It’s of course common to overlook the Slamdance Film Festival, which boldly (nobly?) runs concurrent with a better-known, phonetically similar exhibition, but in doing so one misses independent cinema of a purer expression. Case in point: last year’s top winner, Hannah Ha Ha, was produced on a shoestring budget and with nary a recognizable face, yet never at the expense of dramatic value or formal skill. (It also has a distinct, sensitive visual fabric, which is more than you can say for most current American cinema of any size.) Would it have been noticed without Slamdance’s top prize? It’s hard to imagine otherwise, and–considering the many merits–truly a shame to even consider.
This is a feature debut for Jordan Tetewsky and Joshua Pikovsky, whose finely tuned shorts work we’ve called “equally reminiscent of early Mike Leigh, Richard Linklater, and a less-preening Alex Ross Perry.” The same applies for Hannah Ha Ha, which (not for nothing) engendered one of the funniest interviews we’ve done in some time. It’s thus good fortune Cinedigm will release the film on Friday, February 10, with a Fandor stream coming March 21, ahead of which is a preview boasting our claim for it as “one of the best American debuts of the decade.”
Find the preview and poster below, and read our interview on the film’s production here: