When the Slamdance Film Festival launched in 1995, it was regarded as the punky little brother to Robert Redford’s more established Sundance Festival. Almost seven years later, Slamdance has come into its own, and is set to grow beyond the limits of its U.S. home in Park City, Utah. Festival organizers have picked Cologne, Germany, as the site of an annual event that will function
as a counterpart to the American fest, with a focus on films by German indie filmmakers.
Peter Baxter, co-CEO of Slamdance Entertainment, explains that the festival planners didn’t want to risk growing the original event too large for fear of losing touch with the filmmakers. But, they couldn’t ignore Slamdance’s increasing popularity. ‘We began to get more and more European submissions,’ he says. ‘So, during the last couple of years, we’ve been keeping an eye where we might be able to set down some roots in Europe.’
Although Slamdance Cologne will not be up and running as a full festival this year, the organization will be offering an introductory showcase of shorts and features (around seven to nine films) on August 18, with the help of Popkomm, a German music festival in Cologne.
Baxter confirms that docs will be featured at Slamdance’s German event. ‘We hope that in time [docs] will have the same place at the German festival that they have at Slamdance in Park City, where we have a documentary award and we have a section within our program for documentaries.’
The entry deadline is Friday July 20. For more information, go to //www.slamdance.com