24th Annual

Slamdance Film Festival

January 18, 2018 to January 25, 2018

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

SERVICES COMING SOON • This event has recently updated its Call For Entries. Add it to your Watch List and set a Remind-Me if you want to be notified when submissions open on 25-May-2017.

Narrative Features (RECEIVED-BY DEADLINES)
Narrative Features over 40 minutes in length. All submissions must be 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, strong points of view, and unique approaches to filmmaking. We are drawn to original voices. 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. Submissions can be from anywhere in the world and are programmed in narrative short blocks, and before narrative features. We welcome a wide variety of styles and genres: comedy, drama, horror, underground, and fiction films that defy immediate classification. 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)
Documentaries over 40 minutes in length. All submissions must be made by first-time documentary feature directors, with a budget under one million dollars, and have 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. Submissions ca be from anywhere in the world and 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 a Beyond 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 discovering 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. 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.


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 Experimental Short

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

-Filmmaker Award for Spirit of Slamdance (all participating filmmakers vote on the film/filmmakers that represents the Spirit of Slamdance)

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

Additional prizes:

-Each year additional prizes 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 Cinema Club programs.
- Additional opportunities exist at Slamdance through its year-round theatrical and distribution enterprises.


"Until Slamdance, I didn’t know I was a filmmaker. I was just a guy who had made something with some great people. But the encouragement, the enthusiasm, the positivity, and the straight-shooting practical advice and support from the Slamdance staff, and from the community of fellow makers I met in Park City, changed everything. The experience pushed me to step into the shoes of a filmmaker, to own it, to embrace it, to honor the responsibility of it. And I will be forever grateful."
-Bill Watterson, director, DAVE MADE A MAZE, Audience Award Winner for Best Narrative Feature Slamdance 2017

"As film festivals go, Slamdance is at the top of the heap. The combination of varied, audacious programming and the unpretentious, warm hospitality reminds me of the early hardcore church-basement shows I attended as a teenager. Wedged both metaphorically and literally between a hard-to-get-to snowy mountaintop and the cult of personality circus that is Sundance it somehow fits perfectly. A true home for orphans."
-Maxwell McCabe-Lokos, director, APE SODOM, Grand Jury Award for Best Anarchy Short Slamdance 2017

"Being a first-time filmmaker I knew that Slamdance would be the best festival to premiere at. Its small slate and supportive staff gave the film a great amount of attention leading up to a distribution deal with Lionsgate and Animal Planet hours after the first screening. It changed the life of our film and mine overnight!"
-Brian Golden Davis, director, THE MILLION DOLLAR DUCK, Grand Jury Award and Audience Award Winner for Best Documentary Feature Slamdance 2016

"Slamdance Film Festival is my favorite. There's a great, positive vibe all around, and being surrounded by like minded people is inspiring. People are supportive and being in this atmosphere encourages me to continue in my filmmaking journey. Also, once you're part of the Slamdance family, there are numerous opportunities in which to participate, as Slamdance has other screenings outside of the film festival at Park City, an online presence, programming for the festival, helping with the future festivals, and many other avenues in which one can be a part. It is worth submitting to, as your film will be seen by at least two filmmakers and the process is Democratic and 100% based on blind submissions (everyone gets a fair chance.) It's no wonder that this organization has gained in popularity and remains cutting edge and progressive in delivering content, spreading the word while staying independent, and most importantly, being a festival 'By Filmmakers, For Filmmakers.' Keep up the great work, Slamdance!"
-Wally Chung, Director of THE EATER and THINK INK, Slamdance programmer and winner of The Spirit of Slamdance Award.


Clementine Leger (Festival Manager); Laila Hashemi (Media and Marketing Manager)


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. We do NOT accept Blu-ray discs as submission copies.

If you are mailing us a DVD, please send it in a paper sleeve NOT in a slim, jewel or standard case. Programmers do not review any marketing materials. When packaging, protect the DVD in a padded envelope. 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 2018 films will be selected by the festival programmers. Selections will be posted on www.Slamdance.com and www.Showcase.Slamdance.com around mid-December 2017.

ALL films submitted to the festival are seen and scored by at least 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 no films are offered early acceptance; we aim for the most democratic, film-loving selection process on the planet. Nay, in the universe.

The 2018 Slamdance Film Festival will take place in Park City, UT from January 18th-25th, 2018. 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 and put into consideration rather than emailing or calling the office. Check online first!

For any other questions, feel free to contact us!

Phone: 323 466 1786

E-mail: submissions@slamdance.com


Entrants warrant that they have the legal right to enter film work to Slamdance 2018. 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 email blasts. If you would prefer to not receive these newsletters please unsubscribe from the first email you receive.