22nd Annual

Slamdance Film Festival

January 22, 2016 to January 28, 2016

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Film Market
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5634 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles CA 90038
Phone: 323-466-1786
Fax: 323-466-1784

CLOSED FOR THE SEASON • Information may be outdated. Add this event to your Watch List and set a Remind-Me if you want to be notified when the next Call For Entries is posted.

Narrative Features (RECEIVED-BY DEADLINES)
Eligible for our Narrative Features competition are features over 40 minutes in length, made by first-time narrative feature directors, with a budget under one million dollars, and no distribution*. All films are selected 100% from blind submissions. We consider and program from all genres and from all around the world. We are looking for filmmakers with innovative ideas, points of view, or approach to filmmaking. We are more drawn to an original voice than a high level of production. We will consider work that is not fully completed by the time of submission, and we consider films regardless of their premiere status.

*NOTE: Films that do not meet these requirements and are submitted to this category, will be considered for our BEYOND section instead.

Fiction short films up to 40 minutes and from anywhere in the world, are programmed in blocks and before narrative features. We welcome a wide variety of styles and genres: comedy, drama, horror, underground, mockumentaries, music videos, and films that fit into multiple categories or no category at all. Please note that documentary, animated and experimental shorts are programmed under their own categories. Qualifying category for the Annual Academy Awards®.

Documentary Features (RECEIVED-BY DEADLINES)
Eligible for our Documentary Features competition are documentaries over 40 minutes in length, made by first-time documentary feature directors, with a budget under one million dollars, and no distribution*. All films are selected 100% from blind submissions. We consider and program any type of documentary subject matter, and from anywhere in the world. Mockumentaries should be submitted to the Narrative Features category. We will consider work that is not fully completed by the time of submission, and we consider films regardless of their premiere status.

*NOTE: Films that do not meet these requirements and are submitted to this category, will be considered for our BEYOND section instead.

Documentary Shorts (RECEIVED-BY DEADLINES)
Short documentaries up to 40 minutes and from anywhere in the world, are programmed before documentary features. We gladly accept any type of documentary subject matter. Short mockumentaries should be submitted to the narrative short category. Qualifying category for the Annual Academy Awards®.

Bold and daring films that exemplify the Slamdance spirit, from emerging narrative and documentary filmmakers working beyond their first features. Features over 40 minutes in length by non-first time filmmakers from all around the world will be accepted for this category. All films will be selected entirely from blind submissions and will be eligible for the Audience Award.

Animated films up to 40 minutes. Films must be made in a frame by frame manner (live-action footage of puppets, for example, is NOT animation). Any animation technique, style, genre, and subject matter is welcome. Qualifying category for the Annual Academy Awards®.

Experimental Shorts (RECEIVED-BY DEADLINES)
Any experimental or avant-garde film up to 40 minutes. We realize that "experimental" and "avant-garde" are subjective and vague terms, but we don't want to allow the failure of language to keep us from programming films that do not fit into other categories. Send us your non-narrative, conceptual, graphic, didactic, or unclassifiable films! If you've made what you'd describe as an experimental narrative, experimental documentary, or experimental animation, it's up to you which committee you want to judge your short (although we do try to talk to each other). We are open-minded and love challenging works that question and push the boundaries of cinema.


By Filmmakers, For Filmmakers

Slamdance serves as a showcase for the discovery of new and emerging independent artists and is dedicated to the nurturing and development of their vision. We accept films in every genre, on any topic, from every country around the world. The festival program is selected from 100% blind submissions and we do not disqualify any films based on premiere status or date of completion.


Born out of rejection, Slamdance showcases new and emerging independent artists, filmmakers and storytellers.

Started in 1995 by a group of writer/director/producers, Slamdance continues to be organized and programmed by active filmmakers. Now in its nineteenth year as a festival that runs simultaneously to the Sundance Film Festival, Slamdance has established a unique reputation for premiering independent films by first-time directors working with limited budgets.

As a year-round organization, Slamdance serves as a showcase for the discovery of new and emerging talent and is dedicated to the nurturing and development of new independent artists and their cinematic vision. For the 2015 Festival, Slamdance received over 5,000 submissions. Slamdance lives by its mantra: "By Filmmakers, For Filmmakers." No other festival is fully programmed by filmmakers. Slamdance counts among its alumni many notable writers and directors who first gained notice at the festival, including Christopher Nolan, Marc Forster, Jared Hess, Benh Zeitlin, Lynn Shelton and Lena Dunham. Oren Peli's PARANORMAL ACTIVITY originally acquired from Slamdance went onto to gross over $190 million at the Box Office. In recent years, most Slamdance competition features have been picked up for VOD distribution. New filmmakers and writers today realize Slamdance is a great place to launch their careers.


