Emerging talent just isn’t confined to narrative and documentary feature films.   As the Slamdance Film Festival celebrates its 15th Anniversary in 2009, 86 short films in four different competition categories - documentary, narrative/experimental, animation and music video, which is a new classification this year - will be showcased and be eligible for a Grand Jury Award.  All accepted entries have been selected to screen by the Shorts Programming Committee, which is comprised primarily of Slamdance alumni filmmakers.


            Slamdance continues to be the pre-eminent film festival whose sole mission is to nurture, support and showcase truly independent works, having established a unique reputation for premiering new films by first-time writers and directors working within the creative confines of limited budgets.  Some notable alumni to come out of Slamdance’s previous shorts line-ups include Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Secret Life of Bees), Mike Mitchell (Shrek Goes Fourth), Seth Gordon (Four Christmases), Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite), Matt Nix (Burn Notice), and Rian Johnson (The Brothers Bloom).


            As it does every year, Slamdance will run concurrently with the Sundance Film Festival. Slamdance and the box office will be headquartered and films will screen at the Treasure Mountain Inn (TMI), 255 Main Street, the Festival’s Park City, Utah, headquarters since 1998.  For more information and for a complete listing of films in the Festival, visit www.slamdance.com or call 323/466-1786. Festival passes are now on sale on the web site; individual tickets go on sale online December 16.


            In addition to the four jury competitions, Slamdance also has two out-of-competition shorts categories, which are the Anarchy Online Film Competition and $99 Specials. Slamdance developed its Anarchy Online Film Competition in 2000. Each month, from March through November, three short films (10 minutes or under) are selected to play online at www.slamdance.com/anarchy. Anarchy is open to all types of films and the winner is determined by site visitors via online voting. Each month’s winner screens at Slamdance, competing for a prizes and a coveted Slamdance Sparky Award.


            $99 Specials are produced by Slamdance and directed by Slamdance alumni. Slamdance gives $99 to these alums, and sets them loose with the latest in filmmaking technology. 99 days later they return with a five-minutes-or-under short film experiment. In a profession where it’s not always easy to practice your craft, the intention of the $99 Specials is to do exactly that – and to keep the filmmaking process heading in the right direction. $99 Specials are shown at the festival in January and online at www.slamdance.com/99dollar.


            Slamdance is pleased to expand its short film slate by showcasing special programs in partnership with CurrentTV, LUNAFest, and Real Ideas Studio.  For the second year, Slamdance and CurrentTV teamed up for "A Chance at Slamdance 2009," which received an increase of over 40% in submissions this year.  This program will showcase five short documentary films created by CurrentTV viewers as a special screening at the festival.  New this year, Slamdance is also proud to feature a screening of LUNAFest short films showcasing exceptional storytelling by, for, about women.  Slamdance has additionally partnered for the 2009 festival with Real Ideas Studio, who is offering selected students a chance to film behind the scenes at Slamdance and in Park City.  Real Ideas Studio student films created during the Festival in this immersion program will be showcased at Slamdance on the final day of screenings.


            "As my first year heading up Slamdance’s film competitions, I’m certainly more invested than ever in presenting an amazing collection of short films that we believe truly reflects the diversity of independent voices and content, and shows the best work from emerging and first time filmmakers,” said Sam Roberts, the Festival’s Director of Film Competitions / Co-Chair of Shorts Programming.  “The films range from quiet dramas rich with beautiful cinematography to the bombastic animation with mind blowing effects - a perfect snapshot of short films in general.  Short Films, more than any other type of filmmaking, really allow artists to experiment, to find their voice, and to tackle topics that are taboo and untouchable, and are proud to include that powerful creative energy to our festival."


            Working towards their goal of providing a truly supportive and enriching learning environment for filmmakers, Slamdance is hosting a number of new events this year to expose filmmakers and attendees to the best opportunities, resources, and companies for independent creatives.  Based primarily in the Festival's expanded Technicolor Filmmaker Lounge at TMI, these events include daily Filmmaker Technology Demos sponsored by Media Distributors and Panasonic, themed days to focus on current issues important to independent film, such as Do-It-Yourself Marketing and Distribution Day sponsored by Spout.com.


