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CalArtian Films Featured in Slamdance 2023

Still from Rea Tajiri's (Art BFA 80, MFA 82) feature Wisdom Gone Wild | Image courtesy of Slamdance

The Slamdance Film Festival returns for its 29th edition in a hybrid format, running in-person in Salt Lake City and Park City, Utah from Jan. 20-26 and virtually from Jan. 23-29 on the Slamdance Channel. As in years past, CalArtians can be spotted across multiple categories, ranging from documentary features to animated shorts.

Established in 1995, Slamdance seeks to raise the profile of emerging filmmakers across the globe. The annual independent film festival runs somewhat concurrently with Sundance Film Festival, to which it has been described as a “vital alternative.”

“From the streets of Seattle to the psychedelic skies of a unicorn-run dystopia, our filmmakers are transporting audiences to new dimensions with stories that explore the nuance of disability, immigration and gender,” Festival Manager Lily Yasuda stated in the official release. “This year’s lineup represents a generation of new directors who are breaking boundaries and redefining what filmmaking looks like in 2023.” 

See the CalArtians in the 29th Slamdance Film Festival lineup below.

Unstoppable Features

Wisdom Gone Wild – (United States)

Director: Rea Tajiri (Art BFA 80, MFA 82); 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

Spotlight Features

MiND MY GOOFiNESS: The Self Portrait – (United States) World Premiere

Director: Alex Michel (Film/Video MFA 21) ; 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 (Theater MFA 20), Rob Rice, Perry Goeders (Theater MFA 21), Ian Peterson, Juice Wood, Emara Vee

Documentary Features

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 (Film/Video BFA 12)

With his star on the rise, Hip Hop phenom, L’Orange, confronts a stunning diagnosis that threatens both his hearing and his burgeoning career.

Animated Shorts

“Babe Beach”

Director: Ida Lasic (Film/Video MFA 22)

In the span of ten years, a club empire has taken over the small remote Croatian island of Pag.

Documentary Shorts


Director: Zach Dorn (Film/Video MFA 20)

A filmmaker attempts to fulfill a promise to an ex-girlfriend in Canada.

Check out the full festival lineup at the official Slamdance website

Picture of Taya Zoormandan

Taya Zoormandan

As digital content and social media producer, Taya enjoys lifting up the stories and accomplishments of CalArts' students, alums, and faculty. She fancies herself a visual artist but is really more of an overzealous collector of art supplies.

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CalArtian Films Featured in Slamdance 2023