A Dream Realized At The 2014 Slamdance Film Festival

Slamdacne 2014 Jury Award for Experimental Short: Real Ethereal
Slamdance 2014 Jury Award for Experimental Short: “Real Ethereal”


Monteque Pope-Le Beau


There is something truly special about the independent film and the independent arts community. It is a community of support, unity, and caring, but most importantly it is a community of family. Beating within it’s heat is an unyielding creative independent spirit. It is the kind spirit which never gives up, even in the face of the impossible. The various artist of the independent communities continue to persevere and follow their dreams. I think no one this year represents this more then Mr. Evan Mann, but I’ll let him tell you his story and it is quite a story……. It is truly inspirational.


Dear Slamdance Film Festival Press,

I hope this finds you well and recovered form the Park City festivities.

I wanted to reach out and inform you that my film Real Ethereal won the Jury Award for Experimental Shorts at Slamdance. This video is was completed in 2011 on a budget of less than $400 while earning my MFA at RISD (Rhode Island School of Design). With Real Ethereal being my second film (the first is here), and Slamdance being my first festival experience, I am super stoked to receive this honor.

Here is a story:

After graduating from RISD in 2012, I launched Kickstater campaign to fund the production of The Otherworldly, my most recent film (the trailer can be seen here). I spent the money on an new iMac, Cannon 5D, tripods and other basic accessories to produce the film and start Otherworldly Productions, a commercial production company based in Denver. I now make a living shooting weddings and low-budget commercials, teaching as an adjunct professor at a couple of colleges, and occasionally selling art.

When I found out my film was accepted at Slamdance, I was excited to go, but hesitant to make the trip and commit to spending the money. My wife Deborah is due with our first child in May, and I have been somewhat anxious about money. Two days before the festival was to begin, I got cold feet and decided not to attend, so I called Randall, the Experimental Shorts coordinator, and he talked me into coming. So I did. I cleaned out our fridge into a cooler, drove down, and lived out of my car, which I parked in the Deer Valley parking lot. I woke up each morning to the sound of excited skiers walking towards the mountain. In the mornings, I would sneak into the lobby of a hotel to brush my teeth and wash my face and get dressed. It was luxurious car camping:)

I left early from the festival, having classes to teach on Tuesday. Two days later on Thursday evening, Randall texted me to call him ASAP. I called and he put me on hold while his phone shuffled about. I got really nervous. I heard words coming from a speaker system, but was unable to clearly understand what was being said. I told him I could not understand; he spoke into the phone and said “you won!”

“What did I win?” I heard a roar of laughter. After that, anything I said was followed by laughter. I was smiling so big my cheeks hurt. I later discovered I was on speaker phone with a room of 250 people.

This is my and story and I thought I would share it with you. I am so glad I attended, having met so many cool people and made some friends. The experience was so inspiring: I have already started planning next film; I am hooked!


I was one of the 250 people who was present at the Slamdance award ceremony. Congratulations Mr. Mann on a marvelous work of art. Here is my review of “Real Ethereal.”

 “Real Ethereal” is an insightful and abstract look at the infinite void of the unknown or the absence of enlightenment. In this film the physical world takes on a different meaning; liquid is not just liquid, water is not just water, matter is not just matter; it is something much more and prolific. Life and the creatures of the this film take on a more metaphysical meaning if not spiritual. This is the spirit of art and the art of the spirit. It celebrates the fluidity of life; while showing the perplexing cycle of creation as it recreates itself over and over again. It is the story of the cosmos. It is also the story of energy and how it transforms itself into different states of being and realities. It is the emergence of true enlightenment once the veil of darkness is dropped, the wonders of pure existence and the divine is revealed.


Real Ethereal

Director: Evan Mann 10:18 min

Creator: Evan Mann

Real Ethereal from Evan Mann / Otherworldly Prod. on Vimeo.


For more information on Mr. Evan Mann and to see  his work go to evanmann.com