Slamdance 2019: Feature Lineup Announced

Slamdance Film Festival

The Slamdance Film Festival announced the lineup of feature films to screen over the course of the film festival in Park City, Utah.  The Slamdance Film Festival will be celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2019.

There will be 20 feature films screening in competition, including 11 narratives and 9 documentaries. In all, the festival will play host to 10 World, 4 North American, and 4 U.S. premieres.

“When it comes to discovering talent, Slamdance has consistently shown that its artist led community can do it themselves,” said Slamdance Co-founder and President, Peter Baxter. “In a milestone year, our competition lineup symbolizes this ongoing endeavor. It’s full of incredible talent representing a global diversity that we believe will play a significant role in our cultural future.”

A new section being introduced this year is the Breakouts section.  This films are from non-first-time-feature directors.

“Our newly minted Breakouts section celebrates a group of experienced directors, including some Slamdance alumni, who are genuinely intent on taking bigger risks with their storytelling and career paths,” said Paul Rachman, Slamdance co-conspirator and Breakouts programmer.  “These are films from around the world that deliver a bold vision from filmmakers with drive and intent to establish their unique cinematic voices.”


A Great Lamp (USA) – World Premiere

Director: Saad Qureshi

Screenwriters: Saad Qureshi, Donald R. Monroe, Max Wilde

On the river towns of North Carolina, two sad vandals and an unemployed loner wait for a fabled rocket launch.

Cast: Max Wilde, Spencer Bang, Steven Maier, Julian Semilian, Laura Ingram Semilian, Netta Green, Connie Stewart, Smokey, Spaz

Boni Bonita (Brazil, Argentina) – North American Premiere

Director/Screenwriter: Daniel Barosa

Reeling from the death of her mother, Beatriz moves to Brazil where she begins an intense and toxic relationship with Rogério, an older musician struggling with his family’s artistic legacy. 

Cast: Ailín Salas, Caco Ciocler

Cat Sticks (India) – World Premiere 

Director: Ronny Sen 

Screenwriters: Ronny Sen, Soumyak Kanti DeBiswas

A pack of Calcutta youth seek greater lust and life in their relentless pursuit of Brown Sugar (dirty heroin)… and it’s unsustainable high.

Cast: Tanmay Dhanania, Sumeet Thakur, Joyraj Bhattacharjee, Rahul Dutta, Saurabh Saraswat, Sreejita Mitra, Raja Chakravorty, Kalpan Mitra

Crystal Swan (Belarus, USA, Germany, Russia) – North American Premiere

Director: Darya Zhuk 

Screenwriter: Helga Landauer

In mid-90s Belarus, a young DJ’s big overseas plans get derailed when a typo on her Visa application sends her to a backwater factory town where she is determined to fake her way to the American dream.

Cast: Alina Nassibulina, Ivan Mulin, Yury Borisov

Dollhouse: The Eradication of Female Subjectivity from American Popular Culture (USA, Canada) – North American Premiere

Director/Screenwriter: Nicole Brending

A puppet-animation charting the rise and fall of fictional child pop star, Junie Spoons.

Cast: Aneikit Bonnel, Sydney Bonar, Nicole Brending, Erik Hoover, Maggie Morrisson, Peter Ooley, Adam Sly

Hurry Slowly(Norway) 

Director/Screenwriter: Anders Emblem
Hurry Slowly follows Fiona over a few life-changing summer months on the north-western coast of Norway, where she juggle the care of her brother, her job at the local ferry and her interest in music.
Cast: Amalie Ibsen Jensen, David Jakobsen, Lars Halvor Andreassen

Impetus (Canada) – US Premiere

Director/Screenwriter: Jennifer Alleyn
In the process of her ongoing film shoot in New York City, a filmmaker finds herself questioning the origin of impulsion. As she tries to overcome loss through creation, an unexpected event enlightens her journey.
Cast: Pascale Bussières, Emmanuel Schwartz, Jorn Reissner, Esfyr Dyachkov

Lost Holiday(USA) – World Premiere

Directors/Screenwriters:Michael Matthews, Thomas Matthews

Two old highschool friends solve a Christmas mystery in D.C.

Cast: Kate Lyn Sheil, Thomas Matthews, Keith Poulson, William Jackson Harper, Ismenia Mendes, Tone Tank,  Joshua Leonard and Isiah Whitlock Jr.

Spiral Farm (USA) – World Premiere 

Director/Screenwriter: Alec Tibaldi

When two outsiders arrive on an isolated intentional community, seventeen-year old Anahita begins to question her role at home, and what a future out in the world-at-large could be.     

Cast: Piper de Palma, Amanda Plummer, Jade Fusco, Teo Halm, Cosimo Fusco, Landen Beattie, Akuyoe Graham, Kayleigh Gilbert

The Vast of Night (USA) – World Premiere

Director: Andrew Patterson 

Screenwriter: James Montague, Craig W. Sanger

At the dawn of the space-race in America, two radio-obsessed teens discover a strange frequency over the airwaves that could change their lives, their small town, and all of Earth… forever.  