            Also new this year is Slamdance’s recently formed online venture with Indieroad.net, a website created by a team of veteran entertainment and business executives to address the lack of robust distribution options available to promising new talent in the independent film field.  Through a combined Slamdance/Indieroad.net site (www.indieroad.net/slamdance), Slamdance films will stream anytime throughout the festival period.  Bringing the Festival to a worldwide audience for the first time, this ground breaking partnership will allow audiences, press and buyers the opportunity to see the festival films from a location of their choosing, even if they cannot physically attend. Each online viewing of a Slamdance film or shorts will cost $9.00, and one third of this amount for each film viewed will go directly to the filmmakers.


            For the first time, Slamdance will be screening select music videos.  “Besides being biased to the format due to my own history, adding a music video line-up this year seemed like a no-brainer, what with the paradigm shifts in the music industry and the artists’ easy access to talented low-budget filmmakers,” said the Festival’s Drea Clark, Executive Director / Chair of Music Video Programming.  “We were really looking for a full range: experience, technique, musical genre, performance capture, narrative and animation.  Music video has long been one of the most envelope pushing mediums around, and I’m excited with the broad spectrum of talent that’s represented in our premiere outing in this arena.”


            The music video programming is beginning auspiciously.  Among the artists and filmmakers who are in this year’s competition are Blonde Redhead, whose "Top Ranking" video was directed by Mike Mills, who directed Sundance's Thumbsucker (2005) and stars Miranda July (Me And You and Everyone We Know, Sundance 2005); director Patrick Daughters, who is a huge rising star in music video, whose previous Feist clip "1, 2, 3, 4" was nominated for a Grammy; Feist herself is a big name in the indie-pop world, gaining fame and outside interest when her track "1, 2, 3, 4" launched the new iPod commercials; and director Chris Milk made a name for himself doing multiple award winning videos for Kanye West ("Jesus Walks", "Touch the Sky") and was the 2008 MVPA Director of the Year.  His video at Slamdance, for Grammy award winners and certified platinum recording artists Gnarls Barkley, is the only in the music video category to feature dialogue overlaid over the entire video (a rarity in the format, and approved by the artist and label).


            The 2009 Slamdance Film Festival is honored to be presented by Kodak.  Major and Official Festival Sponsors include Indie Road, host of the Slamdance/Indie Road online streaming festival, the Directors Guild of America, Dos Equis, All Seasons Resorts, Colourmovie, CurrentTV, Discmakers, Dr. Martens, Jagermeister, Hint Water, Media Distributors, Michael Collins Whiskey, Monster Energy, OurStage, Panasonic, POM Wonderful, Real Ideas Studio, Spout.com, and Technicolor.  All Slamdance Film Festival sponsors and partners help sustain and expand our festival event and provide essential support for our filmmakers and the independent mission of Slamdance.





Circles of Confusion

Pheobe Tooke, Writer/Director

Regional Premiere / 2008 / USA / 11 Minutes

A meditative, experimental musing about loss after Hurricane Katrina.


The First Kid to Learn English from Mexico

Peter Jordan, Writer/Director

International Premiere / 2008 / USA / 20 Minutes

Nine-year-old Pedro’s reluctant journey through elementary school in pursuit of the American Dream, which he describes as a “nightmare”.


Grand Teton

Julia Kim Smith, Writer/Director

World Premiere / 2008 / USA / 5 Minutes

A video portrait of a first generation Korean-American family in transition.


King Surfer (Sanza Hanza)

Nadia Hallgren, Director

World Premiere / 2008 / USA / 7 Minutes

Follows V.I.R.U.S., a gang of young train surfers on their journey through Soweto, South Africa.


Rare Chicken Rescue

Randall Wood, Writer/Director

North American Premiere / 2008  / Australia / 26 Minutes

After a long battle with depression, Queensland rare chicken breeder Mark Tully is now on a mission to protect the endangered chickens to which he owes his life.



Georgi Banks-Davies, Director

World Premiere / 2008 / United Kingdom/Netherlands / 3 Minutes

An intimate look at the artist Theo Jansen.





City Girls

Jon Rafman, Writer/Director/Producer

World Premiere / 2008 / Canada / 10 Minutes

An anonymous narrator is tortured by the thought that he has encountered the different women he passes on the street earlier in his life.


