Feature Lineup for Slamdance 2023

The lineup for Narrative Features Competition, Documentary Features Competition, Breakouts, and Unstoppable features for the 29th Slamdance Film Festival. With titles hailing from all over the globe and jam-packed with premieres, the 2023 festival continues the legacy of discovering fresh and influential new voices.


The Girl Who Was Cursed – (The Netherlands) North American Premiere
Director: Zara Dwinger; Screenwriter: Zara Dwinger; Producers: Layla Meijman & Maarten van der Ven
Stoner girl Gizem spends most of her day smoking weed on the couch while spying on her neighbors through binoculars. When the quirky boy across the street disappears, she has to get out of her comfortable cloud of smoke to find out where he is. She gets caught up in a strange quest.
Cast: Sinem Kavuz, Victor Ijdens, Frieda Barnhard, Ilker Delikaya

Love Dump – (United States) U.S. Premiere
Director: Jason Avezzano; Screenwriters: Leila Gorstein and Jesse Kendall; Producers: Emily Diego, Matt Mahaffey, Leila Gorstein, Jesse Kendall
Trash-filled love ensues when a quirky antique shop owner searches for her missing father, and falls for a determined dog lawyer along the way.
Cast: Leila Gorstein, Jesse Kendall, Rob Grabowski, EJ Cameron, Zoe Agapinan, George Elrod, Lauren Summers, Tyler Davis

MiND MY GOOFiNESS: The Self Portrait – (United States) World Premiere
Director: Alex Michel; Screenwriter: Alex Michel; Producer: Alex Michel
A strange dream; favors for friends; the end of the world. It’s just one of those days for Alex as he runs errands he never needed to, all while making sense of a recurring deja vu throughout the journey of his day.
Cast: Alex Michel, Duante Wingham, Symone Holmes, Rob Rice, Perry Goeders, Ian Peterson, Juice Wood, Emara Vee

Mad Cats – (Japan) World Premiere
Director: Reiki Tsuno; Screenwriter: Reiki Tsuno; Producers: Daisuke Urano, Reiki Tsuno, Takahiro Fukuya
Taka, a shiftless young man, sets off on a quest to find his brother Mune. Teaming up with a quirky new friend and an edgy, mysterious young girl along the way, Taka finds himself taking on a pack of vicious monster cats determined to execute unscrupulous pet shop owners.
Cast: Sho Mineo, Yuya Matsuura, Ayane, Michael Aaron Stone, So Yamanaka

New Religion – (Japan) North American Premiere
Director: Keishi Kondo; Screenwriter: Keishi Kondo; Producer: Keishi Kondo
Miyabi lost her only daughter in an accident. One day, she meets a strange man. The man demands that she let him take a picture of her spine.
Cast: Kaho Seto, Ryuseigun Saionji, Satoshi Oka

Nut Jobs – (Canada) U.S. Premiere
Director: Alexandre Leblanc; Screenwriter: Alexandre Leblanc; Producer: Alexandre Leblanc
Benjamin tells his ex-girlfriend, Angie, that he joined a cell of left-wing terrorists to get revenge on her former boss, who owns a right-wing radio station. His story blends conceptual artists, amateur theater troupes, hallucinogenic vinyl record and other magical powers. All that nonsense leave Angie wondering if he made that up only to win her back.
Cast: Jean-Sébastien Courchesne, Sophie Desmarais, Benoit Bourbonnais, Annie St-Pierre, Richard Fréchette, Mathieu Bourque

A Perfect Day for Caribou – (United States) North American Premiere
Director: Jeff Rutherford; Screenwriter: Jeff Rutherford; Producers: Kyra Bailey, Joseph Longo, Jeff Rutherford
An estranged father and son spend the day ambling around a cemetery, wandering the wilderness, searching for family, and stumbling through disharmony and heartache.
Cast: Charlie Plummer, Jeb Berrier, Oellis Levine, Dana Millican, Wrick Jones, Rachael Perrell Fosket, Connor Brenes

