You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

‘Dim the Fluorescents,’ ‘Strad Style’ Win Slamdance Awards (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety logo Variety 1/27/2017 Dave McNary
© Provided by Variety

Daniel Warth’s “Dim the Fluorescents” and Stefan Avalos’ documentary “Strad Style” have won the Sparky Awards for grand jury prizes at the 23rd Slamdance Film Festival.

“Strad Style” also won audience award for documentaries while Bill Watterson’s “Dave Made a Maze” took the audience trophy for narrative features. The winners were announced Thursday night at the Treasure Mountain Inn in Park City, Utah.

“Independent film is made beautiful not by those individual artists that form celebrity culture but by creative collaboration,” said Peter Baxter, Slamdance co-founder and president. “At Slamdance this year we’ve experienced an entire program of beautiful independent film and the promise of great emerging artists continuing the legacy of what we set out to do. With our awards we honor several filmmakers yet we know and must acknowledge Slamdance has just been made stronger by everyone of them who has taken part.”

“Dim the Fluroescents,” directed by Warth from a script he co-wrote with Miles Barstead, focuses on an actress (Claire Armstrong) and a playwright (Naomi Skwarna) as they support themselves by starring in corporate role-playing demonstrations.

“It’s empathetic, weird and insanely funny,” said the Slamdance jurors. “This film delivers its crazy script with guts and panache. It’s a delight — beautifully executed and smart as a whip.”

“Strad Style” centers on Danny Houck, who is obsessed with constructing violins. The jury honored the film “for capturing a journey of passion and commitment, honesty and the triumph of one vision against all odds.”

“Dave Made a Maze,” starring Nick Thune, focuses on a man who builds a complex cardboard maze in his living room.

The feature competition films in the Documentary and Narrative Programs are limited to first-time filmmakers working with production budgets of less than $1 million. The Slamdance Festival was founded as an alternative to the larger Sundance film festival.

Full list of winners:

Jury Awards | Narrative Features

Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize

Dim the Fluorescents

(Canada) World Premiere

Director: Daniel Warth; Screenwriter(s): Miles Barstead, Daniel Warth

Narrative Features Honorable Mention

Kate Can’t Swim

(USA) World Premiere

Director: Josh Helman; Screenwriter(s): Jennifer Allcott, Josh Helman

Jury Awards | Documentary Features, Documentary Shorts

Documentary Feature Grand Jury Prize

Strad Style

(USA) World Premiere

Director: Stefan Avalos

Documentary Feature Honorable Mention

The Modern Jungle


Director(s) & Screenwriter(s): Charles Fairbanks, Saul Kak

Documentary Short Grand Jury Prize



Director(s): Francesca Scalisi, Mark Olexa

Documentary Short Honorable Mention



Director: Fabio Palmieri

Jury Awards – Narrative Shorts/Animated Shorts

Narrative Shorts Grand Jury Prize

No Other Way To Say It


Director and Screenwriter: Tim Mason

Narrative Shorts Honorable Mention

Oh What a Wonderful Feeling


Director and Screenwriter: François Jaros

Animated Shorts Grand Jury Prize

Hold Me (Ca Caw Ca Caw)


Renee Zhan

Animated Shorts Honorable Mention

My Father’s Room

(South Korea) North American Premiere

Director and Screenwriter: Nari Jang

Jury Awards – Experimental Shorts/Anarchy Shorts

Experimental Shorts Grand Jury Prize



Director: Ariana Gerstein

Experimental Shorts Honorable Mention



Director and Screenwriter: Carolina Charry Quintero

Anarchy Shorts Grand Jury Prize

Ape Sodom


Director and Screenwriter: Maxwell McCabe-Lokos

Anarchy Shorts Honorable Mention

Horseshoe Theory

(USA) World Premiere

Director: Jonathan Daniel Brown

Spirit of Slamdance Award Winner:

Neighborhood Food Drive

(USA) World Premiere

Director: Jerzy Rose; Screenwriter(s): Halle Butler, Mike Lopez, Jerzy Rose

Audience Awards

Audience Award for Narrative Feature:

Dave Made a Maze

(USA) World Premiere

Director: Bill Watterson; Screenwriter(s): Steven Sears, Bill Watterson

Audience Award for Documentary Feature:

Strad Style

(USA) World Premiere

Director: Stefan Avalos

Audience Award for Beyond Feature:

Future ‘38

(USA) World Premiere

Director and Screenwriter: Jamie Greenberg


More from Variety

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon