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More European productions head to US soil for Slamdance


- The festival will introduce European productions across its 2022 line-up, including the main competition, and an innovative section for digital, interactive and gaming works

More European productions head to US soil for Slamdance
Snow White Dies at the End by Kristijan Risteki

After the announcement by the Sundance Film Festival (see the news), yet more European productions are set to premiere on US soil imminently. The Slamdance Film Festival is about to return to Park City, Utah, where its 28th edition will take place entirely online from 27 January-6 February 2022.

“We are anti-algorithm. That’s always been true, but it’s more urgent than ever as we continue to celebrate truly unique voices that defy simple classification and transcend analytics,” says Slamdance president and co-founder Peter Baxter. “This year, our programmers gravitated towards films that embody the true DIY spirit of guerrilla filmmaking and push the boundaries of what’s possible in storytelling. The Slamdance team is honoured to introduce every one of these storytellers, who are changing the media narrative and elevating the art form of independent film.” All competition films, chosen from more than 1,124 submissions, are directorial debuts without US distribution and with budgets of less than $1 million.

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“This year, the committee elected to feature three strong debut features from the EU. Poland’s Love Tasting [+see also:
film review
film profile
by Dawid Nickel is a moving LGBTQI+ coming-of-age tale, North Macedonia's Snow White Dies at the End by Kristijan Risteki is a whimsical, multi-narrative film, and the Spanish title Ultrainnocence by Manuel Arija de la Cuerda is an absurdist tale of space travel. All three films demonstrate how EU cinema offers distinct and remarkable independent visions of the ends and beginnings of eras,” Mila Zuo, a co-captain of narrative features programming, explained to Cineuropa. Polish cinema will be further represented, in the documentary feature competition, by Krzysztof Kasior’s Fury, a portrait of Aleksandra Rola, a Polish MMA champion with a complicated backstory.

“European independent cinema has historically been audacious, particularly from Europe’s established auteurs. What we’ve seen in the last several years in the Slamdance submissions and selections is a definite surge in young debuts and sophomore efforts from young filmmakers with a distinct vision who are taking big risks in their storytelling. This year, we can see this in Kristijan Risteki’s Snow White Dies at the End, from North Macedonia, and Frauke Havemann’s Be Right Back, from Germany,” Paul Rachman, Slamdance co-conspirator and co-captain of Breakouts, said to Cineuropa. In addition, the Department of Anarchy section will be hosting an array of European films, including Kate McMullen’s Little Berlin, a German movie in which real stories from gig workers intertwine with Neal Stephenson’s novel Snow Crash; the Belgian retrofuturistic reimagining of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death; and the British effort What’s My Name? by Arthur Studholme.

The innovative DIG section, a showcase of digital, interactive and gaming works, will present oeuvres from several European independent artists, including Tomasz Stankiewicz’s Maharaja’s Children. Brave Bunch in India; Sam Crane’s staging of Shakespeare inside Grand Theft Auto, We Are Such Stuff as Dreams Are Made On; and the German narrative game Harold Halibut, about life on a city-sized spaceship submerged in an alien ocean, among others.

The full line-up of the 2022 hybrid Slamdance Film Festival is available here.

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