The coveted Slamdance Sparky is awarded in the following categories:

-Jury Award for Narrative Feature
-Jury Award for Documentary Feature
-Jury Award for Narrative Short *
-Jury Award for Documentary Short *
-Jury Award for Animated Short *
-Jury Award for Anarchy Short
-Jury Award for Experimental Short

-Audience Award for Narrative Feature
-Audience Award for Documentary Feature

-Filmmaker Award for Spirit of Slamdance (all participating filmmakers vote to decide the film/filmmakers that represented the Spirit of Slamdance the best during the 2016 Festival)

* The winners in these categories qualify for the Annual Academy Awards.

Additional prizes:

-Each year significant cash and service prizes are awarded to all Sparky Award recipients.
-Slamdance offers selected feature and short films theatrical showings during the following year, through the Slamdance On The Road program.


"This has been incredible. Eighteen year journey for me. And to have it start here is just incredible. And I've felt the love from all the filmmakers here. Everyone's just been so wonderful to me and I really appreciate Slamdance."
-Chris Furbee, director, HUNTINGTON'S DANCE (Special Jury Mention for Doc Feature at Slamdance 2014)

"All young and first-time filmmakers must make Slamdance their #1 target fest. Nothing compares when it comes to exposure and excitement, both from audiences and the amazing staff (who by the end of the week are your best friends). Bribe them, lie to them; do whatever it takes to get in. I'm serious."
-Matt Johnson, director, THE DIRTIES (Grand Jury Award Winner for Narrative Feature and Spirit of Slamdance 2013)

"Screening at Slamdance was one of the most memorable weeks of my life. Not only is it an incredibly supportive place to debut your first feature, it is great for the future life of your film (a lot of industry there) on top of being ridiculously fun! The staff and other filmmakers were incredibly cool and on the last day it was like camp--none of us wanted to leave!"
-Nicole Teeny, director, BIBLE QUIZ (Grand Jury Award Winner for Documentary Feature at Slamdance 2013)

"We have so much appreciation and admiration for Slamdance! As a festival, they live in their own romantic era and we felt that vibe so intensely. We are romantics as well and we believe that this is a place of absolute love and devotion for filmmaking, run by amazing filmmakers with unique taste, enthusiasm and fierce independent spirits. Slamdance has been a very precious diamond for us!"
-Harry Patramanis & Eleni Asvesta, director/producer of FYNBOS, Winner of the Kodak Vision Award for Best Cinematography at Slamdance 2013

"Slamdance is a fantastic festival. It's truly independent, with the focus on the films. There was no better place for us to premiere "Superheroes" than at the Slamdance Film Festival!"
-Theodore James, Producer, SUPERHEROES, which premiered at Slamdance 2011, winning the Slamdance Distribution Award.

"Slamdance is the Cadillac of film festivals in Park City - curb feelers and all - It was an amazing ride I will never forget."
-Greg Kohs, director, SONG SUNG BLUE, which premiered at Slamdance 2008 winning the Grand Jury Award and the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature

"Slamdance was an amazing experience! The staff was incredible, everyone was friendly and supportive, the crowds were enthusiastic, and our film got tons of attention and press! We are VERY grateful for the experience and the opportunity to be part of Slamdance and left the festival with a distribution deal!"
-Oren Peli, director, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, Slamdance 2008

"It was an honor and a privilege to premiere at Slamdance. We felt like the luckiest filmmakers ever; we signed papers with New Line right after our first screening and once we could announce that sale, got to enjoy a wonderful week in Park City."
-Seth Gordon, director, THE KING OF KONG, which premiered at Slamdance 2007

"We were thrilled to be chosen as the 2007 Slamdance Opening Night Film. We knew that every major film buyer in the world would be in Park City and that the exposure would be invaluable to us. Sure enough, the screening lead to some incredible reviews and a fantastic theatrical sale to Magnolia Pictures."
-Allan Moyle, director, WEIRDSVILLE, which premiered at Slamdance 2007

"Slamdance's support of our film didn't end with the festival. It wasn't "good bye and good luck" on February 1. They checked up on us throughout the year, hooking us up with high profile screenings like "Slamdance in New York" at the IFC Center. The support helped: we just sold our film to the Sundance Channel!"
-Jeremy Stulberg, co-director, OFF THE GRID: LIFE ON THE MESA, which premiered at Slamdance 2007

