Slamdance Film Festival will open with world premiere of Lynne Sachs’ Film About a Father Who. Over a period of 35 years between 1984 and 2019, filmmaker Lynne Sachs shot 8 and 16mm film, videotape and digital images of her father, Ira Sachs Sr., a bon vivant and pioneering businessman from Park City, Utah. The 26th edition of the festival will take place January 24 to 30, 2020 in Park City, Utah.
Film About a Father Who is Sachs’ attempt to understand the web that connects a child to her parent, and a sister to her siblings. With a nod to the Cubist renderings of a face, her cinematic exploration of her father offers simultaneous, sometimes contradictory views of one seemingly unknowable man who is publicly the uninhibited center of the frame yet privately ensconced in secrets. In the process, Sachs allows herself and her audience inside to see beyond the surface of the skin, the projected reality. As the startling facts mount, Sachs as a daughter discovers more about her father than she had ever hoped to reveal.
“It takes undeniable courage to discover and reveal shocking truths about one’s family,” said Slamdance Festival Manager Alina Solodnikova. “Lynne Sachs has done it with unique style, a dry sense of humor and honesty that captivates our programmers. A generation in the making, FILM ABOUT A FATHER WHO is pulling no punches. We couldn’t imagine a better film to open Slamdance 2020.
Slamdance will host a special festival event of Amazon Studios’ THE VAST OF NIGHT, involving a master class workshop and selected scenes with filmmaker Andrew Patterson. THE VAST OF NIGHT world premiered out of the Slamdance Film Festival in 2019, where it won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature. The master class discussion will be geared toward the film’s production and its journey from Slamdance to Amazon Studios.
Slamdance is also adding the world premiere of SHOOT TO MARRY to its previously announced Breakouts section. From director Steve Markle, a heartbroken documentary filmmaker focuses his camera on interesting women with hopes of meeting the love of his life. Launched last year, Breakouts are films by non-first-time-feature directors who demonstrate a determined vision of filmmaking that is instinctively becoming their own.
The 2020 shorts lineup was unveiled by Slamdance, showcasing 81 short films in six categories from 26 countries around the world. Shorts in the Narrative, Documentary and Animation sections are eligible for the 2020 Oscar® Qualifying Shorts competition. The 2020 short film program will include, for the second year, an Episodes category showcasing episodic work in any style, genre and format intended for broadcast – from comedy and drama to documentaries, social commentary and beyond.
The Slamdance shorts program has a rich history of screening the first works of filmmakers who have gone on to highly successful careers in Hollywood, including Rian Johnson, Lena Dunham, Benh Zeitlin, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Don Hertzfeldt, Ari Aster, Andrew Thomas Huang, Jeremiah Zagar, Jon M. Chu and Ana Lily Amirpour.
Slamdance will host two additional Special Screenings. The first is the late night screening of ANIMATION OUTLAWS, an homage to Spike and Mike of Spike & Mike’s Festival of Animation, from director Kat Alioshin. Two hippie friends unite to start an animation festival that launched the careers of many directors in the animation world. The second is the US premiere of LILLIAN, from director/screenwriter Andreas Horvath, follows an emigrant stranded in New York City, who decides to walk back to her native Russia. LILLIAN previously screened during the 2019 Cannes Film Festival and has earned several awards in its festival circuit thus far, such as Best Film Award from Young Jury (Montélimar), Golden Anchor Award for Best International Debut Feature Film (Haifa), Seymour-CasselAward for Best Female Performance for Patrycja Płanik (Oldenburg), and more.
Film About a Father Who – (USA) World Premiere – OPENING NIGHT Director: Lynne Sachs For 30 years, filmmaker Lynne Sachs shot film with her father, Ira Sachs, a bohemian businessman from Park City. With a nod to Cubist portraiture, Lynne’s exploration of her father offers a multifaceted view of a man who is always in the center of the frame, yet somehow ensconced in secrets.
Shoot To Marry – (Canada) World Premiere Director: Steve Markle A heartbroken documentary filmmaker focuses his camera on interesting women with hopes of meeting the love of his life.
