The Slamdance Film Festival may have been conceived as a response to Sundance -- it's held in the same small Utah town during the same week each January -- but it has come to be respected in its own right now that it's been around for almost 13 years.

One of Slamdance's many activities beyond the film festival itself is the screenplay competition, and the winners of the 12th annual contest were announced last week. Taking the top prize was Anthony Meindl's The Wonder Girls, about the German women's Olympic swim team in East Berlin. Meindl, who runs an actor's studio in L.A., gets a $7,000 cash prize with the award.

Rounding out the top 10 finalists -- out of more than 2,000 submissions -- were: Ezzy Fish by Tamar Halpern; An Entire Body by Bryan Wizemann; Child in the Dark by Damian Lahey and Ian Ogden; Mighty Oaks by Adam Lowery; Kidney by Stephen Lancelotti; The Falling Sky by Greg Weed; The Atomic Avenger by Ryan Landels; Porkchop & Slim by Seth Schader; and My Name is Sue by Lisa Cole and Mark Monroe.

The press release notes that past Slamdance Screenplay Competition winners include The Woodsman by Nicole Kassell and Stephen Fetcher and Maria Full of Grace by Joshua Marston -- both of which, once produced, skipped Slamdance to premiere at Sundance instead. That's gratitude for you!

Last year, Slamdance added a new screenplay competition specifically for horror films. The first winner, called Slaughter, just started production and is expected to debut at Slamdance in January. That's an awfully short turnaround, but I guess they work fast in the indie world. Anyway, the deadline for this year's Horror Screenplay Competition is Nov. 12, so check out the rules if you have something ghoulish you'd like to enter.
categories Awards, Cinematical