By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Slamdance Goes Miami 2020

LOS ANGELES (June 6, 2019) – Slamdance  today announced Slamdance Miami, their inaugural South Florida festival, which will kick off May 28-31, 2020 and shine a spotlight on the next generation of multicultural filmmakers. In collaboration with Slamdance alumni partners and Miami’s leading arts and educational organizations, Slamdance Miami seeks to help local, Caribbean, Central and South American filmmakers get established on an international stage and launch long-term careers. The festival will showcase works covering all forms of media including film, digital, interactive, gaming and hybrid forms of storytelling. Slamdance Miami will follow the 26th annual Slamdance Festival, taking place January 24-30, 2020 in Park City.

“Slamdance is an established creative force and Miami boasts exceptional arts organizations matched with a strong local media scene,” said Slamdance president and co-founder Peter Baxter. “Miami’s rich history involving the ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic diversity of its creative community provide an inspiring glimpse into our cultural future. As an organization that has always valued inclusivity, Slamdance aims to do increasingly more to ensure our programming reflects the world we live in. We see this collaboration with Miami’s vibrant arts scene and its ties to the Caribbean and Latin America as a valuable opportunity to engage with a broader range of perspectives and creative voices. Miami is the perfect place for us to nurture and showcase the new storytellers and storytelling to come.”

“We are ecstatic that Slamdance is coming to Miami-Dade County in 2020,” said Sandy Lighterman, Film and Entertainment Commissioner of Miami Dade County Office of Film and Entertainment. “Slamdance will give our local filmmakers a chance to be recognized on the global stage, as well as, bring new emerging filmmakers to our area. Slamdance’s presence will be a game-changer for independent filmmaking in South Florida.”

The festival will be programmed by Slamdance alumni from Miami, Central and South America in addition to leaders from a collection of Miami-based arts and education organizations including Black Lounge Film Series, Miami Dade College, Miami Dade County Office of Film and Entertainment, Miami Film Festival, Miami Media and Film Market, Miami VR Expo, O Cinema, OUTshine Film Festival and Third Horizon Film Festival. In the spirit of Slamdance, films will be programmed democratically, meaning that each programmer will get an equal say in which submitted projects make the final cut.

O Cinema will serve as the Official Cinema Venue for Slamdance Miami. Additional location partners include Faena, Miami Beach Cinematheque, The Colony Theater and The Wolfsonian-FIU.

Founding support for Slamdance Miami has come from Sandy Lighterman, Miami Media and Film Market  co-founders Patricia Arias and Jose Luis Martinez and Slamdance alumni Kareem Tabsch, co-director  of O Cinema.

“O Cinema is thrilled to be the official host venue for Slamdance Miami,” said Kareem Tabsch. “As an alumnus of the festival myself, I know first hand what an important platform it is for independent film. Having the festival in our community is an exciting step forward for our growing community of filmmakers. Slamdance and O Cinema both share the same ethos – that the power and impact of seeing diverse voices that reflect our world is important. We’re excited to be partners in this next step in Miami’s growing cinematic identity.”

An education program in collaboration with Miami Dade College and Brazil’s Academia Internacional de Cinema will further support emerging artists and their work, and will be free for the public to attend. Additionally, local grants provided by Miami-Dade County and others will support participant travel.

“Miami-Dade County is proud to launch its Inaugural Slamdance Miami Film Festival for emerging independent filmmakers,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “Developing the next generation of exceptional artists, this festival will showcase the diverse talent pool we have right here in South Florida.”

For more information on Slamdance, visit: https://www.slamdance.com

Follow Slamdance on Facebook,  Twitter and Instagram

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ABOUT SLAMDANCE:
By filmmakers, for filmmakers. Established in 1995 by a wild bunch of filmmakers who were tired of relying on a large, oblique system to showcase their work, Slamdance has proven, year after year, that when it comes to recognizing talent and launching careers, independent and grassroots communities can do it themselves.

In addition to the Festival, Slamdance serves emerging artists and a growing community with several year-round initiatives. These include the Slamdance Screenplay Competition, its educational program Slamdance Polytechnic, DIG showcase of Digital Interactive and Gaming art, distribution efforts through Slamdance Presents, worldwide screening series Slamdance on the Road, and LA screening series Slamdance Cinema Club

Notable Slamdance alumni include: 2019 Founder’s Award recipient Steven Soderbergh (High Flying Bird), The Russo Brothers (Avengers: Infinity War ), Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk), Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity), Marc Forster (Christopher Robin), Jeremiah Zagar (We The Animals), Lena Dunham (Girls), Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Jeremy Saulnier (Green Room), Gina Prince-Bythewood (Shots Fired), Lynn Shelton (Outside In, Humpday), Sean Baker (The Florida Project), Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night) and Ari Aster (Hereditary). Box Office Mojo reports alumni who first showed their work at Slamdance have earned over $17 billion at the box office to date.

