Better Late Than Never: The Slamdance '06 Awards!

What with all the busy, crazy, and hectic rigamarole that follows any high-end film festival, I forgot to spread a little love in the Slamdance direction! Read on to discover which flicks won the coveted Sparky awards!

The Slamdance Film Festival announced its winners tonight in over 20 categories, including winners in the Slamdance Guerilla Gamemaker Competition and Screenplay and Teleplay Competitions at the Slamdance Sparky Award ceremonies at Suede in Park City. Over $200,000 in prizes were awarded. Following the Sparky award ceremony was a party featuring celebrity DJ?s DJ Swamp (Beck?s DJ); DJ C-Minus (Vanguard LA); and Tito Plenty (San Francisco).

"Over the years the Park City Slamdance screenings have become a place for the industry to discover new talent," says Slamdance director Peter Baxter. "Salt Lake City has become increasingly important from a public perspective.

Award Winners will be shown in Salt Lake City in the Westminster College, Gore Auditorium (1840 South 1300 East). The winning films will be scheduled at one of the following times: 1 PM; 3:30 PM and 6 PM (MST). Further information will be posted at www.slamdance.com. Additionally, there will be Best of Slamdance screenings in New York (Two Boots Pioneer Theatre); Los Angeles (American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., www.americancinematheque.com) on February 9 & 16 and other cities to be announced.

The winners are as follows:

Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature
Winner to receive a Panavision Camera Rental Package valued at $60,0000
WE GO WAY BACK
World Premiere - (2005, 80 min., USA)
Cinematographer: Ben Kasulke

Adolescence has left 23-year-old actress Kate robbed of her bearings and her boundaries. Can a surreal confrontation with her 13-year-old self redeem her? A sly and tender depiction of one young woman's journey of self-rediscovery.

Special Jury Recognition
THE GUATEMALAN HANDSHAKE
World Premiere - (2005, 96 min., USA)
Written/Directed by Todd Rohal

In the confusion following a massive power outage, an awkward demolition derby driver vanishes - leaving behind his friends, family and pregnant girlfriend to solve the mystery.

Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature

Winner to receive a Sony HD camera plus five hours of tape from Media Distributors in conjunction with Sony.
EMPIRE IN AFRICA
World Premiere - (2005, 87 min., USA)
Directed by Philippe Diaz

The story of the unjust war the international community waged against civil war stricken Sierra Leone.

Special Jury Recognition for Best Documentary Feature
FORGIVING DR. MENGELE
(2005, 80 min., USA)
Directed by Bob Hercules & Cheri Pugh

The story of Auschwitz concentration camp survivor Eva Mozes Kor whose controversial decision to forgive notorious Nazi Josef Mengele doctor who performed cruel genetic experiments on her and her sister, caused a firestorm of criticism.

Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short
THE SAVIOUR
(2005, 18 min., Australia)
Directed by Peter Templeman

This director won the same award at the 2005 Sparky Awards.

Special Jury Recognition for Narrative Short
THE DEVIL
U.S. Premiere
(2005, 39 min., Poland)
Directed by Tomasz Szafranski

Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary Short
UNDER THE ROLLER COASTER
(2005, 15 min., USA)
Directed by Lila Place

Special Jury Recognition for Documentary Short
GRAND LUNCHEONETTE
(2005, 5 min., USA)
Directed by Peter Sillen

Grand Jury Prize for Best Animated Short
DRAGON
World Premiere - (2005, 7 min., USA)
Directed by Troy Morgan

Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature

Sponsored by Sonic Magic: $25,000 credit on post-production services.
THE SASQUATCH DUMPLING GANG
World Premiere - (2005, 84 min., USA)
Written/Directed by Tim Skousen

Young, fantasy/sci-fi aficionado Gavin Gore and his friends stumble onto some huge footprints in the woods, while two of his dim-witted neighbors hatch a scheme to profit from the situation.

Audience Award for Best Out of Competition Feature

NEO NED
(2005, 97 min., USA)
Directed by Van Fischer. (Slamdance 1999 Alumni - BLINK OF AN EYE).
An Aryan Brother (Jeremy Renner, CLASS ACTION, LORDS OF DOGTOWN) falls in love with a black girl (Gabrielle Union, BRING IT ON, HONEYMOONERS) who claims the soul of Hitler is trapped inside her. Also with Sally Kirkland (THE STING), Cary Elwes (THE PRINCESS BRIDE), Steve Railsback (THE STUNTMAN)

Audience Sparky Award for Best Documentary Feature

Sponsored by Sonic Magic: $25,000 credit on post-production services
ABDUCTION: THE MEGUMI YAKOTA STORY
World Premiere - (2006, 85 min., USA) directed by Chris Sheridan & Patty Kim, written by Patty Kim

The haunting story of a 13 year-old Japanese girl kidnapped by North Korean spies.

The Spirit of Slamdance Award for Best Gallery Short
HIRO
U.S. Premiere - (2005, 20 min., Canada)
Directed by Matthew Swanson

Sparky Award for Global Anarchy
$1000 in RED Software
MY MOM AND DAD - Directed by Andrew Brotzman (USA)

Kodak Vision Award for Best Cinematography
Winner to receive $5,000 in Kodak Film
WE GO WAY BACK
World Premiere - (2005, 80 min., USA)

Adolescence has left 23-year-old actress Kate robbed of her bearings and her boundaries. Can a surreal confrontation with her 13-year-old self redeem her? A sly and tender depiction of one young woman's journey of self-rediscovery.

All films winning the Grand Jury and Audience Awards will receive Gorilla by Jungle Software.


The 2005 Screenplay Competition Awards are as follows:

Best Short
The Saint of Zuiderzee by Brian Higdon, Virginia Friedman & Steve Hess

Skyline Screenwriting Award
Hay's Code by Andrew B. Smith

1st Place Screenplay
$5,000 cash prize
Preeti Girl by Todd Holmes

The 2005 Teleplay Awards are as follows:

2nd Runner-Up
Joel Metzger "Hothouse Bruiser"

Runner-Up
John Woodard "The Boys on June Street"

Grand Prize Winner
Dani Shear "Ex"

Screenplay winners from previous years have garnered representation and have optioned their scripts. Both MARIA FULL OF GRACE (2001) and THE WOODSMAN (2001) were Slamdance Screenplay Award Winners. This year?s festival film NEO NED was based on the 1998 Slamdance Screenplay Award Winner. This is the second year for the Teleplay competition. The Grand Prize Winner will receive a blind script deal to develop an original pilot with Fox21. In April there will be readings of the Screenplays in Los Angeles at the Village in Hollywood.

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The "Slam" might be overshadowed by its fancier "Sun" every January, but it's a really fine festival in its own right. Should you ever be in Park City come festival time, you should absolutely make some time to visit Slamdance HQ and check out their offerings!

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