Film Festivals

The Other Dance

1 Feb , 2001  

Written by Michele Meek | Posted by:

The Slamdance Film Festival offers the perfect foil to Sundance.

In contrast to Sundance which had screenings at venues stretching across Park City, Slamdance chose to move its Festival headquarters to the Silvermine. Merging intimate theaters, a café, web surfing station, and even massage tables, the Slamdance certainly was cozy. There weren’t too many New England films to promote, as much as the helpful press folks tried to dig up some local tie. So here’s what I found:

Kelly Anderson and Tami Gold’s documentary "Making a Killing: Phillip Morris, Kraft and Global Tobacco Addiction" exposed the evil tactics of Phillip Morris on hooking kids on cigarettes around the world. As Tami said after the screening, "We don’t know people who start smoking when they’re 30." As a combination of activism and indie filmmaking, "Making a Killing" is an excellent film. Before the film was even finished, they were able to dissuade Phillip Morris from allowing attractive cigarette girls handing out ‘free samples’ to young boys in other countries (a practice that has long been a no-no in the U.S.). After the screening, the filmmakers handed out a petition with the goal to stop buying Kraft products until Phillip Morris agrees to stop marketing to kids.

The online feature with a local tie was "Play Dead" produced and directed by a group of Boston College alumnae. The film starring Diva Zappa, the youngest daughter of musician Frank Zappa, tells the story of 16-year old Violet Wertzema (Zappa) who causes a freak explosion killing hunk Raymond Haver (Jason Hall), thus paving the way for her best friend Dale to act on an unrequited love in a most unexpected way. Despite the somewhat questionable subject matter, these filmmakers are the epitome of indie. "We ‘borrowed’ orange safety cones and blockade sawhorses from a construction site and used them to close down a public street. Then we towed the burned-out shell of a pickup truck to the location and set it on fire. We were about to take our first shot at 2 am when the police arrived…"