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Slamdance Announces 2018 Beyond Films and Narrative + Doc Shorts Competitions

Slamdance’s Beyond category — for emerging filmmakers working beyond their first features — was announced yesterday along with its two shorts competitions, with five world premieres gracing the first category. The 2018 Slamdance Film Festival runs January 19-25 in Park City, Utah. Check out the announcement below.

BEYOND PROGRAM

Back at the Staircase
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Drew Britton
Distant siblings are unexpectedly tasked with planning for the future after their elderly mother suffers a life-threatening accident on the eve of her milestone birthday party.
Cast: Jennifer Lafleur, Stephen Plunkett, Leonora Pitts, Mickey O’Hagan, Logan Lark, Heather LaVine

Funny Story
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Michael Gallagher
After years of being a neglectful father, a womanizing TV star decides to crash his estranged daughter’s same-sex destination wedding.
Cast: Matthew Glave, Emily Bett Rickards, Jana Winternitz, Nikki Limo, Lily Holleman, Jessica Diggins, Pete Gardner, Reginald VelJohnson

My Name is Myeisha
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Gus Krieger
A beloved teenager crosses over into a hip-hop-musical dreamscape at the moment of her tragic death and contemplates her life; what it was and what it could have been.
Cast: Rhaechyl Walker, John Merchant, Dominique Toney, Dee Dee Stephens, Yvette Cason, Gregg Daniel

The Rainbow Experiment
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Christina Kallas
An investigation uncovers more than just blame at a Manhattan high school when a science experiment permanently injures a student.
Cast: Chris Beetem, Francis Benhamou, Christian Coulson, Kevin Kane, Nina Mehta, Laura Pruden, Connor Siemer, Lauren Sowa, Swann Gruen, Christine McLaughlin

Savage Youth
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Michael Curtis Johnson
The lives of six troubled teens in a racially-divided small town take a violent turn over drugs and broken hearts. Based on true events.
Cast: Grace Victoria Cox, Tequan Richmond, Will Brittain, Chloe Levine, Mitchell Edwards, J. Michael Trautmann, Sasha Feldman, Tomas Pais

NARRATIVE SHORTS

The 99 Steps Left from the Square
(Finland, Turkey)
Director: Sevgi Eker
The iron gate safeguarding an old man’s peace is opened.
Cast: Sirin Erensoy, Yasemin Erensoy, Salih Kalafatoglu, Hasan Kurun

Abbas Kiarostami; The Director
(Iran)
Director: Mohsen Khodabakhshi
A boy wants to take a photo with Abbas Kiarostami…
Cast: Mani Sherafat – Nazli Gorgani – Shahed Sherafat

Audition
(USA)
Director: Richard Van
Unable to find a sitter, an aspiring actress has no choice but to drag her 3-year old son to her audition.
Cast: Shaquita Lopez, Nezih Lopez, Ernest Walker Jr, Laura Price

Clean Blood
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Name
A family drama about Christmas, The Apocalypse and an IMMACULATELY PREGNANT man.
Cast: Jordan Michael Blake, Stephanie Allynne

Falling
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Ewen Wright
A potentially psychosomatic white man, a woman stuck in a vortex of “man-splaining,” and a young black man caught in a racially charged standoff are set on a collision course as society falls apart around them in this absurdist dark comedy.
Cast: Sarah Hollis, Elijah Reed, Davey Johnson

Flatbush Misdemeanors
(USA)
Director: Dan Perlman, Kevin Iso
Longtime friends Dan and Kevin adjust to their evolving surroundings in the unforgiving environment of Flatbush, Brooklyn. A raw comedy of city life.
Cast: Drew Dowdey, Kareem Green, Kevin Iso, Dan Perlman

Goodbye, Brooklyn
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Daniel Jaffe
Struggling with New York living, Dana Schapiro decides to move, saying goodbye to a neighborhood that can barely remember who she is…
Cast: Michelle Uranowitz, Angela Pietropinto, Luke Marinkovich, Ione Saunders

Hail Mary Country
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Tannaz Hazemi
Macho grandmother Irene Dandy has to defend her family of football fanatics from a gang led by a cocky thief named Nora.
Cast: Vera Cherny, Catherine Taber, Lori Jean Wilson, Alison Yates