Animation Outlaws – (USA) – late night screening, homage to Spike & Mike of Spike & Mike’s Festival of Animation Director: Kat Alioshin Two hippie friends unite to start an animation festival that launched the careers of many directors in the animation world.
Lillian – (Austria) US Premiere Director/ Screenwriter: Andreas Horvath Lillian, an emigrant stranded in New York City, decides to walk back to her native Russia. She resolutely starts out on the long journey. A road movie straight across the USA into the freezing temperatures of Alaska. The chronicle of a slow disappearance. Cast: Patrycja Płanik
Borrachero – (Canada) US Premiere Director/ Screenwriter: Gustavo Cerquera Benjumea
After a job goes wrong, a woman flees to her hometown in southern Colombia. Along the way she encounters a mysterious figure, which might be the embodied spirit of an ancient plant.
Driftless – (USA) Director/ Screenwriter: Jonah Primiano Now only a memory, intimate moments with a family pet emerge and evaporate through delicate graphite drawings.
Don’t Buy Milk – (UK, Costa Rica) Director/ Screenwriter: Julian Gallese A whimsical portrait of a small dairy town.
Gray Body – (Iran) Director: Samaneh Shojaei Screenwriter: Amin Kafashzadeh The doctor is calmly visiting the patient. There are some psychiatric patients sitting in the waiting room, but these patients cannot be expected to be calm.
Hot and Tasty – (UK) Director: Laura Jayne Hodkin Screenwriter: Laura Jayne Hodkin, Simona Mehandzhieva Two drunk friends accidentally walk into a crime scene. Cast: Anna Chloe Moorey, Emmy Rose
In Her Boots – (UK, Austria) US Premiere Director/ Screenwriter: Kathrin Steinbacher A story about Heidi’s attempt to retain her identity and autonomy. Cast: Verena Altenberger, Marianne Freudenthaler, Jannik Goerger, Bertram Tinhof, Kathrin Steinbacher
Leaking Life – (Japan) US Premiere Director/ Screenwriter: Shunsaku Hayashi Touching the surface of the sea, they grow a new skin. A painted experimental animation meditating on liquid forms.
The Little Soul – (Poland) US Premiere Director/ Screenwriter: Barbara Rupik A human soul leaves the dead body and sets off on a journey through a lush and disturbing post-mortem stop motion world.
Mate – (USA) US Premiere Director/ Screenwriter: Chaerin Im A mating ritual on print, plate, and reflection. An experimental film combining animation, printmaking, and photography.
Now 2 – (USA) Director/ Screenwriter: Kevin Eskew Who’s grooming whom? A glossy glimpse into a meticulously manicured suburbia.
San – (South Korea) US Premiere Director/ Screenwriter: Jin Woo Appa wants to feed his daughter, daughter wants to run away from the table, and the kid is laughing.
Symbiosis – (France, Hungary) Director: Nadja Andrasev Screenwriters: Nadja Andrasev, Rita Domonyi When a betrayed wife starts to investigate her husband’s mistresses, her jealousy is gradually replaced by curiosity.
There Were Four of Us – (USA, China) Director/ Screenwriter: Cassie Shao In a room, there are four people. A dreamstate mystery evoked by obscure characters and a mind-melting blend of digital and analog materials. Cast: Joseph O’Malley, Cassie Shao
Zorg II – (Estonia) Director/ Screenwriter: Auden Lincoln-Vogel An alien comes to earth in hopes of starring in a sci-fi blockbuster. Cast: Kirsten Sogaard, Sally Lincoln-Vogel
24 – (USA) Director: Brian Yulo Ng 24 is an experimental documentary and animated retrospective of a young man born between different cultures, it depicts moments of memory through short vignettes of the past.
A Black Hole is a Black Hole in the Ground – (USA) Directors: Tyler Macri, Sophia Feuer An intimate depiction of the strange, ephemeral realities that arise on evenings of play during early youth.
Gods from Space – (USA) Director: Annalise Pasztor Welcome to The Aetherius Society— a religion where prayer can be stored in a battery, Jesus was an alien, and an unusual but kind-hearted community works toward the betterment of humanity.
Happy Ending – (UK) Director: EunJu Ara Choi With real testimony from a Korean sex worker, this beautiful painted animation explores what it is like to be the subject of other people’s pleasure.
