Born out of rejection, Slamdance showcases new and emerging independent artists, filmmakers and storytellers.

Started in 1995 by a group of writer/director/producers, Slamdance continues to be organized and programmed by active filmmakers. Now in its twenty-second year as a festival that runs simultaneously with the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT, Slamdance has established a unique reputation for premiering independent films by first-time directors working with limited budgets.

As a year-round organization, Slamdance serves as a showcase for the discovery of new and emerging talent and is dedicated to the nurturing and development of new independent artists and their cinematic vision. Slamdance lives by its mantra: "By Filmmakers, For Filmmakers." No other festival is fully programmed by filmmakers. Slamdance counts among its alumni many notable writers and directors who first gained notice at the festival, including Christopher Nolan, Marc Forster, Jared Hess, Benh Zeitlin, Lynn Shelton and Lena Dunham. Oren Peli's PARANORMAL ACTIVITY originally acquired from Slamdance went onto to gross over $190 million at the Box Office. In recent years, most Slamdance competition features have been picked up for various forms of distribution. New filmmakers and writers today realize Slamdance is a great place to launch their careers.

Slamdance serves as a showcase for the discovery of new and emerging independent artists and is dedicated to the nurturing and development of their vision. We accept films in every genre, on any topic, from every country around the world. The festival program is selected from 100% blind submissions and we do not disqualify any films based on premiere status or date of completion.

The coveted Slamdance Sparky will be awarded in the following categories:

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 Anarchy Short
Audience Award for Narrative Feature
Audience Award for Documentary Feature
Spirit of Slamdance Award (all participating filmmakers vote to decide the film/filmmakers that represented the Spirit of Slamdance the best during the 2016 Festival)

* The winners in these categories qualify for the Annual Academy Awards®.

ALL DEADLINES ARE RECEIVED-BY DEADLINES. All materials must be received by the deadlines listed, NOT postmarked by that date.


Filmmakers are welcome to either submit a FilmFreeway online screener or send us a DVD. We do NOT accept Blu-ray discs as submission copies.

We strongly advise filmmakers to submit a password-protected link of their film IN ADDITION to their FilmFreeway online screener or DVD submission. Please include the link in the Cover Letter section of your Filmfreeway submission page, or email it to us at by referencing your FilmFreeway tracking number. Once again, the online link is only a supplement to your official submission screener (DVD or FilmFreeway online screener)

If you are mailing a DVD to us, please send your film in a paper DVD sleeve. When packaging, protect the DVD in a padded envelope, or similar package. Please DO NOT send your dvd in a slim, jewel, or standard DVD case. We also advise that you purchase tracking for the shipment of your submission DVD to ensure that we receive it on time. Film submissions are non-returnable. Please do not send original materials.

Please note that the ONLY difference in the early submission deadline versus the final submission deadline is the fee discount. The submission process and consideration by the Programming Committee is not affected by the date you submit your film as long as it is received by our final deadline! We appreciate, however, filmmakers submitting their work as early as possible.


Slamdance 2016 films will be selected by the festival programmers. All selections will be posted on our site mid-December 2015.

ALL films submitted to the festival are seen and scored by two different programmers. All films that have a higher average, or are a favorite of a programmer, go on to final deliberations. Slamdance selects its films by majority vote and nothing is offered early acceptance; we aim for the most democratic, film-loving selection process on the planet. Nay, in the universe.

If a film is accepted, entrants will be solely responsible for delivering their exhibition video materials to and from the festival venue. A complete press kit and an online link to your film will be needed as soon after notification as possible. Slamdance cannot be held liable for your exhibition print/video materials which are lost or damaged.

The 2016 Slamdance Film Festival will take place in Park City, UT from January 22nd-28th, 2016. Unfortunately, Slamdance does not provide room, board or travel for filmmakers, so we suggest bringing a cushion. Festival dates are subject to change.

For More Information:

Most questions can be answered on and our FAQ pages. After you submit, please check your FilmFreeway online account to see if your film has been received. Please don't contact us to find out if your film has been received. Check online.

For any other questions, feel free to contact us!

Phone: 323 466 1786
Fax: 323 466 1784

Overall Rating
  • Ryan + Rachel Betschart-Nakawatase

    Clementine is the greatest person to walk this earth, and Slamdance is the greatest festival. Park City during the winter, snow on tiny saloon town streets; the hustle and bustle (chaos, even) of both Slamdance and Sundance happening at the same time literally across the street from each other - everything about it is exciting and lovely. The programming can't be beat - this fest is full of taste makers and often help dictate what films you'll be seeing pop up throughout the rest of the festival circuit for the next year or two.. After playing here our films have been picked up by dozens of other festivals, and the prestige of playing such a rad festival stays with you - we won a Jury Award here and that thing has set in motion a series of the most blessed occurrences to ever happen in our lives to date. Thank you Slamdance!!

    May 2016