Look: 2012 Slamdance Film Festival Competition Slate Includes Some Must-See Titles

Look: 2012 Slamdance Film Festival Competition Slate Includes Some Must-See Titles

Dec 14, 2011

At the same time as the Sundance Film Festival -- and in the same town as the Sundance Film Festival -- there is the Slamdance Film Festival, which, to some, represents the kind of festival Sundance was when it first began. The fest, holed up at the top of Main Street in Park City, Utah, is a smaller, low-rent kinda festival, but that's what gives it it's charm -- and each year we see a surprising amount of films come out of there, only to go on to screen at larger film festivals and eventually open on the big screen.

What I think they're great at is discovering documentaries (King of Kong, Dear Zachary and the recent HBO doc on real-life superheroes came out of Slamdance), and this year's slate of docs look just as intriguing, with one -- titled Buffalo Girls -- tracking two eight-year-old girls who are part of an underground fighting ring in Thailand where they earn money for their families, as well as one about the infamous group of hackers who call themselves "Anonymous." The narrative features also look worth exploring further, with titles from the US, Canada, Germany, Singapore and even Bulgaria.

Check out the full line-up below. The Slamdance Festival runs from January 20-26, 2012. We'll do our best to bring you back coverage of some of these films, so let us know which titles you're most interested in and we'll hook it up.


BINDLESTIFFS - Director: Andrew Edison, Screenwriters: Andrew Edison, Luke Loftin. (USA) World Premiere
Three smart-mouthed high school virgins, suspended from school on a graffiti charge, flee to the
inner city to live out the plot of The Catcher in the Rye. Cast: Andrew Edison, Luke Loftin, John Karna

Comforting Skin - Director: Derek Franson, Screenwriter: Derek Franson. (Canada) US Premiere
A lonely young woman's desperate need for emotional and physical companionship draws her into a surreal and ultimately destructive relationship with a shifting and whispering tattoo she has willed to life on her skin.
Cast: Jane Sowerby, Tygh Runyan, Victoria Bidewell

Doppelgänger Paul (or A Film About How Much I Hate Myself) - Director: Dylan Akio Smith, Kris Elgstrand, Screenwriter: Kris Elgstrand. (Canada) US Premiere
The unlikely relationship of two lonely men whose connection sets off a chain of events resulting in the loss of a thumb, the theft of a manuscript, and two appearances on a popular morning talk
show. Cast: Brad Dryborough, Tygh Runyan

Faith, Love and Whiskey - Director: Kristina Nikolova, Screenwriters: Kristina Nikolova, Paul Dalio. (Bulgaria) World Premiere
A young Bulgarian woman, engaged to a well-off American, panics and runs back home, reuniting with her drifter friends and the wild life of her past and falling in love with her passionate but alcoholic best friend.
Cast: Ana Stojanovska, Valeri Yordanov, John Keabler, Lidia Indjova, Yavor Baharov

Heavy Girls - Director: Axel Ranisch, Screenwriters: Axel Ranisch, Heiko Pinkowski, Peter Trabner. (Germany) US Premiere
Sven lives with his elderly mother; Daniel is her caregiver.  When she wanders off, their misadventure to find her leads them to discover their confusing affection for each other.
Cast: Heiko Pinkowski, Peter Trabner, Ruth Bickelhaupt

OK, Good - Director: Daniel Martinico, Screenwriters: Hugo Armstrong, Daniel Martinico. (USA) World Premiere
A series of demoralizing auditions and a cultish movement workshop push a struggling actor over the edge.
Cast: Hugo Armstrong

Roller Town - Director: Andrew Bush, Screenwriters: Andrew Bush, Mark Little, Scott Vrooman. (Canada) US Premiere
At the peak of disco-mania, three friends try and stop a local crime syndicate from turning their beloved roller rink into a video arcade.
Cast: Kayla Lorette, Mark Little, Scott Vrooman

The Sound of Small Things – Director/Screenwriter: Peter McLarnan. (USA) World Premiere
Sam and Cara’s attempt to navigate their young marriage is complicated by miscommunication, suspicion and her deafness.
Cast: Cara Krippner, Sam Hoolihan

Sundowning – Director/Screenwriter: Frank Rinaldi. (Singapore/USA) World Premiere
A story about the relationship between a young woman who has lost her memory and her mysterious caregiver.
Cast: Shannon Fitzpatrick, Susan Chau

Welcome to Pine Hill - Director/Screenwriter: Keith Miller. (USA) World Premiere
A reformed drug dealer, now a claims adjuster by day and bouncer by night, receives earthshattering news that compels him to return to his past and seek transcendence beyond the Brooklyn concrete. Cast: Shannon Harper, Mary Meyers, David Williams


Buffalo Girls - Director: Todd Kellstein. (Thailand/USA) World Premiere
Two eight year old girls fight in rural Thailand’s underground child boxing economy to earn money to support their families.

Danland - Director: Alexandra Berger, Screenwriters: Ann Husaini, Alexandra Berger. (USA)
World Premiere
Amateur porn producer Dan Leal, aka ‘Porno Dan,’ searches for intimacy despite his industry and in spite of himself.

The First Season - Director: Rudd Simmons. (USA) World Premiere
To achieve their version of the American dream, the Van Amburg family struggle as they fight against relentless toil, financial ruin and the harsh reality of dairy farming.

Getting Up - Director: Caskey Ebeling, Screenwriter: Tempt. (USA) World Premiere
After being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease and rendered almost completely paralyzed, Tony “Tempt” Quan, a legendary L.A. graffiti artist, regains his voice through technology that reads the movement of his eyes and enables him to create art and write once again.

I Want My Name Back - Director: Roger Paradiso. (USA) Utah Premiere
Thirty years after the historic recording of the iconic mega-hit “Rapper’s Delight,” Master Gee & Wonder Mike come back to reclaim their identities and rightful place in Hip Hop history.

Kelly - Director: James Stenson. (USA) World Premiere
Having fled a provincial past, a young, transgender prostitute searches for love and acceptance in a landscape of broken Hollywood Dreams.

No Ashes, No Phoenix - Director/Screenwriter: Jens Pfeifer. (Germany) World Premiere
A locker room expose about young basketball players in Hagen, Germany who face their fears of losing and challenge enormous odds to succeed.

We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists  - Director/Screenwriter: Brian Knappenberger. (USA) World Premiere
An intimate look inside the world of Anonymous, the radical "hacktivist" collective that has redefined civil disobedience for the digital age.

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