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THURSDAY

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Founded four years ago by directors excluded from the Sundance Film Festival, Slamdance is now almost as established as its inspiration—and is challenged by such counter-counter-programs as Slamdunk. “Slamdance ’98” offers some of the highlights from this year’s lineup, introduced by festival director Peter Baxter. The tentative schedule for Thursday includes Jefftowne, an unsentimental documentary about a man with Down syndrome, and Surrender Dorothy, the tale of a misogynistic busboy who forces a (male) heroin addict to become his image of an “ideal woman.” Friday’s tentative lineup features Goreville, U.S.A., a documentary about the Illinois town where gun ownership is mandatory, and The Gun and Bible Club, the fest’s Grand Jury winner. At 8 p.m. tonight and Friday at the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden’s Ring Auditorium, 7th & Independence Ave. SW. FREE. (202) 357-2700. (MJ)