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Slamdance Welcomes New Director for 11th Year Festival

By Keiko Beatie

Slamdance, set for January 21-28, 2005 is now coming into its 11th year as a festival.  With this new era will be a new executive director. Kathleen McInnis was brought on in September 2004, to guide the Festival and has many years of experience within the industry. She is looking forward to the event in Park City and the continuing success of Slamdance. McInnis was with Seattle International Film Festival for the past ten years in various capacities, including Programmer and PR. She created the Fly Filmmaking Challenge in 1997 and was the festival and filmmaker liaison at as well as producing a number of short films.

In asking what her goals were for this years Sundance it was the ?If its not broken it doesnt need fixing, mantra. ?The festival has had such an incredible history and is well respected and admired for the innovative programming and for truly finding the diamond in the rough filmmakers of tomorrow. The alumni of Slamdance is incredible and it has inspired me with the continuing support they share with the Festival," said McInnis. Her favorite part of the festival is the dedicated, hard working staff, volunteers, and filmmakers that help make the festival a success.

Opening night will feature the documentary Mad Hot Ballroom and Closing the Festival will be the documentary I am Not Alone.  This type of presentation is a first for Slamdance, which in the past presented feature narrative films for these coveted spots. Along with these films, the festival will feature 11 competition narrative feature films, eight competition documentary films, six special screenings and seven midnight screenings, plus more than 80 short films.  This year the festival had more than 2,800 submissions.

New this year is a cutting edge game program competition where the 10 finalists will be vying for a chance to have their game program actually come to fruition as a video game.  BIG C Gaming Competition sponsored by BAWLS Guarana, NC Soft, Teleplay, fox21 and Twentieth Century Fox will consist of independent game developers where the audience members are encourage to play the games during the first weekend of the Festival. 

First started in 1994 by four independent filmmakers: Peter Baxter, Dan Mirvish, Jon Fitzgerald and Shane Kuhn, who were in search for a supportive outlet to screen their films as an alternative to Sundance, they forged the way that some thought was impossible.  Now 11 years later the Treasure Mountain Inn on Main Street in Park City hosts this eight-day festival, which draws an audience seeking more true independent films. The festival has truly reached its goal with the past alumni who look upon Slamdance with gratitude and respect. Slamdance Film Festival past alumni include Memento director Christopher Nolan whos film Following screened in 1999, the Russo Brothers who in 1997 submitted Pieces, and Marc Forster, Monster Ball, which was 1996 Audience Award Winner for Loungers

Screenings will take place at Treasure Mountain Inn and in Salt Lake City at the Murray Theater and the Brew Pub Theater. Some of the films screening this year are: Mail Cop, The Milk Can, Phil the Alien, Zombie Honeymoon, Frozen, On the Outs, This Very Moment, Four-Eyed Monster, The Dry Spell, Stral, Ellektra, Closer She Gets, La Sierra, In a Nutshell, Liquid Vinyl, Abel Raises Cain, Jiso, The Real Dirty on Farmer John, Amelia, Male Fantasy, Commune, All Souls Day, Ill Fated, Ringers: Lord of the Fans, and Off Beat.

Many are looking to Kathleen McInnis to carry on the positive efforts that have been fostered in the first 10 years of the festival. Best of luck to Slamdance this year and to all the independent filmmakers. To purchase tickets or for more information please visit the website at or by visiting the new box office at 608 Main Street in Park City.

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