Stars in the Ordinary Universe – (South Korea) World Premiere
Director: Bowon Kim; Screenwriter: Bowon Kim; Producers: Han Jung, Minji Kim, Dongho Shin
Three stories from three different earths in the multiverse…
Cast: Seoyoon Park, Gyoho Shim, Dongmin Oh

Unicorn Boy – (United States) World Premiere
Director: Matt Kiel; Screenwriter: Matt Kiel; Producer: Neil Garguilo p.g.a.
When a heartbroken young artist is sucked into a unicorn-run alternate dimension, they must help conquer a dark force in order to bring peace to the kingdom and themselves.
Cast: Matt Kiel, Patton Oswalt, Maria Bamford, Harold Perrineau, Sarah Natochenny, Katie Leclerc, Brett Davern, Parvesh Cheena

Waiting for the Light to Change – (United States)
Director: Linh Tran; Screenwriters: Linh Tran, Jewells Santos, Delia Van Praag; Producers: Sam Straley, Jake Rotger, Jewells Santos
Over the course of a week-long beachside getaway, Amy, having recently undergone dramatic weight loss, finds herself wrestling between loyalty to her best friend Kim and her attraction to Kim’s new boyfriend.
Cast: Jin Park, Joyce Ha, Qun Chi, Sam Straley, Erik Barrientos

Where the Road Leads – (Serbia) World Premiere
Director: Nina Ognjanović; Screenwriter: Nina Ognjanović; Producer: David Jovanović
Jana runs to save a life of a foreigner who can take her far away from her home town.
Cast: Jana Bjelica, Zlatan Vidović, Vladimir Maksimović, Ninoslav Ćulum, Igor Filipović, Svetozar Cvetković, Branislava Stefanović, Eva Ras


Cash Cow – (United States) World Premiere
Director: Matt Barats; Screenwriter: Matt Barats; Producers: Whit Conway & Matt Barats
In the Fall of 2020, a financially struggling actor camps and explores early Mormon historical sites as he anxiously awaits national broadcast for his Domino’s Pizza commercial.

Cisco Kid – (United States) U.S. Premiere
Director: Emily Kaye Allen; Producers: Shannon Fitzpatrick, Elise McCave
In a queer portrait of the contemporary American West, Eileen–a young, solitary maverick–forges a life among the discarded remnants and lingering memories of a desert ghost town called Cisco.

The Mad Writer – (United States) World Premiere
Director: Zach Kashkett; Screenwriter: Zach Kashkett; Producers: Jon Webb, Zach Kashkett, Trevor Metscher, Katherine LeBlond, James Haygood, Michael Raimondi, Michael Tolle
With his star on the rise, Hip Hop phenom, L’Orange, confronts a stunning diagnosis that threatens both his hearing and his burgeoning career.

Motel Drive – (United States) World Premiere
Director: Brendan Geraghty; Screenwriter: Brendan Geraghty; Producers: Brendan Geraghty. Josh Polon.
Within a community of motels infamous for illicit activity, the Shaw Family grapples with housing insecurity and addiction while trying to raise their young son. When California’s High-Speed Rail Project displaces them, a glimpse of stability appears within reach. A vérité, street level vantage of post-industrial America, documented over eight years, on one city block.

Silent Love – (Poland, Germany) U.S. Premiere
Director: Marek Kozakiewicz; Screenwriter: Marek Kozakiewicz; Producers: Agnieszka Skalska, Alex Tondowski, Ira Tondowski
After their mother’s death, 35-year-old Aga has to take care of her teenage brother, Milosz. There is one thing she isn’t telling him about: her ongoing relationship with Maja. An unconventional family is being born in a small, conservative Polish village.