Hayat – (Australia) North American Premiere Director: Rendah Haj Hayat documents the lives of Rahma, an Eritrean migrant and her four young children living in Melbourne, Australia.
In a Lion – (Poland) Director: Karol Lindholm In a Danish zoo, visitors can get to know that animals are beautiful on the inside, too. But not all the spectators succumb to the magic of that show.
Margarita of the River – (USA) Director: Pilar Garcia-Fernandezsemsa An animated documentary which showcases moments in the life of a woman from Honduras, who immigrated to the United States in order to support her family back home.
My Favorite Food is Indian Tacos, my Favorite Drink is Iced Tea and my Favorite Thing is Drumming – (Canada) Director: Derius Matchewan A film about courage, and the passion for drumming and traditional singing that young Derius shares with his friends.
Names for Snow – (Canada) Director: Rebecca Thomassie This short follows Rebecca Thomassie, an Inuk woman, around Kangirsuk as she learns the 52 Inuktitut words for snow.
Old Young – (USA) World Premiere Director: Emma Baiada Following 92 year-old Ruth Young and 53 year-old David Maitz, Old Young is a film about companionship, coins, life, and death.
One Nation Under – (USA) Director: Justin McHugh One Nation Under is an investigation into what it means to be an American, questioning idyllic notions of freedom and power by observing the structures around us and hearing from the people overshadowed by them.
The Real Thing – (USA) Director: Julianna Villarosa Using physical media (16mm, VHS) destroyed by Coca-Cola, “The Real Thing” contrasts the famous ad “I’d Like To Buy The World A Coke” with The Coca-Cola Company’s most recent scandal: unconscionable water privatization in Chiapas, Mexico.
To Calm the Pig Inside – (Philippines) World Premiere Director: Joanna Vasquez Arong Ang Pagpakalma sa Unos (To Calm the Pig Inside) is a contemplative film that ponders the effects a typhoon leaves on a small town where myths are woven to help cope with the devastation and trauma.
Spontaneous – (USA) World Premiere Director: Lori Felker You never know when someone is miscarrying; it could be happening right next to you.
Umbilical – (USA, China) Director: Danski Tang An animated documentary exploring how a mother’s abusive relationship shaped the director’s own experiences in boarding school. Through a conversation, a mother and daughter learn to understand and support one another.
When the Children Left – (Canada) Director: Charlene Moore After the untimely passing of her sister, Amelia McLeod, Angelina McLeod travels back home to Shoal Lake 40 First Nation to honour her sister’s spirit and advocate for equal access to education.
The 410 “Episode Two” – (Canada) US Premiere Creator/ Screenwriter: Supinder Wraich Director: Renuka Jeyapalan Hard-boiled noir meets hipster chill in this tale of familial strife and vigilante justice. Desperate to bail her father out of jail, Suri (Indian, blonde and bougie) comes face-to-face with the criminal underworld that operates inside her seemingly quiet suburban community. Cast: Supinder Wraich, Jade Hassouné, Cas Anvar, Balinder Johal
Apricot “Popcorn” – (USA) World Premiere Creators/ Directors/ Screenwriters: Sam Icklow, Jake Thompson Marrying the verve of social media with sketch comedy absurdism, besties Sam and Jake equally celebrate and lampoon our kaleidoscopic consumer world with wit and whimsy. In ‘Popcorn’, our fashionable jokesters get a hankering for everyone’s favorite movie-time snack. Cast: Jake Thompson, Sam Icklow
Bleeding Art “Episode One” – (UK) Creators/ Directors/ Screenwriters: Pardeep Sahota Join artist Daniel Crossan as he shows you his journey down the creative process, all the way down. Cast: Daniel Crossan, Mike Sumpter, Mark Mathews, Caspar
