Prior to coming out for the Sundance Film Festival, I had always wondered about Slamdance -- held at the same time, in the same snowy town. Where was Slamdance? How did you get there? Was it as spread out as Sundance? Luckily, I was fortunate enough to take in a few Slamdance films this year, and the best way to describe the fest is that it's like the indie version of Sundance -- the fest that doesn't try to impress, doesn't have a big budget; the fest for the common man. Not that Sundance isn't a treat in and of itself, but Slamdance is a tad more personal.
Everything is held in one building (Treasure Mountain Inn), and like any smaller festival, you have fliers and posters everywhere -- on boards, on tables, on chairs. People hand out pins, hats -- anything they can do to push themselves through the crowded Sundance marketplace to say, "Hey, check out my film too! It's just as good." Honestly, my favorite film from this entire week was a Slamdance documentary called Dear Zachary. I had a chance to meet the director of that film last night, and he thanked me profusely for my review of it. He said, "It's funny, but that will probably be the best review I get for any film I ever make." He also noted that because of my review, they managed to get a bunch of buyers into a screening for the film taking place today.
While we may all be ants running around a major festival like Sundance, it's times like that -- when our words truly impact the future of a film -- that make these sorts of trips all the more worthwhile. If you can connect with one film, and subsequently have a hand in getting that film in front of millions more people -- then nothing else really matters. The snow, the cold, the lack of sleep, the a**hole who wouldn't let you into a party, the high-priced meals ... the everything. It all just goes away. And you can fly home with a smile.
Check out our Slamdance gallery below to get a sneak peak out how they roll here in Park City.