As Sundance continues in Park City, the 20th annual Slamdance Film Festival wrapped tonight with its awards ceremony. The fest handed its Audience Award for Narrative Feature going to Mark Raso’s Copenhagen and the documentary nod to Kate S. Logan’s Kidnapped For Christ. The Jury Awards went to Fernando Frias De La Parra’s Rezeta (Narrative) and Matthew Bauckman and Jaret Belliveau’s Elliot (Documentary). And The Spirit Of Slamdance Award went to The Greggs, from directors Bruce Bundy, Nigel DeFriez, Rob Malone, Kira Pearson, Alex Mechanik, Jessie Levandov, Jonathan Rosenblit. 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. Here is the full list of winners and special mentions:
EXCLUSIVE: Main Street Films has acquired distribution rights to La Bare, a documentary directed by Joe Manganiello about the history, lives and culture of the world’s most popular male strip club, La Bare Dallas. Manganiello, who played Big Dick Richie alongside Channing Tatum in the Steven Soderbergh-directed Magic Mike, made the film through 3:59 Inc., which is run by his brother, Nick Manganiello. The deal was worth mid six-figures for North American and Chinese rights and includes a commitment by Main Street to give the docu a 20-market U.S. theatrical release in the summer.
This is a big deal for Slamdance and Manganiello came for the film’s Sunday night debut at the Treasure Mountain Inn, followed by a raucous Q&A featuring Elvis Mitchell and Manganiello, the True Blood star who’ll next be seen in Sabotage. “I was immediately impressed by Main Street’s excitement, vision, resources and character,” Manganiello said. “I got that sense in my gut right away that this was the right company to help launch 3:59′s flagship film La Bare, as well as form a strong partnership for future projects.”
Deal was brokered by Main Street’s Harrison Kordestani, who said the deal allows the distributor to get into the documentary game. “We are really impressed with what Joe has produced and are excited to partner with him on distributing La Bare in North America.” The film’s music was composed by star DJ … Read More »
Jack Black’s Electric Dynamite has come on to executive produce Wizard’s Way, the film that premieres this weekend at Slamdance. Black will serve as an executive producer along with Electric Dynamite’s Priyanka Mattoo on a mockumentary written and directed by Joe Stretch, Socrates Adams and Chris Killen. Black’s shingle also will develop a remake. WME Global is handling domestic sales.
Wizard’s Way documents the lives of Barry Tubbulb and Julian “Windows” Andrews, who spend their time playing an aging online fantasy video game called Wizard’s Way. Joe and Chris are two ambitious young filmmakers who have discovered something about the game that will change all their lives forever. A tussle between hipsters and gamers ensues, a struggle that cuts to the heart of much cultural conflict: Bap vs. Beef, Wizard vs. Dragon, Game vd. Life. With no other purpose in life, our lead sets out on his final quest: to find his Wizard’s Way wife in the real world. Wizard’s Way is a classic rites of passage story and an unlikely blueprint for modern living. Electric Dynamite, Black, Stretch, Adams and Killen are repped by WME. Electric Dynamite is also repped by Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.
Slamdance, the tiny indie film gathering that plays out quietly as most are consumed with the Sundance Film Festival, is trying to make at least a little splash for itself. They’ve established a Founder’s Award and will bestow it Saturday, January 18 on Christopher Nolan. Before he began making Hollywood’s most ambitious big-budget films from the Dark Knight trilogy to Inception and most recently Interstellar, his debut film Following played at the micro-fest, which this year runs January 17-23 in Park City.
Gravitas Ventures has acquired digital rights to Slamdance favorite Jug Face, with a VOD release planned for July. The horror/thriller concerns a demonic power worshipped by an isolated rural community that offers health and protection in exchange for human sacrifices, identified when their faces materialize on ceramic jugs fabricated by an entranced potter. Bloody chaos ensues when the newest victim is hidden from the monster. The Modernciné production stars Lauren Ashley Carter (The Woman), Sean Bridgers (Deadwood), Sean Young (Blade Runner), Larry Fessenden (I Sell the Dead) and Daniel Manche (The Girl Next Door). Jug Face netted the Slamdance Grand Prize Screenwriting Award in 2011 for writer-director Chad Crawford Kinkle. It’s produced by Andrew van den Houten (Funeral Kings, The Woman) and Robert Tonino (Home Movie, Ghoul) for Modernciné. Additional rights are still being negotiated, with a theatrical run planned for some time after the VOD release.
