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SLAMDANCE 2023

Slamdance welcomes European titles

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- Zara Dwinger’s The Girl Who Was Cursed and Nina Ognjanović's debut Where the Road Leads will be locking horns in the festival’s Narrative Feature Competition

Slamdance welcomes European titles
The Girl Who Was Cursed by Zara Dwinger

It’s the start of the new year and more European titles are set to bow on US soil. In addition to the tempting showcase of European auteurs slated for the Sundance Film Festival (read our news), the 29th edition of Slamdance Film Fest - unspooling between 20 and 26 January in Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah - will also be welcoming a raft of European titles. The American festival which describes itself as “by filmmakers, for filmmakers” has assembled its 2023 line-up out of 7,600 total submissions, 1,522 of which were feature films. All the movies selected in the Narrative Features and Documentary Features competition categories are directorial debuts with no US distribution and with budgets lower than $1 million USD, an aspect that has been unique to Slamdance since its founding in 1995.

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“From the streets of Seattle to the psychedelic skies of a unicorn-run dystopia, our filmmakers are transporting audiences to new dimensions with stories that explore the nuances of disability, immigration and gender. This year’s line-up represents a generation of new directors who are breaking boundaries and redefining what filmmaking looks like in 2023,” enthused festival manager Lily Yasuda.

The Narrative Feature Competition will host the North American premiere of Zara Dwinger´s stylised, tragicomic neo-noir about outsiders, family, and the desire to disappear, The Girl Who Was Cursed, while emerging Serbian director Nina Ognjanović’s debut Where the Road Leads [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
is set to enjoy its world premiere in the narrative competition. Ognjanović’s drama follows a young protagonist called Jana who attempts to save the life of a foreigner who can whisk her away from her hometown, and the movie has already been boarded by US sales agent Circus Road Films. Marek Kozakiewicz, meanwhile, will introduce an unconventional family portrait set in a small Polish village, Silent Love [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, in the Documentary Feature Competition. The film follows Aga who returns to Poland to take care of her younger brother, arriving in the conservative country with her partner Maja.

The first feature documentary about the legendary mime artist Marcel Marceau, The Art of Silence [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Maurizius Staerkle Drux, and Remy van Heugten’s coming-of-(r)age drama Mascot, revolving around the teenage protagonist’s radicalised behaviour, are set to screen in the Breakouts section, while Elsbeth Fraanje´s intimate documentary Sexual Healing has been picked for the Unstoppable Features line-up, exploring the quest for intimacy of 50-something Evelien who was born with cerebral palsy.

The 2023 edition of Slamdance will unfold in hybrid form, with an in-person festival, and an online presence via the Slamdance Channel between 23 and 29 January.

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