Candide “Home Sweet Home” – (Hungary) US Premiere Creators/ Directors: Zsuzsanna Kreif, Oliver Hegyi Screenwriter: Nandor Bera Behold! Voltaire’s immortal satire remixed for our manic meme age. In this animated adventure, our titular pacifist hero is cast as a vile instrument of war by the nefarious General Pangloss. Cast: Borbala Zetenyi, Marcell Szenasi, Fanni Nemethi, Zoltan Koska
Countdown “Overslept” – (USA) Creator/ Director: Nathan Breton Screenwriter: Joseph Killeen This anthology series explores the unique challenges of choices made when the clock is ticking down. In ‘Overslept,’ Ellen awakens before her alarm but it’s already too late to undo a bubbling betrayal. Cast: Cassandra Clark, Matt Hopkins, Tanmaya Shekhar
Fashion in the Dark II – (Scotland, Poland) Creator/ Director: Emily Ford-Halliday This short-form documentary series observes the way individuals with limited sight redefine their style identities and express themselves through fashion. Visiting 24-year old Rae, we are immersed in a sensual cotton-candy world of youthful idealism and tactile magic. Cast: Borbala Zetenyi, Marcell Szenasi, Fanni Nemethi, Zoltan Koska
Monday “Pixelface” – (Finland) North American Premiere Creators: John Lundsten, Melli Maikkula Director: Samuli Valkama Screenwriters: John Lundsten, Melli Maikkula Nestled disturbingly between ‘Night Gallery’ and ‘Black Mirror’ – each ‘Monday’ installment of this anthology series translates the surreal into a shared dilemma of truth. In ‘Pixelface’ a man’s scrambled face reveals hidden secrets as his wedding day nears.
Cast: Jarkko Niemi, Saara Kotkaniemi, Niina Koponen, Teijo Eloranta Take One Thing Off “All the Pretty Bottles” – (USA) Creator/ Screenwriter: Scout Durwood Director: Bruce Allen An evolving personal odyssey based on original music from cabaret star Scout Durwood’s debut album, this short form series fuses sketch comedy with music videos as fans follow Scout’s transition from a NYC dive bar star to becoming an LA-based internet legend. Cast: Scout Durwood, Graham Beckett, Dre Swain, Nikkilette Wright
The Eyes of Summer – (Sri Lanka, USA) World Premiere Director: Rajee Samarasinghe Made collaboratively with the director’s family shortly after the Sri Lankan Civil War, an improvised narrative develops around an investigation into his mother’s childhood interactions with spirits in the community. ;
For All Audiences – (USA) Director: Josh Weissbach A trailer of an experiment searches for meaning in a moldy montage.
Meteorite – (Mexico) Director: Mauricio Saenz Bird men suffer mysterious falls in the search for where the sun rises. An altered reality through rites that converge in one objective: dying to generate life.
No Garden Beyond – (Bermuda, USA) World Premiere Directors: Rhys Johnevan Morgan, Anna Kipervaser Scenes from above, below and around the Sargasso Sea, a body of water unbounded by land where ecology and mythology have coexisted since before Juan de Bermúdez’s 1505 expedition. Where spirits whisper through the island’s flora and fauna, only to be interrupted by the alternating currents of manmade ruin and regeneration.
Patient’s Copy – (UK) North American Premiere Director: Patrick Tarrant A hand-made reflection on the underconscious and on the illustration of ideas on plastic.
Re-Education of the Senses – (USA) Directors: Erinn E. Hagerty, Adam Savje An experimental vision of Bauhausian hypnotherapy orchestrated by sentient technology.
Shooting Stars – (Germany, Poland) North American Premiere Director: Magda Jaroszewicz The starting point is an observation, through which I near a picture searching for stories that ultimately emerge in one’s head. That night was a different one. It’s a midnight song about masculinity, joy and rivalry.