Iris
(Canada)
Director: Gabrielle Demers
As the storm rages outside a special lust for Laura grows inside Emanuelle.
Cast: Marie Babbini, Daphné Germain

Katalysis
(Sweden) World Premiere
Director: Ashley Michael Briggs
A doctor and an artist use Anna’s body as an tool to further their own professional progress.
Cast: Moa Nilsson, Adam Stålhammar, Peter Hildén, Anna Ladegaard

The Knits
(Canada) US Premiere
Director: Lisa Birke
A sweater, lovingly and arduously knit by a mother, incrementally unravels as her daughter treks her way across Canada by foot.
Cast: Barbara Birke; Lisa Birke

Magic Bullet
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Amanda Lovejoy Street
A psychologist combats grief with self-soothing rituals; a shopping network host obliterates hers in a self-destructive haze. They collide in a televised confrontation.
Cast: Rosemarie DeWitt, Molly Parker

Night on Floating Island
(Australia) North American Premiere
Director: Jack Atherton
From a storm drain, a strange man watches a tourist rollerblading through an unfamiliar nightscape in search of his missing girlfriend or an anonymous sexual encounter in a park.
Cast: Gavin Drumm, Annie Schofield, André Shannon, Kate Coates

Ok, Call Me Back
(USA)
Director: Emily Ann Hoffman
Craving companionship, a woman leaves a voicemail late at night.
Cast: Emily Ann Hoffman

Onikuma
(Italy, USA)
Director: Alessia Cecchet
Surrounded by a foreign landscape, two women will understand that demons can come in different forms.
Cast: Sandy Siquier, Sarineh Garapetian

Parthenon
(USA)
Director: Frank Mosley
A naked body moves a stranger to empathy.
Cast: Lily Baldwin, Tallie Medel, Thiago Martins

Reunion 1
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Brock Neilson
The artist re-enters a space from their childhood as an adult and is struck both by the haunting tone of the setting and an indelible memory from the past.

Rupture
(Jordan, Canada) US Premiere
Director: Yassmina Karajah
Rupture follows the journey of four Arab kids whose repressed traumas surface during their quest to find a public pool in their new city.
Cast: Asaad Al Arid Salam Almarzouq Hussein Al Ahmad Wazira Al Ahmad

Slap Happy
(Canada) US Premiere
Director: Madeleine Sims-Fewer, Dusty Mancinelli
A dysfunctional couple with a penchant for twisted sexual fantasies fight to stay together as their relationship crumbles over the course of a day.
Cast: Jesse LaVercombe, Madeleine Sims-Fewer

That Thing
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Dan Roe
Tabby is conflicted about Patrick’s sexual quirk.
Cast: Claire Lucido, Sam Yarabek

The Things You Think I’m Thinking
(Canada) US Premiere
Director: Sherren Lee
A black male burn-survivor and amputee goes on a date with a regularly-abled man for the first time since his accident, ten years ago.
Cast: Prince Amponsah, Jesse LaVercombe

Transmission
(USA)
Director: Morgan McGlothan
Father, daughter, and her 1999 Toyota Camry.
Cast: Darrin McGlothan, Morgan McGlothan

The Troubled Troubadour
(South Korea) North American Premiere
Director: Forest Ian Etsler & Sébastien Simon
An embittered old musician embarks on a journey which becomes the outward manifestation of his inner landscape.
Cast: Kasuga “Hachi” Hirofumi, Tetsu Kono, Lee Hwajin, Kang Saneh

Welcome To Bushwick
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Henry Jinings
On the heels of a successful first date, Evan and Marceline end up back at her place.
Cast: Tim Platt, Liba Vaynberg

Whales
(Iran) North American Premiere
Director: Behnam Abedi
A police officer and a soldier are assigned to investigate a case wherein seven dead bodies are found on a beach.
Cast: Majid Norouzi, Khosrow Shahraz, Majid Aghakarimi

DOCUMENTARY SHORTS PROGRAM

Big Surf
(USA)
Director: Brian Smee
San Francisquito Cyn, March 12th, 1928: The sound a horse makes as it’s drowning.