The Covenant of Mr. Kasch

Joshua Beahan and Ruwan De Silver, Writers/Directors

World Premiere / 2008 / Australia / 11 Minutes

Lured from his hovel by his desire for a panda girl, Mr. Kasch discovers a cruel solace in the scars of love.


Cute Couple

Courtney Moorhead Balaker, Writer/Director/Producer

Utah Premiere / 2008 / USA / 14 Minutes

Zach and Kendra were the cutest… until Tim and Tammy came into town.



Brian H. Krinksy, Writer/Director

World Premiere / 2008 / USA / 15 Minutes

High school buddies dish about their sex lives, classmates, and hair.



Peggy Bruen, Writer/Director/Producer

2008 / USA / 10 Minutes

Avant garde exploration of sexual deviance with food.


El Ladroncito

Yamin Segal, Writer/Director

North American Premiere / 2008 / Nicaragua / 16 Minutes

Oscar, a poor child from the Nicaraguan barrios, struggles on the street to earn himself an unattainable video game system.


An Evening With Emery Long

Brad DeMarea, Writer/Director

World Premiere / 2008 / USA / 14 Minutes

Industrial carpet salesman, Emery Long, prepares for his first date with receptionist and ‘office hottie’, Della.  Emery has planned the perfect evening, but he soon realizes things might not turn out as he had imagined.


Feelings and Stuff

Samuli Valkama, Writer/Director

Utah Premiere / 2008 / Germany / 13 Minutes

The first step toward a new relationship can be like a jump into cold water.


Funny Guy

Frank Rinaldi, Writer/Director

World Premiere / 2008 / Singapore / 15 Minutes

All Jamie wants is a friend who will laugh at his jokes, but grabbing the attention of a willing ear proves far more difficult than he expects.


Happy Rabbit

Patrick Jackson and Francois Gamaury, Directors; Patrick Jackson, Writer.

World Premiere / 2008 / UK / 5 Minutes

The story of a dedicated, but misunderstood, performer.



Frazer Churchill, Writer/Director

North American Premiere / 2008 / UK / 12 Minutes

The story of Danny, a young boy whose life is abruptly changed one day by two drunken men and a crossbow.


Hold Your Fire

Wes Benscoter, Writer/Director/Producer

World Premiere / 2008 / USA / 8 Minutes

A ghostly soldier comes face to face with the grim reality of his war-torn existence, on the battlefield and beyond.


Horsefingers 3: Starfucker

Kirsten Kearse, Writer/Director

Utah Premiere / 2008 / USA / 13 Minutes

A questionable tale of animal attraction.


I Don’t Sleep I Dream

J.P. Chan, Writer/Director

World Premiere / 2008 / USA / 15 Minutes

A woman refuses a ride to a dangerous looking hitchhiker, but soon finds herself in need of help after causing a horrific accident.


I Think It’s Love

Susan Hippen, Writer/Director

World Premiere / 2008 / USA / 5 Minutes

Jemma goes on a date to escape her caustic mother.



Richard Levien, Writer/Director

World Premiere / 2008 / USA / 14 Minutes

Moises, a ten-year-old immigrant who speaks no English, struggles to fit in at his new school in the US.



Randall Good, Writer/Director

World Premiere / 2008 / USA / 9 Minutes

Two friends shop.  One stares at the other.  They go places.


It Shines and Shakes and Laughs

Matthew Wade, Writer/Director

2008 / USA / 7 Minutes

An experimental piece wherein a young man searches a desolate landscape in an attempt to make himself whole.


let[s] go

Maxim Kuphal, Writer/Director

US Premiere / 2008 / Germany / 14 Minutes

Roman and his friends follow his ex-girlfriend from party to party.


A Little Mouth to Feed

Jack Daniel Stanley, Writer/Director

Regional Premiere / 2008 / USA / 9 Minutes

A simple and devoutly Christian Appalachian woman makes a deal with the devil in hopes of having her own little child to love.


The Maid

Heidi Saman, Writer/Director

2008 / Egypt/USA / 19 Minutes

When a housemaid’s suspicions of her employer are strangely confirmed, she is forced to come to terms with her own insecurities and her place within the family household.



Karl Tebbe, Writer/Director

US Premiere / 2008 / Germany / 6 Minutes

A short animation about a grandmother, Oma Grete, and the gigantic dust mites that threaten to destroy the world.


