Slamdance 2023 will combine an in-person festival in Park City, Utah and—building upon the success of previous online editions—an accessible virtual experience for everyone to enjoy. Films officially selected for the 2023 Slamdance Film Festival may be presented in Park City, online, or both — depending on emerging circumstances.
For online viewing, films will be available exclusively through the Slamdance Channel, the festival’s artist-curated streaming platform.
While US guidelines pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic continue to loosen, Slamdance is still committed to the safety of our filmmakers and audiences as our top priority. We will continue to monitor and adapt as circumstances evolve to provide a safe, supportive, and engaging film festival experience for all attendees.
The Slamdance Film Festival is a showcase for raw and innovative filmmaking that lives and bleeds by its mantra: By Filmmakers, For Filmmakers. Slamdance has created a track record for showcasing breakthrough artists that is beyond dispute. Filmmakers who first presented their work at the festival are now amongst the biggest names in the entertainment industry. Alumni who have shown their early short films and debut features at Slamdance include Rian Johnson (Knives Out), Ari Aster (Midsommar), Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Old Guard), The Russo Brothers (Avengers: Endgame), Bong Joon Ho (Parasite), Lena Dunham (Girls), Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians), Lynn Shelton (Little Fires Everywhere) and Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk).
"Of all the Sundance myths that developed over the last 35 years, the biggest fallacy is that of being magically discovered and launching one’s career on a snow-covered January evening in Park City. If anything, when that does happen, it’s across the street at Slamdance” - IndieWire
The Slamdance Film Festival accepts films in every genre, on any topic, from every country around the world. We spotlight low-budget Narrative and Documentary Features by first-time directors, Breakout Features from non-first time directors, short films across genres, and episodes. We do not disqualify any films based on premiere status or date of completion.
The festival program is selected entirely from our blind submissions pool and no films are given special treatment based on who made them or who they know. Over 200 Slamdance alumni filmmakers are responsible for the programming and organization of the festival. Comprised of a variety of backgrounds, interests, and talents, but with no individual filmmaker’s vote valued more than any other, Slamdance committees have been able to stay close to its original DIY spirit and continue to champion the bleeding-edge of contemporary filmmaking.
Jury Award for Narrative Feature
Jury Award for Documentary Feature
Jury Award for Narrative Short
Jury Award for Documentary Short
Jury Award for Animation Short
Jury Award for Experimental Short
Jury Award for Breakouts
Unstoppable Award for Narrative Film
Unstoppable Award for Documentary Film
Audience Award for Narrative Feature
Audience Award for Documentary Feature
Audience Award for Best Episode
Outstanding Acting Award
Spirit of Slamdance Award (all participating filmmakers vote to determine which film/filmmaker best represents the Spirit of Slamdance)
Established in 2018 by Slamdance alumni directors Anthony and Joe Russo (Avengers: Endgame), the Fellowship is designed to foster and support young filmmakers while creating a platform for new and emerging talent.
Anthony and Joe will select one filmmaker to receive a $25,000 prize, access to an office at AGBO, their Los Angeles based studio, and mentorship from the Russos and the AGBO team.
By entering Slamdance Film Festival, you agree to follow its rules and guidelines.
• We consider films in any language, from anywhere in the world. If your film is not in English, make sure it has English subtitles where necessary.
• We consider work in progress. Please include a title card describing what is unfinished at the beginning of the submission screener.
• We consider films regardless of their premiere status. Even if your film has already premiered at another festival, whether it screened at a physical venue or online, it’s still eligible for consideration.
• We consider films regardless of their completion date. You can submit any film no matter when it was made.
• Features previously or currently being released in the US by a third party distributor are not eligible for consideration.
• Features previously self-distributed by the filmmakers online are not eligible for consideration in Feature categories.
• Only directors' debut features with a budget under 1 million USD are accepted to the Narrative and Documentary First Feature competition. If your work is not your first feature film, submit it to our Breakouts competition.
• Only independently produced episodes completed in 2020 or later are accepted to the Episodes category.
• There's no additional eligibility criteria for short film categories. All shorts are eligible!
• Films made by or about people with disabilities of any genre/format/runtime are eligible for the Slamdance Unstoppable Program.
• Films made by or about people with disabilities of any genre/format/runtime are eligible for the Slamdance Unstoppable Program
• Any disabled role(s) must be portrayed by disabled actors. Films that feature able-bodied actors portraying disabled people will NOT be eligible for Unstoppable.
• Unstoppable submissions MUST have closed-captioning.
• Any questions or concerns regarding Unstoppable eligibility and/or submission fees can be directly to: Unstoppable@slamdance.com
• All screeners must be uploaded by the appropriate deadline.
• Deadlines close at 11:59 PM PST.
• We will contact entrants if there's anything wrong with the submission. If this occurs, you will need to fix the submission issue by the requested deadline, otherwise we can't guarantee that your film will be watched in time.
• We don't provide refunds for festival entries.
• Entrants can update their screener by uploading a new video file provided your original link url does not change. The link must stay the same after you have submitted your entry. If it is replaced programmers will lose access to your screener and it may not be watched in time for consideration.
• We strongly recommend that ALL submitted films regardless of category include English subtitles (whether the film is in English or another language) so that they may be accessible to all of our Programmers. Films in a language other than English MUST have English subtitles.
HOW WE PROGRAM
• Each film will be watched by at least two different programmers. If you are using Vimeo stats, you can track the watches most of the time. However, we've had many cases in which watches weren't recorded correctly, including for some of the accepted films. Please note that they are not always reliable.
• If a film gets two or more recommendations after the first round of watches, it will be watched by more programmers and discussed at deliberations sessions.
• Deliberating programmers determine a festival selection through discussion and voting.
• Each participating programmer has an equal vote and no festival competition selections are made outside of this process.
• Our programmers are not required to read submission cover letters and other supporting materials, but we encourage you to submit them in case they want to learn more about you and your work.
• We generally don't share programming feedback with entrants.
• The Slamdance programmers' decisions are final.
• Accepted filmmakers will be notified via email, phone or text. Filmmakers must confirm their participation by the given deadline, otherwise they might lose their spot in the line-up. (Heads up: we will be reaching out to some of you over Thanksgiving, but you can't use the holidays as an excuse to delay your confirmation).
• Accepted filmmakers must be the authors of their submitted work and be ready to sign an agreement stating that they own all rights to their film and its components ahead of screening at Slamdance.
• If accepted, entrants are responsible for delivering their festival exhibition copy, trailer, screener link, press stills and press-kit on time.
• All accepted films must have Closed Captioning in English ready in time for their festival screening. We highly recommend you work on this while you wait for your festival acceptance since it will make your film more accessible to audiences wherever it may be shown.
• If accepted, filmmakers are expected to attend the festival.
• If accepted to both Sundance and Slamdance, filmmakers can not screen at both. We notify filmmakers around the same time, so you will have a chance to make an informed decision and commit to one festival.
• We don't cover filmmakers' travel expenses.
• We don't cover shipping expenses for screening copies and other materials.
• We don't provide screening fees.