the Cairns brothers’ 100 Bloody Acres, Chad Crawford Kinkle’s Jug Face and Clayton Sakoda’s Swine. New York animator and Slamdance alumnus Wally Chung is currently in production with the 2013 Short Screenplay Winner, Think Ink by Emily Hu, which is set to premiere as a Special Screening at the 2015 Festival. The 21st Slamdance Film Festival will take place in Park City, UT at the Treasure Mountain Inn, from January 23-29, 2015.

About Slamdance
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 (Interstellar), 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 was presented by CreativeFuture.

The 2015 Slamdance Film Festival submissions close on October 16th. 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.

2015 Slamdance Film Festival Sponsors include The Fusion Doc Challenge, Directors Guild of America and Salt Lake City's BlueStar Juice Bar and Cafe. 2014 Slamdance Film Festival Sponsors included Blackmagic Design, Gawk, MixBit and Vimeo. Slamdance is proud to partner with sponsors who support emerging artists and push the boundaries of independent filmmaking.

Press Contact:
Annie Jeeves / Cinematic Red
O: 323-834-9733
C: 310-995-3834

We all know Slamdance is the festival for first-timers, but what about that Beyond section? Some filmmakers seem skeptical of its importance. It’s out of competition, doesn’t sound as shiny as First-Time-Director, and there are only five slots available. So what’s the point in submitting?

Slamdance Filmmaker J.R. Hughto was part of the very first Beyond section in 2013. He sat down to answer a few questions about his Beyond film Diamond on Vinyl which premiered at the 19th Slamdance Film Festival in Park City. You can rent the film on multiple VOD platforms and find out more information on their website.

Here’s what he had to say.

How did you find out about the Beyond program at Slamdance?
As part of the first class, the first time I heard about the Beyond program was when Anna called me to let me know I was accepted into it! This is what I said to Ben Umstead of Twitch way back when...

"I was coming out of a parking structure, walking from my car, on my way to work. I work right across the street from Graumann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood. It is a very strange place to work as there is a tremendous number of tourists and all the people dressed up and yelling to try and get the tourists to do what they want. So I couldn't quite hear when I got the call...I knew that there was some good news happening. I was like "Hang on a second, I'm about to walk into the foyer" and then "Okay, can you repeat everything you just said, one more time?" Apolonia [Panagopoulos], my wife, who is also Diamond on Vinyl's editor, well we work together... but we had driven separately that day... So I went into her bay and she looked at my face and asked "What's wrong now?"

How would you describe your Slamdance experience?
It sounds hyperbolic, but I would say that it was literally life changing. A premiere at that level of festival is incredibly stressful and at times overwhelming, but thanks to the amazing Slamdance family it became an intense learning experience, as well as a place where I made what I'm sure will be lifelong friends - among them filmmakers, critics, and programmers alike. In my life as a filmmaker, there have been few precious experiences as significant as Slamdance.

What did the Beyond program do for your film?
I had no expectations of distribution when I made Diamond on Vinyl. I was hoping for some festival play, maybe a review or two, but my focus was really to make the best film I could. Thanks to premiering at Slamdance, Diamond on Vinyl was seen by a huge number of film distributors, and garnered a lot of great press from outlets like The Hollywood Reporter, IndieWire, Hammer to Nail, Film Threat, Twitch Film, and many, many more. Thanks to these opportunities, Diamond was released by Gravitas Ventures in the U.S. and, somewhat ironically, by The Sundance Channel in nearly 70 countries worldwide. Having people see the film, let alone become fans, in places as diverse as Poland and Indonesia was not something I had even considered. Then it happened.

What are you working on now?
I just finished a new feature script that I'm hoping to shoot Summer '15, thanks in large part to the relationships that began at Slamdance 2013.

What might you say to someone considering submitting to Beyond?
Do it! I was initially concerned about premiering outside of competition, in part because Beyond was brand new, but it was such a powerful, worthwhile experience that that worry seems, in hindsight, foolish. I couldn't imagine a better way to have launched Diamond on Vinyl, and I couldn't imagine not being a part of the Slamdance family.

Submissions for the 2015 Slamdance Film Festival will close on October 16th. Submit here today!

Slamdance is delighted to announce the 12 finalists for the 2014 Slamdance Screenplay Competition. Congratulations to these writers for making it to the final 12! The winners will be announced on October 16th. Keep an eye out for the announcement on our website!


(in alphabetical order)


3 Faces of Hunger & Thirst by HF Crum
Southern Knights by Scott Bloom & Myra Turley
Tween the Ropes by Elizabeth Oyebode


The Chapel by Ben Botwick
The Hounds of House Rearden by Sean Patrick Geraghty
Monstrous by Melody Cooper


(there is a tie in this category)

ERAe by Ande Cunningham
Over the Line (And Far Away) by David Shushan
Parable from Calcutta by Thom Newell
Scallywags by Donna Mae Foronda

Original Teleplay:

Chronology by Julie Restivo & Oren Kaplan
Search For Life by Andrea Janakas
Thread by Dane Anderson

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