Ava’s Dating a Senior! – (USA) World Premiere Director/ Screenwriter: Frederic Da Silas is a freshman in high school. He’s in love with Ava, a girl in his grade- but rumor has it she is dating a senior. Cast: Silas Mitchell, Ava Cooper, Archie Thorpe, Loulou Baltz
Blown Joan – (UK) World Premiere Director/ Screenwriter: Teva Cheema A man visits his newlywed brother and sister-in-law and masturbates on their bed. Cast: Charlotte Mangel, Cael King, Jimmy Gorniak
Chubby – (Canada) Directors/ Screenwriters: Madeleine Sims-Fewer, Dusty Mancinelli A ten-year-old girl struggles with the residual trauma of her sexual abuse. Cast: Maya Harman, Jesse LaVercombe, Deragh Campbell
Earth FM – (USA) World Premiere Director/ Screenwriter: Philip Rabalais Three scientists search for an elusive signal…their transmissions cross inside the earth, resulting in a mysterious and cathartic discovery. Cast: Michael Cook, Anna Gebhardt, Dominic Rabalais, Adrien Logsdon
Greetings, from the Planet Krog! – (Canada, USA) North American Premiere Director/ Screenwriter: Yani Gellman A young mother is stolen away to the furthest corners of the galaxy and must escape an alien prison to return home and free her own child. Cast: Kendall Wright, Oliver Orlovski, Julia Hune – Brown
Hell and Such – (Spain) North American Premiere Director/ Screenwriter: Enrique Buelo A stack of self-help books. A few calendars with pictures of naked women. An illegal store. A costume of Sancho Panza. A young woman who suffers. Cast: Marian Gotor, Pilar Ponce, Justo Lozano
It’s Been Too Long – (USA) Director: Amber Schaefer Screenwriters: David Ebert, Krista Jensen When two ex-lovers meet at a rarely-used Aspen lodge to reignite their passions, they must first confess their past sins. Cast: David Ebert, Krista Jensen
Molly’s Single – (USA) Director/ Screenwriter: Ariel Gardner After a devastating break-up, a guilt-ridden amateur singer seeks solace through a series of encounters with prospective suitors. Cast: Magi Calcagne, Aaron Alberstein, Robby Massey, Brodie Reed
The Motorist – (Scotland) World Premiere Director/ Screenwriter: Ciaran Lyons When a man refuses to get out of his car after knocking someone down, justice takes a bizarre form. Cast: Douglas Russel, John Cooke, Maria MacDonnel, Dom Watters
Moving – (USA) Director/ Screenwriter: Adinah Dancyger The act of transporting an old mattress into a new walk-up apartment becomes absurdist, cinematic one- woman choreography. Cast: Hannah Gross; Richard Vetere; John Wilson; Sam Taffel (Voice)
Museum of Fleeting Wonders – (USA) World Premiere Director/ Screenwriter: Tomas Gomez Bustillo A collection of small and magical everyday moments inspired by real people’s stories.
MyToeShoes.Com – (USA) World Premiere Director/ Screenwriter: Corey Hughes A Florida man records an unboxing video for his YouTube channel. Cast: Corey Hughes, Marnie Ellen Hertzler, Nick Vyssotsky
Oracle – (Canada) US Premiere Director/ Screenwriter: Aaron Poole A child internalizes the chaos of home renovations and his parents’ preoccupation, precipitating a fever dream that catapults his consciousness into adult realms of obsession and dread. Cast: Carl MH Brooks, Sarah Naomi Campbell
Our Boy – (USA) World Premiere Director/ Screenwriter: Kyle Sims On the eve of a young boy’s adolescence, his community gathers to usher him through a peculiar coming- of-age ceremony. Cast: Ryan Herzog, Christine Herzog, Mike Dugan, Carol Alaimo
Out of Tune – (USA, Mexico) US Premiere Director/ Screenwriter: Aaron With In an advanced society that worships a musical chord, a maintenance worker who tunes sonic shrines is thwarted by teen vandals. Cast: Alberto Giacoman, Ezio Mastropaolo
Pillars – (USA) World Premiere Director/ Screenwriter: Cameron Bruce Nelson A Mennonite woman reverts to a secret language when her best friend begins the rites of marriage. Cast: Madeline Burton, Isabel Lasker, Donna Gafford, Walker Hare
Pitalev – (Israel) World Premiere Director/ Screenwriter: Omri Dekel-Kadosh Kid. Woman. Pita. Heart. Cast: Shay Litman