Do I Have Boobs Now?
(Canada)
Director: Milena Salazar, Joella Cabalu
A trans activist’s journey to challenge Facebook and Instagram’s censorship policies.

Ex Nihilo
(Finland) World Premiere
Director: Timo Wright
Ex Nihilo is an experimental short documentary about a doomsday seed vault, an advanced robot and a cryonics facility.

Homeland
(Belgium)
Director: Sam Peeters
Homeland is a creative documentary about right-wing populism and narrow-mindedness in the Belgian suburbs.

House
(Iceland, USA)
Director: Kyja Kristjansson-Nelson
A meditation on emigration and immigration, house and home.

Icon
(Poland) US Premiere
Director: Wojciech Kasperski
An old doctor who has spent his life working at a psychiatric hospital in the Siberian countryside – The place, which was inaccessible for film crews, can be shown thanks to its residents, some of whom spent several decades at the hospital.

The Last Man You Meet
(USA)
Director: Chris Bone
Take an exclusive look inside the gritty business of death as a third-generation funeral director reflects on his life.

Lorem Ipsum (pain itself)
(USA)
Director: Gabrielle Kash
A handmade look at why artists hate making, and keep making art.

Nueva Vida
(USA)
Director: Jonathan Seligson
A ball, some brains, and a lot of fluids. A cautionary true tale on the dangers of playing soccer from my dear brother, Kenny.

Phototaxis
(USA)
Director: Melissa Ferrari
Rooted in nonfiction, “Phototaxis” connects Mothman, a prophetic demon in West Virginia folklore, and Narcotics Anonymous, the primary treatment program in West Virginia’s addiction epidemic.

Pocket Sized Feminism
(USA)
Director: Valerie Schenkman
“This house is for wallpaper women. What good is wallpaper that speaks?” Women speak out about women’s rights, or human rights.

Quiet Hours
(USA)
Director: Paul Szynol
Donald Hall, America’s Poet Laureate and winner of the National Medal of Arts, lives in the fragile space between loneliness and solitude.

Taobao
(USA)
Director: Noah Sheldon
Modelling for China’s largest online shopping site, Taobao.

True Love in Pueblo Textil
(Cuba, USA) US Premiere
Director: Horatio Baltz
Nine-year-old Maribel explains to us how it feels to be stricken with the world’s oldest infliction: love.

Where Are You From
(USA, China)
Director: Xizi “Cecilia” Hua
In a world where western values dominate, coming to America as a “Parachute Kid” makes the filmmaker feel ashamed of her “Chinese” and “foreign” identity.

ANIMATION SHORTS PROGRAM

Airport
(Switzerland, Croatia)
Director: Michaela Müller
An exploration of the place in modern society where the limits of borders, security, and tolerance are constantly tested.

Ascribed Achievements
(Iran)
Director: Samaneh Shojaei
A man’s suicide attempt leads to the idea that fate is breakable.

Black Dog
(USA)
Director: Joshua Dean Tuthill
A dark family drama set during the space race of the 1960’s, utilizing stop-motion animation and archival footage to elucidate a time of heated social and political tension.

Gusla ou les Malins
(France) US Premiere
Director: Adrienne Nowak
Adrienne goes back to Poland to see her grandmother and ask her family about communism. In their cozy kitchen she will learn about the spirits that haunt the Polish imagination and the unexpected superstitions used to face them.

Icebergs
(USA, Greece) North American Premiere
Director: Eirini Vianelli
An existential, dark comedy of 14 stop-motion vignettes both mundane and absurd.

Interstitial
(Japan) North American Premiere
Director: Shunsaku Hayashi
A hybrid project of a painting and additive animation exploring a spacelessness of humanity in the defined space of a canvas of a continuous horizon.

Mak
(USA)
Director: Natalya Serebrennikova
Searching for opium, Big Macs, and cultural identity, a teenager visits her hometown in Russia and finds that her best friend has already grown up.

Mountain Castle Mountain Flower Plastic
(USA)
Director: Annapurna Kumar
The most efficient containers can store multiple pieces of information in the same location, intersecting from different angles.

Railment
(Japan)
Director: Shunsaku Hayashi
In the anonymous crowds of commuter rail lines, it’s possible to move at high speeds while remaining perfectly still.

