Dollhouse: The Eradication of Female Subjectivity in American Popular Culture, the only animated feature in competition at Slamdance this year, picked up the festival’s top award: the grand jury prize for narrative feature.
Directed by Nicole Brending, the almost entirely self-made puppet-animation film tells the tale of once-popular child star and tween idol Junie Spoons, whose career peaks at the age of 18. Per the synopsis:
A puppet animation told a la VH1’s Behind the Music, Dollhouse: The Eradication of Female Subjectivity from American Popular Culture charts the rise and fall of Junie’s career as her life is splashed all over the media and recounted by those who claim to know her — a greedy record producer, a narcissistic mother, an opportunistic friend, ex-boyfriends and the like – until she is inevitably eliminated from her own story. The debut feature film of writer/director Nicole Brending will have you in painful laughter as the film blatantly ignores political correctness in a bold, no-holds-barred look at the insidious mechanisms governing misogyny in America. With hand-made puppets and original pop songs, Dollhouse will have you (guiltily) singing along to Junie’s tragically true tale.
In addition to its narrative feature award, Dollhouse also won the George Starks Spirit of Slamdance Award. The narrative jury, consisting of Frédéric Forestier, Shih-Ching Tsou, and Jeremiah Zagar, said of the film: “Dollhouse wasn’t like any other film at the festival or any festival. It was outrageous, bold, hilarious. We’re also giving it the grand prize because we think it really embodies the spirit of the Slamdance.”