Cast: Sierra McCormick, Jake Horowitz, Gail Cronauer, Bruce Davis

We Are Thankful (South Africa) – North American Premiere

Director/Screenwriter: Joshua Magor

When Siyabonga, a young South African actor hungry to expand his craft, gets wind of a movie production that is shooting in a neighboring town, the eager thespian decides to set out a journey that will take him away from his quiet home life and out into a bustling world of possibility.

Cast: Siyabonga Majola, Sabelo Khoza, Xolani “X” Malinga, Amanda Ncube, Percy Mncedicy Zulu, Ntokozo Mkhize, Sibusiso “Sbu” Nzama, Luthando “Cminzah” Ngcobo


Behind the Bullet (USA) – World Premiere

Director/Screenwriter: Heidi Yewman
An in-depth look at four individuals who have pulled the trigger and the profound impact it’s had on their lives.

The Beksinskis. A Sound and Picture Album (Poland) – US Premiere

Director/Screenwriter: Marcin Borchardt

A famous Polish painter known for his dark and twisted imagery chronicles his son’s troubled life from the 1950s through the millennium.

Desolation Center (USA) – US Premiere

Director: Stuart Swezey

Screenwriters: Stuart Swezey, Tyler Hubby
The untold story of a series of Reagan-era anarchic punk rock desert happenings that still reverberate throughout our culture.

Dons of Disco (USA) 

Director: Jonathan Sutak
A lip-syncing scandal pits an American singer against an Italian male model over the legacy of 1980s ‘Italo Disco’ star Den Harrow.

Markie in Milwaukee (USA) – World Premiere 

Director: Matt Kliegman 

A mid-western transgender woman struggles with the prospect of de-transitioning under the pressures of her fundamentalist church, family and community.

Memphis ‘69 (USA) – World Premiere

Director: Joe LaMattina, Screenwriters: Joe LaMattina, Lisa LaMattina

A year after Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated, a group of blues legends came together to celebrate the 150 year anniversary of Memphis, TN. This concert documentary, shot over 3 days in June of 1969, celebrates an American art form that unites us all.

The Professional: A Stevie Blatz Story (USA) – US Premiere

Director/Screenwriter: Daniel La Barbera

A behind-the-scenes look at the magic of Stevie Blatz, an entertainment entrepreneur in Bethlehem, PA.

Seadrift (USA) – World Premiere

Director/Screenwriter: Tim Tsai

In 1979, the fatal shooting of a white crab fisherman in a Texas fishing village ignites a maelstrom of hostilities against Vietnamese refugees along the Gulf Coast.

Sudan: The Last Male Standing (USA, Kenya) – World Premiere

Director: David Hambridge

Through the conservation efforts of a rhino caretaker unit in Kenya, we peer past the headlines into the emptiness of extinction in real time.


Beats (UK) – North American Premiere

Director: Brian Welsh, Screenwriter: Kieran Hurley, Brian Welsh

A universal story of friendship, rebellion and the irresistible power of gathered youth – set to a soundtrack as eclectic and electrifying as the scene it gave birth to, BEATS is a story for our time.

Cast: Cristian Ortega, Lorn Macdonald, Laura Fraser

Demolition Girl (Japan) – World Premiere

Director: Genta Matsugami, Screenwriters: Yoshitaka Kasui, Genta Matsugami

A high-school girl who lives in a rural town in Japan struggles to define her own way in life. To help her impoverished family she works as a video fetish performer which leads to problems for her and her family with a criminal underworld. 

Cast: Aya Kitai,Hiroki Ino,Haruka Imo,Yura Komuro,Yota Kawase,Ko Maehara,Ryohei Abe,Nobu Morimoto

Happy Face (Canada) – US Premiere 

Director: Alexandre Franchi, Screenwriter: Alexandre Franchi, Joëlle Bourjolly

Desperate to become less shallow, a handsome teenage boy deforms his face with bandages and attends a support group for disfigured people.

Cast: Robin L’Houmeau, Debbie Lynch-White, David Roche, E.R. Ruiz, Alison Midstokke, Cindy Nicholsen, Noémie Kocher.

History of Love (Slovenia, Italy, Norway) – North American Premiere

Director/Screenwriter: Sonja Prosenc

A teenage swimmer/high diver Iva, endures a grieving process, as family secrets and mysteries, especially her mother’s, unveil.

Cast: Doroteja Nadrah, Kristoffer Joner, Matej Zemljic, Zoja Florjanc Lukan, Matija Vastl, Zita Fusco

The 2019 Slamdance Film Festival runs January 25-31, 2019 in Park City, Utah.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.