 

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This is probably going to sound petty, but Martin Scorsese insisting that critics see his film in theaters even though it’s going straight to Netflix and then not screening it in most American cities was a watershed moment for me in this theatrical versus streaming debate.

I completely respect when a filmmaker insists that their movie is meant to be seen in the theater, but the thing is, you got to actually make it possible to see it in the theater. Some movies may be too small for that, and that’s totally OK.

When your movie is largely financed by a streaming service and is going to appear on that streaming service instantly, I don’t really see the point of pretending that it’s a theatrical film. It just seems like we are needlessly indulging some kind of personal fantasy.

I don’t think that making a feature film length production that is going to go straight to a video platform is some sort of “step down.“ I really don’t. Theatrical exhibition as we know it is dying off anyway, for a variety of reasons.

I should clarify myself because this thread is already being misconstrued — I’m talking about how the movie is screened in advance. If it’s going straight to Netflix, why the ritual of demanding people see it in the theater?

There used to be a category that everyone recognized called “TV movie” or “made for television movie” and even though a lot of filmmakers considered that déclassé, it seems to me that probably 90% of feature films fit that description now.

Atlantis has mostly sunk into the ocean, only a few tower spires remain above the waterline, and I’m increasingly at peace with that, because it seems to be what the industry and much of the audience wants. We live in an age of convenience and information control.

Only a very elite group of filmmakers is still allowed to make movies “for theaters“ and actually have them seen and judged that way on a wide scale. Even platform releasing seems to be somewhat endangered. It can’t be fought. It has to be accepted.

9. Addendum: I’ve been informed that it wasn’t Scorsese who requested that the Bob Dylan documentary only be screened for critics in theaters, but a Netflix representative indicated the opposite to me, so I just don’t know what to believe.

It’s actually OK if your film is not eligible for an Oscar — we have a thing called the Emmys. A lot of this anxiety is just a holdover from the days when television was considered culturally inferior to theatrical feature films. Everybody needs to just get over it.

In another 10 to 20 years they’re probably going to merge the Emmys in the Oscars into one program anyway, maybe they’ll call it the Contentys.

“One of the fun things about seeing the new Quentin Tarantino film three months early in Cannes (did I mention this?) is that I know exactly why it’s going to make some people furious, and thus I have time to steel myself for the takes.

Back in July 2017, when it was revealed that Tarantino’s next project was connected to the Manson Family murders, it was condemned in some quarters as an insulting and exploitative stunt. We usually require at least a fig-leaf of compassion for the victims in true-crime adaptations, and even Tarantino partisans like myself – I don’t think he’s made a bad film yet – found ourselves wondering how he might square his more outré stylistic impulses with the depiction of a real mass murder in which five people and one unborn child lost their lives.

After all, it’s one thing to slice off with gusto a fictional policeman’s ear; it’s quite another to linger over the gory details of a massacre that took place within living memory, and which still carries a dread historical significance.

In her essay The White Album, Joan Didion wrote: “Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive traveled like brushfire through the community, and in a sense this is true.”

Early in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters drive up the hill towards Leo’s bachelor pad, the camera cranes up gently to reveal a street sign: Cielo Drive. Tarantino understands how charged that name is; he can hear the Molotov cocktails clinking as he shoulders the crate.

As you may have read in the reviews from Cannes, much of the film is taken up with following DiCaprio and Pitt’s characters – a fading TV actor and his long-serving stunt double – as they amusingly go about their lives in Los Angeles, while Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate is a relatively minor presence. But the spectre of the murders is just over the horizon, and when the night of the 9th finally arrives, you feel the mood in the cinema shift.

No spoilers whatsoever about what transpires on screen. But in the audience, as it became clear how Tarantino was going to handle this extraordinarily loaded moment, the room soured and split, like a pan of cream left too long on the hob. I craned in, amazed, but felt the person beside me recoil in either dismay or disgust.

Two weeks on, I’m convinced that the scene is the boldest and most graphically violent of Tarantino’s career – I had to shield my eyes at one point, found myself involuntarily groaning “oh no” at another – and a dead cert for the most controversial. People will be outraged by it, and with good reason. But in a strange and brilliant way, it takes Didion’s death-of-the-Sixties observation and pushes it through a hellfire-hot catharsis.

Hollywood summoned up this horror, the film seems to be saying, and now it’s Hollywood’s turn to exorcise it. I can’t wait until the release in August, when we can finally talk about why.

~ Robbie Collin