2012 Slamdance Film Festival

We know that Danland will end with a wedding – we know this from the start, as Alexandra Berger‘s debut film opens with our titular Dan Leal (or, as we will very soon come to know him, “Porno Dan”) nervously standing before a glitzy chapel, a veiled lady waiting in the wings. But just who will become Mrs. Porno Dan? Such is the question of the film and the quest of Leal, amateur porn performer and producer, sex addict, salesman, co-dependent, and hopeless romantic. Danland sounds quirky and a bit overstuffed, but that would perhaps be a knee-jerk reaction to indie cinephiles skimming its synopsis, because there’s another facet to Danland and the bizarre world it charts that might not be evident from first glance. Dan Leal is a real person and Danland is a documentary.

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It’s almost too spot-on that Daniel Martinico‘s Slamdance film, OK, Good, focuses on a struggling actor living in Hollywood. But while a film festival entry about the trials and tribulations of making it in La-la Land might seem like cliche material, OK, Good is far from cliche. Starring co-writer Hug0 Armstrong, the film follows Paul Kaplan, “a typical actor in Los Angeles. He goes to auditions, takes movement class, sends out headshots, and listens to motivational tapes in his car. However, as Paul struggles through a series of demoralizing setbacks, he is pushed ever closer to the edge.” Sound heavy? It’s not, as OK, Good is apparently a hilarious look at one man, his (in)abilities, and how they confine and constrain him from even the most basic tasks his occupation demands. Today brings us the first poster for OK, Good, which was designed by Adrian Kolarczyk, who recently won the SXSW Audience Award for Excellence in Poster Design in 2011 for his poster for Sophia Takal’s lovely Green. You can check out more about Kolarczyk and his work (including a look at the Green poster) over at Filmmaker Magazine. After the break, check out the gaze-laden first poster for OK, Good. As ever, I’ve included screening information for utmost festival-going ease.

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For his narrative feature film, Welcome to Pine Hill, director Keith Miller went for a unique level of veracity, casting in his lead role the same man who actually inspired the film in the first place. The film will have its World Premiere at the Slamdance Film Festival later this month, and the film’s official Slamdance page only hints at how Pine Hill came to be, saying that the film “was born out of a chance encounter between filmmaker Keith Miller and star Shannon Harper, who found themselves arguing over a lost dog one night in Brooklyn.” But is the dog in the film? The film follows Harper playing, well, Shannon Harper, as he attempts to change his life and its circumstances for the better. A former drug dealer, Shannon has gone straight – working two jobs (as a claims adjuster during the day and a bouncer at night). But while Shannon has changed, it doesn’t seem like everything (or everyone) else in his life is interested in the same kind of transformation. You know how it is – just when he thought he was out, they pull him back in. After the break, check out a full look at the film’s first poster by Nathaniel Parker Raymond, along with the film’s trailer and screening information for extra spice.

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Every year, a pack of wily filmmakers descend on sleepy Park City, Utah to show their films, carouse, and hopefully get noticed by the bigwigs. But did you also know about the Sundance Film Festival? That’s a joke, festival-lovers! Of course, everyone knows about the Sundance Film Festival, but while the bright lights and weary film writer eyes of the ‘dance shine all over Park City, just up the hill, on the top of Main St. at the Treasure Mountain Inn, the Slamdance Film Festival rages on and continues to impress. The festival lives by their own self-professed mantra: “By Filmmakers, For Filmmakers.” As they note, no other festival is fully programmed by filmmakers. Slamdance alums include Christopher Nolan, Marc Forster, Jared Hess, and Oren Peli. Today, the festival announced their in-competition titles for the feature category. The 2012 Slamdance Film Festival feature 18 feature-length competition films, including ten narratives and eight documentaries, with no less than thirteen of those films getting their World Premiere at the Slam. Though Sundance is my favorite of the year’s festivals, last year I made time to head up to the Treasure Mountain Inn for an afternoon at Slamdance, and it proved to be a welcome respite from the oversized screening rooms, long lines, and often-heavy fare of Sundance. Also, they have really great snacks. Check out the full list of Slamdance Feature Film Competition offerings after the break, one that has something for everyone (including a documentary about Master Gee and Wonder Mike). […]

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