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Palookaville wins Grand Jury Prize at 2023 Slamdance Film Festival

The film about a man who believes he’s legendary boxer Joe Louis won the top honor in Slamdance’s Episodes section

Palookaville - 2023 Slamdance Grand Jury Award winner
Palookaville - 2023 Slamdance Grand Jury Award winner
Palookaville - Brokenhorse Films/Theodore Collatos
John Hansen joined Bad Left Hook as a staff writer in 2021 and co-hosts the "Prophets of Goom" podcast.

An exciting update from Utah, where the film Palookaville received the Grand Jury Prize at the 2023 Slamdance Film Festival. Taking top honors in the “Episodes” section, Palookaville tells the story of a complex brother-sister relationship, where the brother ultimately believes he’s legendary heavyweight champion Joe Louis.

If you missed it last month, make sure to check out our extended interview with Palookaville writer and director Theodore Collatos in advance of the festival. After the Grand Jury Awards were announced, Collatos told Bad Left Hook: “I never expected this, but I’m really glad that it happened and I hope it can help keep things going.”

In the announcement, the Slamdance jury said of Palookaville:

“With idiosyncratic music choices, sibling chemistry out the wazoo, and a philosophical Brooklynite as the series lead (played by Howard Lester in his introductory role), Theodore Collatos’s Palookaville explores the surreal existence of JoJo, a man victimized by a random act of violence who now thinks he’s the famous defunct boxer/anti-fascist, Joe Louis. Will you believe that JoJo’s become the Brown Bomber? Doesn’t matter, because you will believe in Palookaville.”

Collatos said there’s no official acquisition news he can announce yet, but he’s cautiously optimistic based on early conversations with at least one major US distributor. Hopefully, this Slamdance Grand Jury Prize moves things one step closer to getting Palookaville out to a wide audience.

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