The Realm of Deepest Knowing
(South Korea)
Director: Kim Seung-hee
A playful exploration of how knowing someone on the deepest level becomes a love that spans across objects.

Red Fat Cat
(Germany)
Director: Klaus Hoefs
A singer-songwriter animation confronting the dichotomy of drowned refugees washing up on a public beach while residents go about their settled, everyday lives filled with antique cars, dogs, and cats.

Satellite Strangers
(USA) World Premiere
Director: James Bascara
A zoom into a microscopic world reveals a strange cacophony.

EXPERIMENTAL SHORTS PROGRAM

38 River Road
(USA, Switzerland)
Director: Josh Weissbach
Fear resides in the gesture of a telling.

Are you tired of forever?
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Caitlin Craggs
A surreal meditation on the experience of self.

Cloud Of Petals
(USA)
Director: Sarah Meyohas
At the former Bell Labs, sixteen workers photograph 100,000 individual rose petals to map out an artificial intelligence algorithm that learns to generate new petals forever.

I’m Not Sure
(Germany) World Premiere
Director: Gabriel Hensche
By confronting an App with Surrealist paintings I’m Not Sure explores the psychology of Artificial Intelligence.

No Stories Now
(USA)
Director: CT Bishop
Hopefully, in moving toward weakness, there can be recognition of false relief.

Silica
(Australia, UK)
Director: Pia Borg
An unseen location scout explores an opal mining town in South Australia in this sci-fi-laced essay film, which finds in this semi-deserted region both the traces of indigenous culture and remnants of cinema history.

ANARCHY SHORTS PROGRAM

AniMal
(Iran)
Director: Bahram Ark, Bahman Ark
A man disguises himself as a ram to cross a border into another land.
Cast: Davoud Nourpour

Breaker
(Japan)
Director: Philippe McKie
In tomorrow’s Tokyo, the technologically-enhanced body of a young mercenary hacker is overrun by a sentient data weapon.
Cast: Yuka Tomatsu / Arisa Hanzawa / Kazuya Shimizu

Clipping. – “Back Up”
(USA) US Premiere
Director: Anna Zlokovic
An unnamed filmmaker stumbles upon a horrifying discovery—an underground cult-like society where adults have baby faces and milk is the drug of choice.
Cast: Daveed Diggs, Antwon, Signor Benedick The Moor

Information Superhighway
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Mathew Nelson
A man participates in an experiment to test artificial intelligence in driverless cars.
Cast: Luke Banham, Elias Harger, Anna Faye Hunter , Michael Lee

Little Wonder
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Jojo Carlman
This refreshing tale of puppet sexuality follows Username: Stray_Cat as he trolls internet dating sites and vaguely meditates on the loneliness of death.
Cast: Christine Moore, Daegan Palmero, Brisco Diggs, and David Breen III

Love After Time
(Taiwan)
Director: Tsai Tsung-han
After a nuclear explosion, two mutant humans fall in love.
Cast: Lee Hong chi, Nana Lee

Manila Death Squad
(Phillipines, USA)
Director: Dean Colin Marcial
An ambitious journalist challenges the leader of a violent vigilante group to a high-stakes drinking game. Its outcome may score her a scoop… or a bullet to the head.
Cast: Sid Lucero, Annicka Dolonius

The Order of the Orchid
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Alex Italics
A lonely spinster’s failed attempt at arranging flowers summons an ominous shadowy figure that sends her into a psychedelic netherworld to confront her own mediocrity.
Cast: Juliette James, Sean T. Randolph

Santa Ana
(Spain, USA) North American Premiere
Director: César Pesquera
Part art-film, part documentary, Santa Ana aims to elucidate the link between evil and the famed Santa Ana winds, extremely dry down-slope winds in Southern California supposedly responsible for a tense, uneasy, wrathful mood among the people of Los Angeles.

Steve’s Kinkoes
(USA) World Premiere
Director: Emma Debany
A man copies posters for his missing (and dead) cat at an otherworldly 24/7 photocopy shop. What will happen to him if he stays forever?
Cast: Timmy Gibson, Chance Bartels, John Archer Lundgren

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