Space Happy: Phil Thomas Katt and The Uncharted Zone – (United States) World Premiere
Director: Louis Crisitello; Producers: Louis Crisitello, John Nobbs, Rose Crisitello, Mike Castronova
Space Happy: Phil Thomas Katt and The Uncharted Zone is a feature-length documentary about a group of ragtag artists making “so bad it’s good” music and videos in Pensacola, Florida under the direction of the eccentric Phil Thomas Katt. Spanning over five decades of footage, Space Happy is a portrayal of creative minds pursuing art against all odds — and talent.

Starring Jerry as Himself – (United States) World Premiere
Director: Law Chen; Screenwriters: Jerry Hsu and Law Chen; Producers: Jonathan Hsu, Law Chen
A family documents how their immigrant father Jerry, a recently divorced and retired Florida man, was recruited by the Chinese police to be an undercover agent.

Sweetheart Deal – (United States)
Directors: Elisa Levine & Gabriel Miller; Screenwriter: Karen KH Sim; Producers: Peggy Case, Elisa Levine
Four sex workers caught in the spiral of addiction turn to a self-proclaimed healer offering friendship and a path to salvation from the streets inside his roadside RV. But just as they begin to rebuild their lives, a shocking betrayal comes to light that will change them all.

With Peter Bradley – (United States) World Premiere
Director: Alex Rappoport; Producer: Alex Rappoport
Seventy-nine years old and overlooked since the 1970’s, abstract artist Peter Bradley reflects on life and shares his artistic process on the cusp of his rediscovery.


The Art of Silence – (Switzerland, Germany)
Director: Maurizius Staerkle Drux; Screenwriter: Maurizius Staerkle Drux; Producers: Aline Schmid, Adrian Blaser, Carl-Ludwig Rettinger, Maurizius Staerkle Drux
The first feature documentary about the legendary pantomime Marcel Marceau. He inspires several generations of artists, among them his grandson and family, who cast a new light on his life’s work. As a child, Marceau experiences the execution of his Jewish father by the Nazis. A trauma that motivates him to join the French resistance and spurs his deep conviction in the art of silence.
Cast: Marcel Marceau, Anne Sicco, Camille Marceau, Aurélia Marceau, Louis Chevalier, Rob Mermin, Georges Loinger, Daniel Loinger, Christoph Staerkle

Fuzzy Head – (United States) U.S. Premiere
Director: Wendy McColm; Screenwriter: Wendy McColm; Producers: Rhianon Jones, Frank Oz, Santiago Cervantes, Cooper Oznowicz
Insomnia-ridden Marla is on the run after the murder of her mother. Now, Marla must confront her everlasting void to find out the truth of what really happened and at last, undo all that’s been done.
Cast: Alicia Witt, Wendy McColm, Jonathan Tolliver, Numa Perrier, Fred Melamed, Cassidy Butler, Richard Riehle, and Rain Phoenix

Mascot – (The Netherlands, Belgium) World Premiere
Director: Remy van Heugten; Screenwriter: Gustaaf Peek; Producers: Joram Willink, Piet-Harm Sterk, Bart van Langendonck, Robert Kievit
With his radical behavior, teenager Jerry endangers not only himself but his entire family.
Cast: Liam Jeans, Maartje Remmers, Leopold Witte, Geert van Rampelberg, Frederike van Oordt, Mouad Nineb, Joes Brauers

Onlookers – (United States, Laos) World Premiere
Director: Kimi Takesue; Producers: Kimi Takesue, Richard Beenen, Sophie Luo
ONLOOKERS offers a visually striking, immersive meditation on travel and tourism in Laos, reflecting on how we all live as observers. Traversing the country’s dusty roads and tranquil rivers, we watch as elaborate painterly tableaus unfold, revealing the whimsical and at times disruptive interweaving of locals and foreigners in rest and play.

