Sundance and Slamdance festivals recently announced the films that will be screened at the two festivals in Park City, Utah, in January with 13 CalArts filmmakers included in the respective lists.
Sundance Film Festival
Since 1985, the Sundance Film Festival has brought the most original storytellers together with the most adventurous audiences in its annual program. Films screened at the festival are known to gain critical recognition, commercial distribution and a worldwide audience.
Andrew Ahn’s (Film/Video MFA 11) feature Spa Night, produced by Giulia Caruso (Film/Video MFA 13) and faculty Ki Jin Kim (Film/Video MFA 10), is in competition at the festival. Set in a Korean spa in Los Angeles where an underground gay hookup scene is thriving, Spa Night follows a young Korean-American man struggling to reconcile familial obligations with his burgeoning sexual desires.
Included in the Animated Shorts Program is Kangmin Kim’s (Film/Video BFA 09, MFA 11) Deer Flower, a stop-motion animation production that uses 3D printed figures. Deborah Stratman’s (Film/Video MFA 95) The Illinois Parables, about faith and technology, and Heather Cassils’ (Art MFA 02) Inexstinguishable Fire, where the filmmaker performs a 14-second fire stunt stretched out to 14 minutes on film, have been selected as part of the New Frontier Program.
Slamdance Film Festival
Celebrating filmmaking for filmmakers, Slamdance has been capturing the spirit of early film festivals since 2005.
Four films by CalArtians are screening as part of the Experimental Shorts Program: Ryan Betschart’s (Film/Video MFA 13) and Tyler Betschart’s (Film/Video MFA 15) Cup of Stars finds two brothers fishing for stars and supernovas, Ryan Betschart’s Pudding is a lo fi exploration of childhood body curiosity through false memories of 70s pop songs, Spencer Holden’s (Film/Video BFA 13) After Muybridge, a non-cinema performance after the pioneer of motion pictures Eadweard Muybridge and Annapurna Kumar’s (Film/Video MFA 17) Gray Hairs, which is a meditation on the military as reflected by visuals of Apache helicopters’ targeting systems.
In the Animation Shorts Program are three films from CalArtians: Full pencil sketches are animated in Still Life by Kevin Eskew (Film/Video MFA 17), Bottom Feeders by Matt Reynolds (Film/Video MFA 16) shows two fictional species interacting in a bleak parody of the natural world and Lazy Daze by Brian Smee (Film/Video MFA 15).