"Slamdance was the first festival to show my film and winning was totally unexpected. Since then it's been picked up by a whole bunch of other fests, about two per month which is amazing. I've even just finished my first paid job as an animator."
-Robin Fuller, director, THE BALLAD OF MARY SLADE, which premiered at Slamdance 2007 winning the Grand Jury Award for Best Animated Short

"Slamdance provided us with the invaluable opportunity to meet the folks who would eventually become the domestic distributor for our film!"
-Lynn Shelton, writer/director, WE GO WAY BACK, Grand Jury Award Best Feature Slamdance 2006

"As emerging filmmakers at our debut festival, we could not have been in a better place. Slamdance is pure festival and we were honored to be a part of it."
-Marilyn Agrelo & Amy Sewell, director/producer MAD HOT BALLROOM, which premiered at Slamdance 2005


Clementine Leger (Festival Manager); Deron Williams (Filmmaker); Hilary Campbell


ALL DEADLINES ARE RECEIVED-BY DEADLINES. All materials must be received by the deadlines listed, NOT postmarked by that date.


We now accept Withoutabox online screeners for all submissions. All filmmakers are welcome to either submit a Withoutabox online screener or send us a DVD. However, Feature length filmmakers choosing to submit via Withoutabox online screeners are strongly encouraged to send DVD copies of their film as back up. We do NOT accept Blu-ray discs as submission copies.

We strongly advise filmmakers to submit a password-protected link of their film IN ADDITION to their Withoutabox online screener or DVD submission. Please include the link in the Cover Letter section of your Withoutabox submission page, or email it to us at submissions@slamdance.com by referencing your WAB tracking number. Once again, the online link is only a supplement to your official submission screener (DVD or Withoutabox online screener)

If you are mailing a DVD to us, please send your film in a paper DVD sleeve. When packaging, protect the DVD in a padded envelope, or similar package. Please DO NOT send your dvd in a slim, jewel, or standard DVD case. We also advise that you purchase tracking for the shipment of your submission DVD to ensure that we receive it on time. Film submissions are non-returnable. Please do not send original materials.

Please note that the ONLY difference in the early submission deadline versus the final submission deadline is the fee discount. The submission process and consideration by the Programming Committee is not affected by the date you submit your film as long as it is received by our final deadline! We appreciate, however, filmmakers submitting their work as early as possible.


Slamdance 2016 films will be selected by the festival programmers. Selections will be posted on our website around mid-December 2015.

ALL films submitted to the festival are seen and scored by two different programmers. All films that have a higher average, or are a favorite of a programmer, go on to final deliberations. Slamdance selects its films by majority vote and nothing is offered early acceptance; we aim for the most democratic, film-loving selection process on the planet. Nay, in the universe.

The 2016 Slamdance Film Festival will take place in Park City, UT from January 22nd-28th, 2016. Unfortunately, Slamdance does not provide room, board or travel for filmmakers, so we suggest bringing a cushion. Please note festival dates are subject to change.

For More Information:

Most questions can be answered on slamdance.com and our FAQ pages. After you submit, please check your Withoutabox online account to see if your film has been received. Please don't contact us to find out if you film has been received. Check online.

For any other questions, feel free to contact us!

Phone: 323 466 1786
Fax: 323 466 1784
E-mail: submissions@slamdance.com


Entrants warrant that they have the legal right to enter film work to Slamdance 2016. As the Director/Producer of the Film, entrants have submitted to the Festival, entrants represent and warrant to the Festival that the Film and all parts thereof are original; that the Film does not contravene the rights of any person or entity and that entrants own or control the Film and all parts thereof and have the sole authority to submit the Film to the Festival; the Film entrants submitted to the Festival is not subject to nor threatened by any litigation.

Entrants acknowledge that no fiduciary or confidential relationship now exists between the Festival and entrants, and entrants further acknowledge that no such relationship is established by these guidelines, my submission of the Film, or by the Festival's acceptance, review or retention of the Film.

If a film is accepted, entrants will be solely responsible for delivering their exhibition video materials to and from the festival venue. A complete press kit and an online link to your film will be needed as soon after notification as possible. Slamdance cannot be held liable for your exhibition print/video materials which are lost or damaged.

By submitting to the Festival you agree to be included in Slamdance's quarterly newsletter News From Nowhere. If you would prefer to not receive these newsletters please unsubscribe from the first email you receive.