Moon Lady

Sulyn Zan, Writer/Director/Producer

2008 / USA / 14 Minutes

A little boy must find a way to bring his schizophrenic mother back to life.


One-Half World

Daniel Berube, Writer/Director/Producer

World Premiere / 2008 / USA / 13 Minutes

A young man cannot stop playing a virtual game that haunts his dreams and continues to challenge him, even after he has died.


The Pond

Sonja Phillips, Writer/Director

2008 / UK / 16 Minutes

For Maisie, the pond is a place to escape her troubled home life and explore her strengthening allure to the boys; it is the place where she holds all the power over them. What she doesn’t know is that it also holds a deep dark secret.


Princess Margaret Blvd.

Kazik Radwanski, Writer/Director

North American Premiere / 2008 / Canada / 14 Minutes

Subtly exploring the mindset of senior citizen Isabelle Rodarte, as she defiantly confronts the frustration, confusion, and loneliness that are the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.


The Rapture of the Athlete Assumed into Heaven

Keith Bogart, Director; Don DeLillo, Writer

Utah Premiere / 2008 / USA / 5 Minutes

A reporter interviews a tennis player who achieves his greatest thrill as an athlete on the last day of his life.



Guinness Rider, Writer/Director

World Premiere / 2008 / Japan / 17 Minutes

A man in crisis sets out on a journey of penance, and on the way encounters his past, his present, and his future.



Christopher Holmes, Writer/Director/Producer

West Coast Premiere / 2008 / USA / 12 Minutes

One man is set on the warpath by his determination to track down and dispatch with a rare woodpecker wreaking havoc on his house.



Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK, Writers/Directors

World Premiere / 2008 / India / 14 Minutes

A noisy, fast-paced satire and visual metaphor for the noise, breakneck pace and grit of the city, highlighting the apathy of the urban youth and their deep cynicism for the system with a unique sense of humor.


A Short Ride (Scurta Plimbare Na Masina)

Paul Negoescu, Writer/Director; Simona Ghita. Writer

North American Premiere / 2008 / Romania / 9 Minutes

Two young people go to a restaurant, but their meeting ends unexpectedly.


Six and a Half

Ana Lily Amirpour, Writer/Director

2008 / USA / 5 Minutes

A little girl tries to catch a frog, offering us a look at "innocence" and the sometimes brutally capricious nature of children.


The Skooks

Norwood Cheek, Writer/Director

US Premiere / 2008 / USA / 6 Minutes

Lill Skooks and her brother are stuck in a strange, backwards world.


Tony Zoreil

Valentin Potier, Writer/Director

2008 / France / 20 Minutes

Tony is a single 28-year-old who has inherited a remarkable physical deformity. Like the rest of his family, he has very big ears and suffers from extreme sensitivity to the slightest noise.


Una y Otra Vez

Antonio Mendez, Writer/Director

North American Premiere / 2008 / USA / 27 Minutes

Ballad of the everyday.


Vapid Lovelies

Frank Feldman, Writer/Director; David Luna and Chris Lemon, Writers

World Premiere / 2008 / USA / 22 Minutes

Two Middle-American gay fashionistas set out to create the perfect outfit.


Vodka & Women

Xavier Tatarkiewicz, Writer/Director

World Premiere / 2008 / Poland / 18 Minutes

When Stefan, a depressed accountant, suspects his girlfriend is cheating on him he decides to visit his neighbor, a retired prostitute, for advice.






Graeme Hawkins, Writer/Director/Producer

North American Premiere / 2008 / UK / 3 Minutes

The five senses through the eyes and imagination of a young boy.


The Adventures of Ledo and Ix

Emily Carmichael, Writer/Director

World Premiere / 2008 / USA / 5 Minutes

Two 8-bit video game characters confront the void.


Alice’s Attic

Robyn Yannoukos, Writer/Director; Brian LoSchiavo, Writer.

World Premiere / 2008 / USA / 4 Minutes

A fragile Alice tries to overcome the fears that overwhelm her.


Dear Fatty

Hsin-I Tseng, Writer/Director

2008 / USA / 7 Minutes

A little girl writes a letter to her pet hamster Fatty.


