Sundance + Slamdance Wrap-Up

Sundance + Slamdance Wrap-Up

Greetings from Park City! With another Sundance and Slamdance in the books, I thought I'd pass along some final highlights from some of the Midwest filmmakers in the Park City spotlight throughout both fests...

Two films with Midwest roots swept the documentary awards at Slamdance...

Big news for SWEET MICKY FOR PRESIDENT, directed by Ohio native and Ohio University grad Ben Patterson, who dominated the SLAMDANCE FILM FESTIVAL AWARDS. The film won two awards Audience Award for Documentary Feature AND Jury Award for Documentary Feature. Producer / Subject PRAS MICHEL formerly of The Fugees created quite the buzz here at SLAMDANCE, with audiences absolutely loving this film. I'll have interviews with Ben and Pras heading your way very soon.

Slamdance awarded Michigan-made 20 YEARS OF MADNESS with the Jury's Honorable Mention in the Documentary competition. When the eccentric cast of a mid-90s Public Access show in Detroit reunite after 20 years to make a new episode, they are forced to take a hard look at their lives and reconcile their teenage dreams with the realities of adulthood. At the center of the storm is the show's creator (also a producer on this doc), Michigan native Jerry White Jr. I'll have an interview with Jerry for ya in FILMMAKER FOCUS shortly...

On the Sundance side, Chicago filmmaker Jack Dunphy landed in the shorts program with his funny, heartbreaking, and most of all animated autobiographical gem SERENITY. The short jumped from its premiere at Sundance to its Chicago Premiere at the Midwest Independent Film Festival this past Tuesday, with many more festivals to come.

Shout! Factory has acquired the North American rights to Slamdance opening night feature BLOODSUCKING BASTARDS, a vampire comedy-horror feature directed by Brian James O’Connell and penned by the comedy troupe Dr. God from an original script by Ryan Mitts. Quite a few Midwest connections here, including Chicago improv alumni Marshall Givens and Parvesh Cheena as well as Chicago's Joel Murray, brother of Bill.

And last but not least, SCREEN co-hosted the annual Sundance/Slamdance filmmaker social MONDAY ON MAIN STREET, stop by our PHOTO BOOTH for exclusive pics.

There you have it! Next up: I'll be heading to Austin for SXSW next month, I'll have plenty of news on Midwest filmmakers heading to Texas soon...

Mike McNamara is the Co-Founder of The Midwest Independent Film Festival, www.midwestfilm.org. Mike pays his rent as an actor in Chicago in theatre, commercials, television and film. More from Mac at www.findmac.com.