As the Sundance Film Festival continues in Park City, Slamdance ended tonight with its awards ceremony. The 19th annual festival handed out jury awards for Short Film, Animation, Feature Documentary, Short Documentary and Narrative Feature. They also gave out Audience Awards for Feature Documentary and Feature Narrative. The festival gave sponsored awards and the Filmmaker Award for Spirit of Slamdance. This year’s Slamdance ran from January 18 to today. Check out the 2013 winners below:
Audience Award for Feature Documentary: MY NAME IS FAITH by Jason Banker, Jorge Torres-Torres, Tiffany Sudela-Junker
Audience Award for Feature Narrative: HANK AND ASHA by James E. Duff
GRAND JURY AWARDS – NARRATIVE
This year’s Slamdance Narrative Grand Jury Prizes were selected by the esteemed panel of industry members Nancy Schafer, Meira Blaustein and Chris Gore.
Grand Jury Sparky Award for Feature Narrative: THE DIRTIES by Matt Johnson. “Terrifyingly timely and brutally honest, ‘The Dirties’ uses film references to the extreme as dreams of youth and intense growing pains collide.”
Special Mention: JOY DE V., by Nadia Szold. “Filled with humor, flawless characters and performances and a highly developed visual style, ‘Joy de V’ is a film that signals the arrival of a powerful new filmmaking talent.”
GRAND JURY AWARDS – DOCUMENTARY
This year’s Slamdance Documentary Grand Jury Prizes were selected by the esteemed panel of industry members Daniel J. Harris, Brian Knappenberger, and Dan Schoenbrun.
Grand Jury Sparky Award for Feature Documentary: BIBLE QUIZ by Nicole Teeny. “Director Nicole Teeny’s careful storytelling and her subject’s passion, angst, and youthful uncertainty are captured with universal empathy.”
Grand Jury Sparky Award for Short Documentary: THE BIRDMAN by Jessie Auritt. “We felt this slice-of-life portrait said a lot about the economy and changing way of life in a New York City neighborhood.”
Haven’t spent much time doting on Slamdance, but here’s a trailer for one of the titles playing, Ghost Team One. It’s a cross between Harold and Kumar and Paranormal Activity and it cost about $100,000 to make.
Gravitas Ventures announced today the acquisitions of three raucous Slamdance films: Steven Feinartz’s documentary The Bitter Buddha, Michael Urie’s comedy He’s Way More Famous Than You and Peter Baxter’s documentary Wild In The Streets. As part of the arrangement, each film will be released in the next three months in over 100 million North American Video On Demand homes.
John Karna is in negotiations to play the lead in Premature. The University of Oklahoma freshman would play a high school student in the movie, which occurs on Groundhog Day. Dan Beers will direct Premature from the script he co-wrote with Mat Harawitz. Aaron Ryder and Karen Lunder are producing. Karna’s last film Bindlestiffs was at Slamdance this past year. It was picked up for distribution by Kevin Smith. Karna is represented by the Coronel Group and attorney Jeff Frankel.
EXCLUSIVE: While we wait for the offers on Sundance films like The Words, Celeste and Jessie and others to turn into deals, the other Park City festival, Slamdance, has scored a good one. EPIX is closing a preemptive deal for With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story, a documentary that makes its Slamdance debut on Tuesday. Lee is the co-creator of hundreds of comic character superheros that include Marvel movie staples Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, Hulk, Fantastic Four, Daredevil and Iron Man.
I’m told that the documentary will premiere on the pay channel and EPIXHD.com, later this year. The documentary covers Lee’s life, from growing up in the Depression to finding his way to become an iconic comic creator during the Marvel heyday. The film features the likes of Tobey Maguire, James Franco, Samuel L. Jackson, Kirsten Dunst and others who’ve starred in Marvel movies. Lee shows up in all those movies in cameos and is still hatching superheroes at age 88. The film’s produced by Paris Kasidokostas Latsis, Terry Dougas, Nikki Frakes, and Will Hess through 1821 Pictures. WME Global’s Deborah McIntosh is making the deal.
Cinedigm Entertainment Group will bow the Slamdance premiere No Room For Rockstars as an exclusive one-night engagement in select U.S. theaters on March 1, 2012, followed by an iTunes and home video release. Parris Patton’s documentary, which spotlights true stories of modern-era rock ‘n’ roll chronicling the Vans Warped Tour, is from the team behind Dogtown And Z Boys. The feature will have its world premiere at Slamdance on Sunday in Park City. Following the one-night theatrical run, the film will be released via iTunes on April 2 and DVD on May 8. No Room For Rockstars is produced by Stacy Peralta and Agi Orsi. Cinedigm has released nearly 200 independent films and alternative content events.