ELA, In Love At First Byte

Fernando Sarmiento, Director/Producer; Alejandro Sarmiento and J.F. Mackeprang, Writers / North American Premiere / 2008 / Argentina / 11 Minutes

In an action packed adventure of epic proportions, we follow the final adventure of E.L.A. Young Warrior Princess, forced to finally face her darkest nemesis and save Earth from total destruction.


Flute Babies

Gretta Johnson, Writer/Director/Producer

Utah Premiere / 2008 / USA / 5 Minutes

A lonely alligator and an imaginative cat are introduced.



Woodpecker, Writer/Director/Producer

World Premiere / 2008 / Japan / 4 Minutes

The story of the mischief of the forest.


Kanizsa Hill

Evelyn Lee, Writer/Director

North American Premiere / 2008 / USA / 8 Minutes

A forgetful body desperately searches for his head as the two find themselves lost in an oasis of illusions.


Seeking You

Jean-Julien Pous, Writer/Director

North American Premiere / 2008 / Canada / 3 Minutes

A man wanders through the night in Hong Kong.


Swimming Moon

Nahomi Maki, Writer/Director/Producer

Utah Premiere / 2008 / USA / 4 Minutes

A being is driven to madness by the full moon, discovering a sensitive, beautiful, and deep dream world.



Martin Falconer, Writer/Director/Producer

International Premiere / 2008 / UK / 4 Minutes

A young fledgling makes an extraordinary first flight.


Trepan Hole

Andy Cahill, Writer/Director/Producer

2008 / USA / 6 Minutes

A film about spastic movement and concentric circles.



Hayley Morris, Writer/Director/Producer

Regional Premiere / 2008 / USA / 7 Minutes

An old man floats in the sea of his diminishing mind.


An Unquiet Mind

Chihwen Lo, Writer/Director/Producer

2008 / USA/Taiwan / 6 Minutes

A mercurial journey of mood swings and deep restlessness.





Adele “Chasing Pavement”

Matthew Cullen, Writer/Director

2008 / USA / 4 Minutes

A surreal dance links an accident and a broken relationship.


Blonde Redhead “Top Ranking”

Mike Mills, Director

2007 / USA / 4 Minutes

Miranda July performs one pose per second.


Darker My Love “ Two Ways Out”

Toben Seymor, Writer/Director

2008 / USA / 3 Minutes

A performance within a black void of distorted perceptions and shadows.


Don McCloskey “Mister Novocaine”

Peter Rhoads, Writer/Director/Producer

2008 / USA / 4 Minutes

In a fever dream where hands are people, one hand fights the pleasure of the bottle by telling his story through song.


Feist “My Moon, My Man”

Patrick Daughters, Director

2008 / USA / 4 Minutes

Transforming the bustle of the staid, humdrum world of the airport terminal into a fantastic, synchronized spectacle.


Gnarls Barkley “Who’s Gonna Save My Soul”

Chris Milk, Writer/Director

2008 / USA / 3 Minutes

This is the story of a girl who dumps a boy who tears out his heart for her… literally.


Kaiser Cartel “Okay”

Grizlet, Writer/Director

2008 / USA / 3 Minutes

A hand-drawn world where missing someone seems to lead the way back home.


Omodaka “Kokiriko Bushi”

Teppei Maki, Writer/Director

2008 / Japan / 4 Minutes

A mutational fusion of music and motion graphics, where a dancing skeleton is mastered by a disembodied hand.


Meghan Smith “A Little Love”

Roboshobo, Writer/Director

2008 / USA / 4 Minutes

Performance and animation blend in the cutest kind of way.


My Morning Jacket “Touch Me I’m Going to Scream Pt.2”

Mixtape Club, Director; My Morning Jacket, Writers

2008 / USA / 4 Minutes

Set deep in a verdant jungle on a dark night, starring a furry, timid creature with gigantic eyes.


The Myriad “A Clean Shot”

Josh Forbes, Director

2008 / USA / 5 Minutes

The band take on puppets, crossbows and woodsy sojourns.


Sia “Buttons”

Kris Moyes, Director

2008 / USA / 3 Minutes

Sia pushes buttons and makes faces.


Thunderheist “Jerk It”

Noel Paul and Stefan Moore, Directors/Writers

2008 / USA / 4 Minutes

Skin jiggling in slow motion, strobing animal prints, a rooster and a girl.


