The Slamdance Film Festival, which runs parallel to the larger Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, from Jan. 19-25, presents a lineup including 11 films from current CalArts students, faculty and alumni from the School of Film & Video.
Slamdance, curated entirely by filmmakers for filmmakers, is not only a festival but also a community of filmmakers dedicated to emerging artists and low-budget independent works.
In the Animated Shorts Program are three films made by CalArtians. “Mak” by Natalya Serebrennikova (MFA 14) is about a teenager in search of her cultural identity and her precarious relationship with her best friend. Annapurna Kumar’s “Mountain Castle Mountain Flower Plastic” is about multiple forms of information contained in the same location but seen from multiple angles. “Icebergs” by Eirini Vianelli is a stop-motion dark comedy film comprised of 14 vignettes, both mundane and absurd.
The Documentary Shorts Program also includes three CalArtian-made films: “Big Surf” by Brian Smee (BFA 16), “Phototaxis” by Melissa Ferrari (MFA 19) and “Nueva Vida” by Jonathan Seligson (MFA 15). Smee’s “Big Surf” is an animated film about inclement weather in California. Ferrari’s “Phototaxis” intertwines West Virginian folklore about the Mothman with the state’s primary addiction treatment program, Narcotics Anonymous. “Nueva Vida” by Seligson is a cautionary tale about the dangers of playing soccer, as told by the filmmaker’s brother, Kenny.
The world premiere of “Are You Tired of Forever?” by Caitlin Craggs (MFA 17) is being presented as part of the Experimental Shorts Program. The film is a surreal meditation on the experience of self.
Also featured in Experimental Shorts are the films “No Stories Now” by CT Bishop (MFA 19), and “Silica” by Experimental Animation faculty Pia Borg. “No Stories Now” is a film about weakness and a sense of false relief. Borg’s sci-fi essay film blends CG animation and 35 mm film to explore the journey of a film location scout in an opal mining town on the brink of abandonment in the South Australian desert.
“Audition” by Richard Van (MFA 18) is screening in the Narrative Shorts Program. The live-action film follows an aspiring actress who is unable to find a sitter and is left with no choice but to bring her 3-year old son to an audition.
For additional information and screening times and locations in Park City, visit Slamdance’s official festival schedule.