Slamdance joins forces with the filmmakers behind “The Resurrection of Jake The Snake” for a multi-city theatrical release of the 2015 Slamdance Film festival favorite documentary, which began Sept. 2 in Portland, Ore.
The Portland Film Festival will host the film’s release with a special event screening and a Q&A session moderated by UFC superstar Chael Sonnen with Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Diamond Dallas Page and director Steve Yu. The event format is a key element of the film’s continuing theatrical release with personal appearances by Jake “The Snake” Roberts, filmmakers and special guests.
The theatrical release marks the initiation of Slamdance Presents, a new distribution moniker for Slamdance’s world premier programs dedicated to creating theatrical and other commercial opportunities for independent filmmakers.
As an unprecedented promotional venture between distributor and filmmaker, the partnership is the perfect combination of two underdogs teaming up to take on the fierce theatrical film marketplace. The inspiring documentary feature opened the 2015 Slamdance Film Festival and went on to win critical acclaim as well as this unique theatrical distribution partnership with Slamdance Presents. When “The Resurrection of Jake The Snake” screens at the Portland Film Festival, it may very well be the first time two festivals have come together to support a nationwide release of an independent film.
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Directed by Steve Yu, “The Resurrection of Jake the Snake” documents one of the most famous professional wrestlers in the world, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, as he battles his personal demons in a struggle to reclaim his life and the family that had given up on him. The feature-length documentary also features Diamond Dallas Page and Scott Hall, aka Razor Ramon. Diamond Dallas Page is the film’s producer.
“We’re thrilled that Slamdance believes enough in our documentary to pursue this innovative theatrical strategy with us,” said the film’s director Steve Yu. “We were fortunate to be at the right place at the right time. Capturing Jake’s incredible story was as compelling as any fictional narrative – except that this is 100% real.”
Theater bookers’ response to the venture has already proven successful with venues scheduled throughout the fall in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Dallas, Nashville, Tampa and Yonkers in addition to Portland. Other cities are presently being added to the schedule. Each venue will offer a hosted Special Event Screening with personal appearances by Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Diamond Dallas Page, filmmakers and special guests at a hosted Q&A.
The plan to collaborate on a theatrical release between Slamdance and the filmmakers was based on the filmmakers’ unrivaled knowledge and connection to a large, eager and devoted subculture and based on their mutual success at Slamdance 2015. The blueprint for the Special Event Screenings came from Slamdance's Cinema Club at Hollywood's ArcLight Theater in March 2015 where film showings included a hosted Q&A with the filmmakers, special wrestling guests and moderated by Slamdance alumni Joe Manganiello. This model will be used throughout the release.
“We hope to enter the challenging theatrical arena with a strong showing, knowing that the festival and the film embody the true spirit of independent film,” said Peter Baxter, President and Co-founder of the Slamdance Film Festival.” Audiences love our screening events with filmmakers. It’s great to receive the support of the Portland Film Festival to help our launch. I hope more festivals can help one another like this in the future.”
“As fellow mavericks, we are excited to present “The Resurrection of Jake the Snake” at this year’s festival,” said Josh Leake, Executive Director of the Portland Film Festival. “Teaming with Slamdance to help launch their new distribution arm with the film’s theatrical release is groundbreaking in the world of independent film. We are pleased to be part of this terrific collaboration.”
Not just a film festival, Slamdance is a community, a year-round experience, and a statement. Established by a wild bunch of filmmakers in 1995 who were tired of relying on a large oblique system to showcase their work, Slamdance is an ongoing experiment that has proven, year after year, when it comes to recognizing talent and launching careers, the independent and grassroots film communities can do it themselves.
Slamdance alums are responsible for the programming and organization of the following year’s festival. With a variety of backgrounds, interests, and talents, but with no individual filmmaker’s vote meaning more than another’s, Slamdance’s programming and organizing committees have been able to stay close to the heart of low budget and do-it-yourself filmmaking.
Slamdance continues to grow and exemplify its mantra: By Filmmakers, For Filmmakers. Notable Slamdance alumni who first gained notice at the festival include: Christopher Nolan (Interstellar), Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity), Marc Forster (World War Z), Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite), Lena Dunham (Girls), Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Anthony & Joe Russo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin), Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses) and Lynn Shelton (Humpday). Box Office Mojo reports alumni who first showed their work at Slamdance have accumulated over $11.5 billion in the Box Office to date.
In addition to the festival, Slamdance serves emerging artists and a growing audience with several year-round activities. These include the popular Screenplay Competition, traveling "On The Road" screening events, the "Anarchy Workshop" for student filmmakers, a monthly cinema club based out of the ArcLight in Hollywood.
In January 2015, Hulu partnered with Slamdance Studios to offer a new film collection from festival alumni. The nascent but already profitable venture allows viewers to access Slamdance Studios on Hulu at
Slamdance Presents is a new distribution arm established to access broader distribution of independent films made or acquired by Slamdance Studios. The goal is to build the popularity of independent films and support filmmakers on a commercial level through theatrical release. “The Resurrection of Jake The Snake” is the first film to be released by the company.
Slamdance 2016 will occur Jan. 21-28 in Park City, Utah. Additional information about the Slamdance is available at
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