Woodhands “I Wasn’t Made for Fighting”

Asif Mian, Writer/Director

2008 / USA / 4 Minutes

People frozen in time become inspiration for the band to manipulate.





Todd Tinkham, Director

USA / 5 Minutes / Color

When 12-year-old Alexa goes for a forbidden swim, she unlocks a world of intrigue and surprise.


An Artist

Dan O’Malley, Director

USA / 7 Minutes / Color

An artist who’s pretentiously unclear.



Jerry Chan, Director

USA / 4 Minutes / Color

A short film that remixes the frenzied sights and sounds of the LA landscape to uncover the rhythm and melody of the city, by using turntablism – the record manipulation techniques of a DJ – and translating it to film.



Lisa Arianna, Director

USA  / 7 Minutes / Color

Two sisters bury their recently deceased dog and discuss the death of their mother.  A twisted reveal turns this innocent ritual into an odd, humorous and horrific event.


Frog Jesus

Ben Peters, Director

USA / 1 Minute / Color

A nostalgic voyage takes a darker turn, exploring the naiveté of mankind through the eyes of a young boy.


Frozen Dreams

Xochitl Dorsey, Director

USA / 6 Minutes / Color

From sun up to sun down, Gabriel Martinez pushes his cart through the Mexican barrios of Los Angeles selling colorful popsicles and ice cream to the young and old. His unique insight into the world of paleteros presents an unexpected testimonial about the immigrant experience in East Los Angeles.


The Passion of Enid Grubman

Jessica Guerra, Director

USA / 6 Minutes / Black & White

Enid Grubman seems to be cursed to a lifetime of loneliness, until one day an infomercial for an “Inflatable Companion” changes her destiny.


Rock Pockets

Trevor Anderson, Director

USA  / 5 Minutes / Color

A sugar rush of sex, politics, and rock 'n' roll, as seen through the eyes of a ten-year-old-boy at the fair.


The Tides

Eva Flodstrom, Director

USA / 9 Minutes / Color 

During an attempt to find solace by leaving the house, Emi’s chance encounter with a BMX sparks up a journey to the ocean’s edge.




Catus Interruptus

Gudrun Cram-Drach, Director

World Premiere / USA / 2 Minutes / Color

An unexpectedly sexy, animated take on male-female relations.



Michael Langan, Director

World Premiere / USA / 3 Minutes / Color

A moving portrait of the bustle and permanence of a city, "Dahlia" juxtaposes the stable forms and patterns of life with the frenetic behavior of humanity, set to a driving score of

vocal percussion.


Franz Kafka’s The Vulture

Darren Way, Director

World Premiere / USA / 2 Minutes / Color

This story contains the logic of a dream, or perhaps a nightmare, uniquely realized in stop motion animation with custom designed, carved wooden puppets.


My Dog Doesn’t Have a Job

Karl Tebbe, Writer/Director

World Premiere / Germany / 5 Minutes / Color

A man comes to the realization that if he is not a hunter but his dog is a pointer, then his dog really doesn’t have a job when they’re together.


Pony Boy:The Musical

Ryan Piotorwicz, Director

World Premiere / USA / 10 Minutes / Color

An operatic saga of a kindly stable boy who finds freedom from tyranny, but must seek vengeance for the ponies he loves.


Sky Drops

Burke Roberts, Director

World Premiere / USA / 9 Minutes / Color

In a future primitive war, we find paratroopers confined to the ultimate Russian roulette: descending into an all out fire-storm.  Trapped in the heads and harnesses of this abstract limbo, Sky Drops examines propaganda versus the individual.



            As chair of the Slamdance shorts committee,” said Slamdance’s Paul Sbrizzi, Festival Art Director / Co-Chair of Shorts Programming, “I am time and again impressed with the amazing work that gets made outside of the Hollywood system — and so honored to get a first look!  For 2009 (my tenth year of programming), we’ve put together a wildly diverse program, ranging from a madcap post-queer comedy from Salt Lake City to a dark and moody tale of guilt and atonement from Japan, to an eerie date movie in which a woman must wear horse-hooves to dinner.  Shorts with heart, intelligence and style; the best in fresh and inspired new voices from the U.S. and around the world, including fantastic new work from Nicaragua, Egypt, Taiwan, India and Romania.”