The Underbug – (India) World Premiere
Director: Shujaat Saudagar; Screenwriters: Shujaat Saudagar, Abas Dalal, Hussain Dalal; Producers: Vikesh Bhutani, Shujaat Saudagar, Aman Mann
As India is ravaged by sectarian violence on the eve of its Independence Day, two rioters take refuge in an abandoned house. An eerie presence in the house, however, haunts the men to the edge of sanity.
Cast: Ali Fazal, Hussain Dalal, Areenah fatima

What is the Lie? – (Philippines) World Premiere
Director: Quark Henares; Screenwriters: Quark Henares, John Bedia; Producers: Armi Rae Cacanindin, Pauline Zamora, Bianca Balbuena-Liew, Ian Monsod
Hopeless romantic Janzen Torres finds another chance at love when she matches with the handsome and seemingly perfect Theo Balmaceda on a dating app. Unfortunately, on the day of their meet-up, Theo ghosts her, leading Janzen into an intricate web of deceit, lies, and catfishing led by sociopathic mastermind Beanie Landridos.
Cast: Maris Racal, EJ Jallorina, Royce Cabrera


American Pot Story: Oaksterdam – (United States) World Premiere
Director: Dan Katzir & Ravit Markus; Screenwriter: Dan Katzir; Producers: Ravit Markus, Dan Katzir, Yael Katzir, Lati Grobman, Rick Rosenthal, Dahlia Guigui, Asher Alkoby, Eviatar Dotan, Ayal Nitzan
American Pot Story: Oaksterdam tells the unknown origin story of how a handful of underdogs risked everything to spark the current worldwide revolution in cannabis policy. Reflecting Oakland, California’s rich history of civil resistance, they opened the first ever cannabis college, Oaksterdam University, and got Prop 19 – a measure to legalize cannabis – on the ballot in California, thus bringing this taboo topic to the mainstream and opening a conversation on its social justice impact.
Cast: Dale Sky Jones, Richard Lee, Jeff Jones, Salwa Ibrahim, Governor Gavin Newson

OKAY! (The ASD Band Film) – (Canada)
Director: Mark Bone; Screenwriters: Greg Rosati, Andrew Simon; Producers: Andrew Simon, Tamara Sulliman, David Bodanis
Four performers on the autism spectrum form a band and take on the challenge of writing and performing their first album of original songs.
Cast: Ron Adea, Jackson Begley, Rawan Tuffaha, Spenser Murray, Maury LaFoy

Sexual Healing – (Netherlands) U.S. Premiere
Director: Elsbeth Fraanje; Screenwriter: Elsbeth Fraanje; Producers: Nienke Korthof, Willem Baptist
Evelien (53), spastic from birth, yearns for intimate contact and recognition for who she is. Sexual Healing follows her courageous quest for intimacy: touching, funny, sensual and rewarding. Naughty in all the nice ways. Sexual Healing is a tough, yet ligth-hearted universal film about the necessity of intimate contact for all of us human beings.

Sign the Show – (United States)
Director: Cat Brewer; Producers: Cat Brewer, Matt Maxey, Waka Flocka, Sara Hirsh Bordo, Claudia Lin Cunningham
Sign the Show immerses the viewer in conversations with entertainers (includingKelly Clarkson, D.L. Hughley and André 3000), the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community, and popular American Sign Language interpreters to discuss the DEI & Accessibility movement at live music, comedy, and theater performances in a humorous, heartfelt, and insightful way.
Cast: Waka Flocka, Kelly Clarkson, André 3000, D.L. Hughley, Camryn Manheim, Matt Maxey, Nyle DiMarco, Camryn Manheim,

Wisdom Gone Wild – (United States)
Director: Rea Tajiri; Screenwriter: Rea Tajiri; Producers: Rea Tajiri, Sian Evans
In this moving and original reflection on aging, mortality, and transformation, Rea Tajiri partners with her mother, Rose Tajiri Noda, to create a film about the final sixteen years of Rose’s life as a person living with dementia.
Cast: Rose Tajiri, Rea Tajiri