Films from 11 CalArtians to appear at Slamdance Festival

The Slamdance Film Festival will be held in Park City, Utah from Jan. 19 to Jan. 25, 2018. Facebook Photo

Eleven original films from current California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) students, faculty and alumni from the institute’s school of Film and Video will appear at the 2018 Slamdance Film Festival in Park city, Utah.

The festival, which runs parallel to the larger Sundance Film Festival, is a showcase of raw and innovative filmmaking that is curated by filmmakers.

Films are selected to compete in one of eight categories—Narrative Features, Beyond Features, Narrative Shorts, Animation Shorts, Documentary Features, Documentary Shorts, Experimental Shorts and Anarchy Shorts—that all are qualifying categories for the Academy Awards.

CalArtians’ films will appear in four categories: Animated Shorts, Documentary Shorts, Experimental Shorts and Narrative Shorts.

Three films from CalArts students, faculty and alumni will appear in the festival’s Animated Shorts Program.

One of these is “Mak” by 2014 graduated Natalya Serebrennikova which is about a “teenager in search of her cultural identity and her precarious relationship with her best friend,” according to CalArts.

Annapurna Kumar’s “Mountain Castle Mountain Flower Plastic” is about multiple forms of information contained in the same location but seen from multiple angles, and “Icebergs” by Eirini Vianelli is a stop-motion dark comedy film comprised of 14 vignettes.

In this category, films can be up to 40 minutes long and must be made in a frame-by-frame matter.

Three films from CalArts students and alumni will also appear in the festival’s Documentary Shorts Program, which includes documentaries up to 40 minutes on any subject matter from anywhere in the world.

These films include: “Big Surf” by 2016 graduate Brian Smee, “Phototaxis” by current student Melissa Ferrari and “Nueva Vida” by 2015 graduate Jonathan Seligson.

The films all follow different topics.  Smee’s is about inclement weather in California, Ferrari’s is about West Virginian folklore and Narcotics Anonymous, and Seligson’s is about the dangers of playing soccer.

In the Experimental Shorts Program, films from three CalArts students, faculty and alumni are appearing in the category.

The category consist of avant-garde film that are up to 30 minutes long.  These films are non-narrative, conceptual, graphic, didactic or unclassified films.

Screening in this category are “No Stories Now” by current student CT Bishop about weakness and false relief, and “Silica” by Experimental Animation faculty member Pia Borg.

Borg’s sci-fi essay film “blends CG animation and 35 mm film to explore the journey of a film location scout in an opal mining town on the brink of abandonment in the South Australian desert,” according to CalArts.

The category will also act as the world premiere of Are You Tired of Forever?” about the mediation on the experience of self by 2017 graduate Caitlin Craggs.

And one film, “Audition” by current student Richard Van, will appear in the Narrative Shorts Program.

The live-action, fiction short film “follows an aspiring actress who is unable to find a sitter and is left with no choice by to bring her 3-year-old son to an audition.”

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