Posted by Larry Gleeson


STRAD STYLE, directed by Stefan Avalos wins Grand Jury Prize

and Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature

Grand Jury Prize Best Narrative Feature: DIM THE FLUORESCENTS; directed by Daniel Warth

Narrative Feature Audience Award Winner: DAVE MADE A MAZE, directed by Bill Watterson

(PARK CITY, UT – January 26, 2017)– The 23rd Slamdance Film Festival announced the feature and short film recipients of this year’s Sparky awards in the Audience, Jury, and Sponsored Categories. The award winners were announced at the festival’s annual Awards Ceremony at the Treasure Mountain Inn in Park City, UT.

Established in 1995 by a wild bunch of filmmakers, Slamdance has proven, year after year, that when it comes to recognizing talent and launching careers, independent and grassroots communities can do it themselves. Previous Slamdance alumni include: Christopher Nolan (THE DARK KNIGHT; MEMENTO), and Claire Carre (EMBERS).

Peter Baxter, President and Co-Founder of Slamdance (Photo via moviebytes.com

“Independent film is made beautiful not by those individual artists that form celebrity culture but by creative collaboration” said Slamdance Co-Founder and President, Peter Baxter. “At Slamdance this year we’ve experienced an entire program of beautiful independent film and the promise of great emerging artists continuing the legacy of what we set out to do. With our awards we honor several filmmakers yet we know and must acknowledge Slamdance has just been made stronger by everyone of them who has taken part.”

Full list of winners:

Jury Awards | Narrative Features

Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize

Dim the Fluorescents

(Canada) World Premiere

Director: Daniel Warth; Screenwriter(s): Miles Barstead, Daniel Warth

Jury statement: “Empathetic, weird and insanely funny, this film delivers its crazy script with guts & panache. It’s a delight–beautifully executed and smart as a whip. The jury is thrilled to present the grand jury prize for best narrative feature to DIM THE FLUORESCENTS.”

Narrative Features Honorable Mention

Kate Can’t Swim

(USA) World Premiere

Director: Josh Helman; Screenwriter(s): Jennifer Allcott, Josh Helman

Jury statement: “Flawless in its execution of portraying real relationships with believably nuanced characters, authentic on-screen chemistry and an engaging story that thrives on what isn’t said.”

Jury Awards | Documentary Features, Documentary Shorts

Documentary Feature Grand Jury Prize

Strad Style

(USA) World Premiere

Director: Stefan Avalos

Jury statement: “For capturing a journey of passion and commitment, honesty and the triumph of one vision against all odds.’

Documentary Feature Honorable Mention

The Modern Jungle


Director(s) & Screenwriter(s): Charles Fairbanks, Saul Kak

Jury statement: “For its beautiful cinematography, for a compassionate journey into a dangerous and uncharted world.”

Documentary Short Grand Jury Prize



Director(s): Francesca Scalisi, Mark Olexa

Jury statement: “For an arresting portrayal dramatically shot of human trauma and its consequence.”

Documentary Short Honorable Mention



Director: Fabio Palmieri

Jury statement: “For its visionary take on the dehumanized face of immigration.”

Jury Awards – Narrative Shorts/Animated Shorts

Narrative Shorts Grand Jury Prize

No Other Way To Say It


Director and Screenwriter: Tim Mason

Jury statement: “Brave new voice, that found the magical combination to create the complete short film. “It’s Good There’s no other way to say it.”

Narrative Shorts Honorable Mention

Oh What a Wonderful Feeling


Director and Screenwriter: François Jaros

Jury statement: “Powerful storytelling that found a way to lean away from the stereotypes and consider the humans within the context, with a technical savvy and social responsibility this film reminds us to witness everyone and to see their power.”

Animated Shorts Grand Jury Prize

Hold Me (Ca Caw Ca Caw)


Renee Zhan

Jury statement: “For its brilliant, and nuanced portrait of power and control and the pain that this artists creates. This honest voice found a way to share a very private moment with a flawless combination of oppressed levity”

Animated Shorts Honorable Mention

My Father’s Room

(South Korea) North American Premiere

Director and Screenwriter: Nari Jang

Jury statement: “This heartbreaking portrait of a girl’s broken relationship and the lifelong effects of growing up with an abusive father found a way to sear into its audience to look at the root of pain, asking us to reflect if we could ever escape its cloud. A complete and touching film.”

Jury Awards – Experimental Shorts/Anarchy Shorts

Experimental Shorts Grand Jury Prize



Director: Ariana Gerstein

Jury statement: “We are impressed by the unusual and meticulous process involved in making UpCycles. We are even more affected that the process never overshadowed the pure visual delight of experiencing this experimental film.”

Experimental Shorts Honorable Mention



Director and Screenwriter: Carolina Charry Quintero

Jury statement: “We were surprised by the unexpected shifts between the documentary, narrative, and experimental moments in Blua, and we look forward to seeing the path the filmmaker takes with her future work.”

Anarchy Shorts Grand Jury Prize

Ape Sodom


Director and Screenwriter: Maxwell McCabe-Lokos

Jury statement: “While we were impressed by the strange and fully realized world of this film, we were more impressed by seeing how many objects someone could shove up their ass at one time. Ape Sodom not only lived up to its name — it embodies the spirit of anarchy.”

Anarchy Shorts Honorable Mention

Horseshoe Theory

(USA) World Premiere

Director: Jonathan Daniel Brown

Jury statement: “At a time when America is more divided than ever, this film gives us the hope that two opposing sides can set aside their differences, come together, work together, fall in love… and cum together.”

Spirit of Slamdance Award Winner:

Neighborhood Food Drive

(USA) World Premiere

Director: Jerzy Rose; Screenwriter(s): Halle Butler, Mike Lopez, Jerzy Rose

Audience Awards

Audience Award for Narrative Feature:

Dave Made a Maze

(USA) World Premiere

Director: Bill Watterson; Screenwriter(s): Steven Sears, Bill Watterson

Audience Award for Documentary Feature:

Strad Style

(USA) World Premiere

Director: Stefan Avalos

Audience Award for Beyond Feature:

Future ‘38

(USA) World Premiere

Director and Screenwriter: Jamie Greenberg




Slamdance is a community, a year-round experience, and a statement. Established in 1995 by a wild bunch of filmmakers who were tired of relying on a large, oblique system to showcase their work, Slamdance has proven, year after year, that when it comes to recognizing talent and launching careers, independent and grassroots communities can do it themselves. This year’s event concluded January 26th, 2017.


(Source: Press release provided by After Bruce PR and Marketing)


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