Slamdance 2017 Winners

Slamdance 2017 Winners

The 23rd Slamdance Film Festival announced the feature and short film recipients of this year's Sparky awards in the Audience, Jury, and Sponsored Categories. The award winners were announced at the festival’s annual Awards Ceremony at the Treasure Mountain Inn in Park City, UT.

A jury of esteemed filmmakers and industry professionals determined the Slamdance Jury Awards for Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature, and Short Film categories. The Audience Awards as well as the Spirit of Slamdance, an award given by the filmmakers of Slamdance 2017 to the filmmaker who best embodies the spirit of the Festival, were also bestowed. The feature competition films in the Documentary and Narrative Programs are limited to first-time filmmakers working with production budgets of less than $1 million.

This year’s Slamdance Narrative Jury Prizes were selected by: film critic Jason Coleman, Ania Trzebiatowska (Visit Films), and filmmaker Jerzy Rose (CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY). The Sparky Prize for Best Narrative Feature went to DIM THE FLUORESCENTS; directed by Daniel Warth, and written by Warth and Miles Barstead.

“It’s empathetic, weird and insanely funny.” said Slamdance jurors. “This film delivers its crazy script with guts & panache. It's a delight--beautifully executed and smart as a whip.”

This year’s Slamdance Documentary Jury Prizes were selected by: filmmaker Adrian Belic (GENGHIS BLUES; BEYOND THE CALL), filmmaker Mario DeAngelis, filmmaker/journalist Silvia Bizio. The Sparky Prize for Best Documentary Feature went to STRAD STYLE; directed by Stefan Avalos.

Jurors shared that they honor the film, “for capturing a journey of passion and commitment, honesty and the triumph of one vision against all odds.”

The same Jury also gave the Sparky Prize for Best Documentary Short to MORIOM, directed by Francesca Scalisi and Mark Olexa, highlighting “its arresting portrayal dramatically shot of human trauma and its consequence.”

This year’s Slamdance Narrative Shorts and Animated Shorts jury prizes were selected by: filmmaker Sonia Albert Sobrino, Jeffrey Bowers (VIMEO, Sr, Curator), and filmmaker Malik Vitthal (IMPERIAL DREAMS). The Sparky Prize for Best Narrative Short went to NO OTHER WAY TO SAY IT, directed by Tim Mason

Jurors celebrated the film and shared, “we recognize this brave new voice that found the magical combination to create this work.”

The Sparky Prize for Best Animated Short went to Hold Me (Ca Caw Ca Caw), directed by Renee Zhan. “This film is brilliant, and nuanced portrait of power and control and the pain that this artists creates,” said Jurors. “Its honest voice found a way to share a very private moment with a flawless combination of oppressed levity”

This year’s Experimental Shorts/Anarchy Shorts Prizes were selected by: filmmaker Miriam Albert Sobrino, filmmaker Mike Olenick (RED LUCK; THE CURE), and film programmer Bryan Wendorf (Chicago Underground Film Festival)

The Sparky Prize for Best Experimental Short went to UpCycles, directed by Ariana Gerstein. “We are impressed by the unusual and meticulous process involved in making UpCycles,” said Jurors. “We are even more affected that the process never overshadowed the pure visual delight of experiencing this experimental film.”

The Sparky Prize for Best Anarchy Short was given to APE SODOM, directed by Maxwell McCabe-Lokos. “While we were impressed by the strange and fully realized world of this film,” Jurors said, “We were more impressed by seeing how many objects someone could shove up their ass at one time. Ape Sodom not only lived up to its name--it embodies the spirit of anarchy.”

The Spirit Of Slamdance Award went to the film team of NEIGHBORHOOD FOOD DRIVE, directed by Jerzy Rose, and written by Rose, Halle Butler, and Mike Lopez

Awards were also given to festival favorites, voted on by the Slamdance audiences. The Narrative Feature Audience Award was given to DAVE MADE A MAZE, Bill Watterson, and written by Watterson and Steven Sears. The Documentary Feature Audience Award was given to STRAD STYLE. The Beyond Feature Audience Award was given to FUTURE ‘38, directed by Jamie Greenberg.

Full list of winners:

Jury Awards

Jury Awards | Narrative Features

Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize Dim the Fluorescents (Canada) World Premiere Director: Daniel Warth; Screenwriter(s): Miles Barstead, Daniel Warth
Jury statement: “Empathetic, weird and insanely funny, this film delivers its crazy script with guts & panache. It's a delight--beautifully executed and smart as a whip. The jury is thrilled to present the grand jury prize for best narrative feature to DIM THE FLUORESCENTS.”

Documentary Feature Grand Jury Prize Strad Style (USA) World Premiere Director: Stefan Avalos Jury statement: “For capturing a journey of passion and commitment, honesty and the triumph of one vision against all odds.’

Documentary Short Grand Jury Prize Moriom (Switzerland) Director(s): Francesca Scalisi, Mark Olexa Jury statement: “For an arresting portrayal dramatically shot of human trauma and its consequence.”

Jury Awards | Narrative Shorts/Animated Shorts

Narrative Shorts Grand Jury Prize No Other Way To Say It (USA) Director and Screenwriter: Tim Mason Jury statement: “Brave new voice, that found the magical combination to create the complete short film. "It's Good There's no other way to say it."

Animated Shorts Grand Jury Prize Hold Me (Ca Caw Ca Caw) (USA) Renee Zhan Jury statement: “For its brilliant, and nuanced portrait of power and control and the pain that this artists creates. This honest voice found a way to share a very private moment with a flawless combination of oppressed levity”

Jury Awards | Experimental Shorts/Anarchy Shorts

Experimental Shorts Grand Jury Prize UpCycles (USA) Director: Ariana Gerstein Jury statement: “We are impressed by the unusual and meticulous process involved in making UpCycles. We are even more affected that the process never overshadowed the pure visual delight of experiencing this experimental film.”

Anarchy Shorts Grand Jury Prize Ape Sodom (Canada) Director and Screenwriter: Maxwell McCabe-Lokos Jury statement: “While we were impressed by the strange and fully realized world of this film, we were more impressed by seeing how many objects someone could shove up their ass at one time. Ape Sodom not only lived up to its name -- it embodies the spirit of anarchy.”

Spirit of Slamdance Award Winner: Neighborhood Food Drive (USA) World Premiere Director: Jerzy Rose; Screenwriter(s): Halle Butler, Mike Lopez, Jerzy Rose

Audience Awards

Audience Award for Narrative Feature: Dave Made a Maze (USA) World Premiere Director: Bill Watterson; Screenwriter(s): Steven Sears, Bill Watterson

Audience Award for Documentary Feature: Strad Style (USA) World Premiere Director: Stefan Avalos

Audience Award for Beyond Feature: Future ‘38 (USA) World Premiere Director and Screenwriter: Jamie Greenberg

“Independent film is made beautiful not by those individual artists that form celebrity culture but by creative collaboration,” said Slamdance Co-Founder and President, Peter Baxter. “At Slamdance this year we've experienced an entire program of beautiful independent film and the promise of great emerging artists continuing the legacy of what we set out to do. With our awards we honor several filmmakers yet we know and must acknowledge Slamdance has just been made stronger by everyone of them who has taken part.”

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