Slamdance Goes Online — and to Joshua Tree — for 2021

Slamdance will take a break from its longtime home in Park City, Utah next year in favor of a virtual festival, and an in-person gathering in the wide open spaces of Joshua Tree, California.

Slamdance is typically held at Park City’s Treasure Mountain Inn, and the festival runs almost simultaneously with Sundance. But given the uncertainty around COVID-19, the festival has opted next year to move online and to a less-crowded setting that is more hospitable to social distancing. The festival has helped discover talents including Christopher Nolan, the Russo Brothers, Lynn Shelton, Lena Dunham, Ari Aster, Andrew Patterson and Merawi Gerima.

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The two-week virtual festival will take place on and YouTube and feature short and feature film programs, filmmaker Q&A’s, jury and audience awards presentations, workshops and panels with notable alumni, as well as Unstoppable, Slamdance’s first program for filmmakers with disabilities.

The physical festival experience will be an invite-only, socially-distanced weekend desert retreat for filmmakers to safely gather and connect. It will include outdoor screenings, filmmaker workshops, notable alumni and industry talks and music. The retreat will be adjacent to a public drive-in cinema program.

“Slamdance ‘21 isn’t about compromise because of the pandemic. It’s about community,  accessibility and growth. It’s about Slamdance’s future and the love of independent film.” said Slamdance president and co-founder Peter Baxter.

You can learn more about Slamdance ’21 here.