At Slamdance’s 30th Anniversary Fest, “The Steak” wins the 2024 AGBO Fellowship


It’s fitting that the 2024 Slamdance Film Festival returned to its original home this year at the Doubletree Park City (i.e., the Yarrow) as it celebrated its 30th anniversary. Few Slamdance success stories can match that of the Russo Brothers, who credit the fest and connections made there to launching their career as filmmakers. “We don’t want to age ourselves but it’s been nearly 30 years since we debuted our first film Pieces at Slamdance,” said Joe Russo as the fest kicked off.

“Doesn’t sound possible,” agreed Anthony Russo. “We continue to be amazed by the creative and wonderful filmmakers that come out of Slamdance fest every year. “

Their bond with the festival has grown through the years, and comes to fruition through the AGBO Fellowship, now in its sixth year. This year’s fellowship prize was awarded to Kiarsha Dadgar’s The Steak, a seven-minute film that portrays a haunting experience of war in a small, intimate space. Angela Russo-Otsot, AGBO’s Chief Creative Officer, described the short as innovative and bold. “Such films often pave the way for new storytelling techniques and inspire other filmmakers to think outside the box,” she explains “It's always exciting to witness a piece of art that challenges conventional methods and offers a unique experience to its audience.”

The 2024 AGBO fellowship includes a $25,000 grant and year-long mentorship with AGBO creatives. “It’s an honor to win this amazing award,” said Dadgar. “I can’t wait for the next project!”

Other 2024 Slamdance prize winners include Giuseppe Garau’s The Accident, about a newly separated woman finding employment in the male-dominated tow-truck industry, which won the Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize. Matt Moyer’s and Amy Toensing’s Inheritance, which explores the opioid epidemic in the U.S’s Appalachia region, received the Documentary Feature Grand Jury Prize. 

Read more about AGBO and Slamdance’s partnership, and the annual summer mini-fest in DTLA.

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