As everyone involved in the independent film industry knows, the Sundance Film Festival is going on in Park City, Utah as we speak. Sundance is a showcase for new works from filmmakers all over the world and has brought attention to modern-day cinematic classics as Reservoir Dogs, Little Miss Sunshine, Clerks and Napolean Dynamite as well as launching the careers of Quentin Tarantino, Jim Jarmusch and Steven Soderbergh. While Sundance was once the destination for small-budget, independent films and filmmakers, it has become a media extravaganza complete with Hollywood celebrities, paparazzi and corporate-sponsored luxury lounges.
This is why, in 1995, a group of filmmakers who weren’t accepted into Sundance decided to start the Slamdance Film Festival. Their goal was to showcase “a truer representation of independent filmmaking” and to give new and emerging talent a venue to show their works. Slamdance is the only major film festival fully programmed by filmmakers; fittingly, their mantra is “By Filmmakers For Filmmakers.” It has become a year-round organization that helps unique and innovative filmmakers get more exposure and now consists of not only the film festival, but a Screenplay and Teleplay Competition and Slamdance Studios.