Proof – (USA, India) Directors: Nishtha Jain, Deepti Gupta Screenwriter: Nishtha Jain A conscientious young male gynecologist comes face-to-face with the reality of the women’s ward in a government city hospital. Cast: Ritesh Jaltare
Somewhere – (Israel) World Premiere Director/ Screenwriter: Lynn Laor Two 10-year-old girls are trying to relieve the boredom of Shabbat in Safed, the religious town they live in. And then comes the darkness. Cast: Emily Maduel, Lior Gallner, Nissim Lagro
Still Working – (Switzerland) North American Premiere Director/ Screenwriter: Julietta Korbel The guardian of a factory doomed to be demolished is faced with the end of his universe… Cast: Beat Wittwer, Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant
They Salivate – (France) North American Premiere Director/ Screenwriter: Ariane Boukerche At a party, one guest drinks the last kiss of a couple. Cast: Olga Riazanova, Nikho Georgiades, Julie Sokolowski, Marc-Antoine Vaugeois
Third Look – (Israel) Director/ Screenwriter: Efrat Rasner A young woman, travelling by bus from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, is suddenly forced to navigate her way through confusion, guilt, relief, compassion, and alarm. Cast: Yael Finkel, Sasha Netzah Agraunov
Two Words – (USA) Director/ Screenwriter: Jordan Michael Blake A recently engaged couple deals with the stress of competing for $10,000 on a public access gameshow. Cast: Anu Valia, Jordan Michael Blake & Brendan O’Brien
A Walk Down To Water – (Canada) US Premiere Director/ Screenwriter: Levi Holwell A motel employee awaits the arrival of an ambulance after discovering a guest has passed away in one of the rooms. Cast: Boban Stojanović, Myla Southward
DEPARTMENT OF ANARCHY
400 MPH – (France) Directors/ Screenwriters: Paul-Eugène Dannaud, Julia Chaix, Lorraine Desserre, Alice Lefort, Natacha Pianeti, Quentin Tireloque Chimpanzee attempts breaking land speed record.
Ceremony Night – (Iran) Director: Behnam Abedi Screenwriter: Hamed Hoseini Sangari , Behnam Abedi Anarchy games in a ceremony night. Cast: Pejman Yavari, Amir Ahmad Ghazvini, Navid Nouri
Hot Pursuit – (USA) World Premiere Director/ Screenwriter: John Warren Subjected to a meticulous digital reprocessing, both action and narrative dissolve and are subsumed into a psychedelic, cascading digital texture, presided over by a hypnotic soundscape. Cast: General Lee
Karaoke Night – (Portugal, Finland) North American Premiere Director: Francisco Lacerda Screenwriters: Amarino França, Francisco Lacerda Two sleazy tourists have the night of their lives at a Karaoke bar in the Azores. Cast: Rita Borges, Francisco Lopes, Fernando Alle, Eliezer Pereira
The Message From Space – (USA) Director/ Screenwriter: Grier Dill Earth receives a message from deep space, showing us how to create a new miracle substance that can replace every modern material we currently use. Cast: Anne Smith, Anthony Lund
Nevermore – (USA) World Premiere Director/ Screenwriter: Joshua Franco A paranoid raven writer trying to overcome writer’s block.
Over/Under – (USA) Director/ Screenwriter: Dia Jenet A game for two. Cast: Dia Jenet
Piggy – (Spain) Director/ Screenwriter: Carlota Pereda For Sara, being a teen can be a real horror story. Cast: Laura Galán, Paco Hidalgo, Elizabet Casanovas, Mireia Vilapuig
The Procedure Part 2 – (USA) Director/ Screenwriter: Calvin Lee Reeder A man is forced to endure another strange experiment. Cast: Christian Palmer, Terry Sequel
Smiles – (Spain) Director/ Screenwriter: Javier Chavanel Borja is about to meet his girlfriend ́s parents. Cast: Luis Miguel Jara, Loreto S. Santamaría, Alejando Sigüenza
Sweep Away Hungry Ghosts – (UK) North American Premiere Director/ Screenwriter: Zhang and Knight A wishful reverie of a young Asian man as he struggles to come to terms with his deceased father’s cross-dressing. Cast: Takuro Hama Cheung, Ken Mai
Washed – (USA) Director/ Screenwriter: Michael Bartolomeo In this stop-motion horror short, a couple enlists the aid of a mysterious figure to help them with their seemingly insurmountable laundry problem. Cast: Stephen West-Rogers as Man, Sergine Garraud as Woman, Lukas Hassel as The Cleaner