Slamdance 2018 By the Numbers: Creative Anarchy and Record Submission Levels
“By Filmmakers, For Filmmakers” has been Slamdance’s brand concept since its inception in 1995, and it’s a mantra that continues this year, as Slamdance celebrates its 2018 edition January 19-25.
Slamdance offers a counterweight to the Park City madness of Sundance, although Slamdance has its own madness, the creative anarchy of being filmmaker-governed and focused on the art rather than the distribution deals. From its perch atop Main St. at the Treasure Mountain Inn, Slamdance is the non-commercialized film fest alternative; you won’t find gifting suites or swag bags here. This authenticity engenders huge support from the creative community, including Slamdance alums like Christopher Nolan, Lena Dunham, Benh Zeitlin, Steven Soderbergh, and the Russo Brothers, who are taking time off their from shooting schedule to attend the festival and work with filmmakers via a fellowship they have created.
Last year 14 Slamdance films got distribution deals, and there will be more deals this year, as major trade publications and buyers cover the festival, but you’ll be just as likely to find filmmakers prepared to roll up their sleeves and get their films out in front of audiences by themselves. That’s a rational filmmaker-entrepreneur response to the truly low sales figures that will likely be on the table this year.
This year, 100 films of all varieties will screen — narrative features, docs, experimental — selected from 6,146 submissions. More than half of the feature entries will be world premieres. The screenplay competition netted 3,666 submissions, a record high.
Here’s our look at Slamdance 2018 By the Numbers.
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Top image: from ‘Birds Without Feathers,’ directed by Wendy McColm. Courtesy Slamdance Film Festival.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam Leipzig is the founder and CEO of MediaU, online career acceleration. MediaU opens the doors of access for content creation, filmmaking and television. Adam, Cultural Daily’s founder and publisher, has worked with more than 10,000 creatives in film, theatre, television, music, dance, poetry, literature, performance, photography, and design. He has been a producer, distributor or supervising executive on more than 30 films that have disrupted expectations, including A Plastic Ocean, March of the Penguins, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Dead Poets Society, Titus and A Plastic Ocean. His movies have won or been nominated for 10 Academy Awards, 11 BAFTA Awards, 2 Golden Globes, 2 Emmys, 2 Directors Guild Awards, 4 Sundance Awards and 4 Independent Spirit Awards. Adam teaches at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business. Adam began his career in theatre; he was the first professional dramaturg in the United States outside of New York City, and he was one of the founders of the Los Angeles Theatre Center, where he produced more than 300 plays, music, dance, and other events. Adam is CEO of Entertainment Media Partners, a company that navigates creative entrepreneurs through the Hollywood system and beyond, and a keynote speaker. Adam is the former president of National Geographic Films and senior Walt Disney Studios executive. He has also served in senior capacities at CreativeFuture, a non-profit organization that advocates for the creative community. Adam is is the author of ‘Inside Track for Independent Filmmakers ’ and co-author of the all-in-one resource for college students and emerging filmmakers 'Filmmaking in Action: Your Guide to the Skills and Craft' (Macmillan). (Photo by Jordan Ancel)
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