Years running: 25 (since 1995)
International film festival of independent film run by filmmakers.
The Slamdance Film Festival is a showcase for raw and innovative filmmaking that lives and bleeds by its mantra: By Filmmakers, For Filmmakers. No other film festival in the world is entirely run and organized by the creative force that can only be found in filmmakers. Slamdance has created a track record for showcasing breakthrough artists that is beyond dispute. Filmmakers who first showed their work at the festival are now amongst the biggest names in the entertainment industry.
"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. With a variety of backgrounds, interests, and talents, but with no individual filmmaker’s vote valued more than any other, Slamdance’s committees have been able to stay close to the heart of the DIY spirit and the bleeding-edge of contemporary filmmaking.
Academy Award® and BAFTA qualifying festival.
*Academy Award® qualifying categories.
Russo Brothers Fellowship
Established in 2018 by Slamdance alums and critically acclaimed 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, consisting of an office at their new Los Angeles based studio, mentorship from Anthony and Joe, and a cash stipend for one year.
Each year significant cash and service prizes are awarded to Sparky Award recipients.
The Slamdance Cinema Club offers theatrical showings of select features and shorts throughout the year following each festival.
• Eligibility requirements for each category are final. There are no exceptions.
• 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.
• We consider films regardless of their premiere status. Even if your film already premiered at another festival, it’s still eligible.
• Only features that don’t have US distribution are eligible for Slamdance. Entrants must notify the festival at once if their distribution status changes.
• There’s no distribution rule for shorts and episodes. All short films and episodes, including those released online, are eligible.
• Entrants can update their edit any time by uploading a new video file into the same link on Vimeo, so the submission link stays the same. Do not send us new links.
• Accepted filmmakers must own rights to their film and all its components by the time of the festival.
• If accepted, entrants are responsible for delivering their exhibition copy and other materials, such as: trailer, screener link, press stills, and press-kit, by deadline.
• If accepted, filmmakers are required to do their best to attend the festival. Unfortunately, Slamdance does not provide room, board or travel for filmmakers.
No premiere requirement
Jury and Organizers
President: Peter Baxter
Festival Manger: Alina Solodnikova
Address (year-round office):
5634 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles CA 90038
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• Directed by 1st-time Documentary Feature director(s) • Budget under $1 million
• Documentary or Narrative • Directed by Non-1st-time feature film directors • No budget restriction
Pilots and single episodes of any length, genre, and style made for any broadcast platform. No distribution restrictions.
All non-fiction genres, subjects and forms welcome. This is an Academy Award® qualifying category.
• Directed by 1st-time Narrative Feature director(s) • Budget under $1 million
All fiction genres, subjects and forms welcome. This is an Academy Award® qualifying category.
All mediums, genres, styles, and subjects welcome. Significant portion of film must be made in frame-by-frame manner (live-action footage of puppets is NOT animation). This is an Academy Award® qualifying category.
Non-narrative films that may be conceptual, abstract, graphic, didactic, or otherwise unclassifiable. Films that challenge the definition of what film can be.