Sundance Film Festival Award Winners Announced

By Katey Rich 2010-01-31 10:46:19discussion comments
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Somehow your intrepid Sundance reporter managed to spend 10 days in Park City, see 32 movies and conduct at least a dozen interviews, but is now looking over the list of the festival award winners and feeling completely lost. The awards were announced last night at a ceremony that was followed by a ridiculous afterparty (the video shall be burned), and of the 22 or so films presented with awards, I have seen two. Two!

The big winner was Winter's Bone, a Southern drama that walked away with both the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic features and the Waldo Salt screenwriting award; the movie was one of those Sundance successes that instantly becomes impossible to see, but luckily it's been picked up by Roadside Attractions for distribution, so we'll all get a chance soon enough. Other major prizes were handed out to Restrepo, a documentary about soldiers fighting in Afghanistan that won the Grand Jury Prize for documentary, and Animal Kingdom, which won the world cinema dramatic Jury Prize (I actually saw that one!)

Below is the full list of winners; of the bunch, you can keep an eye out for Winter's Bone, Waiting for Superman (Paramount is releasing it) and Contracorriente (Undertow) (picked up by Wolfe Releasing). Presumably many others, including Audience Award winner happythankyoumoreplease, are negotiation distribution deals as we speak. Sundance may be over, but the conversation on some of these films is just getting started.

2010 Sundance Film Festival Award Winners:


The Grand Jury Prize: Documentary was presented to Restrepo, directed by Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington. Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington's year dug in with the Second Platoon in one of Afghanistan's most strategically crucial valleys reveals extraordinary insight into the surreal combination of back breaking labor, deadly firefights, and camaraderie as the soldiers painfully push back the Taliban.

The Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic was presented to Winter's Bone, directed by Debra Granik; written by Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini. An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her missing father while trying to keep her family intact.

The World Cinema Jury Prize: Documentary was presented to The Red Chapel (Det Røde Kapel) directed by Mads Brügger. A journalist with no scruples, a self-proclaimed spastic, and a comedian travel to North Korea under the guise of a cultural exchange visit to challenge one of the world's most notorious regimes. Denmark

The World Cinema Jury Prize: Dramatic was presented to Animal Kingdom, written and directed by David Michôd. After the death of his mother, a seventeen year-old boy is thrust precariously between an explosive criminal family and a detective who thinks he can save him. Australia

The Audience Awards are presented to both a dramatic and documentary film in four Competitions as voted by Sundance Film Festival audiences. The 2010 Sundance Film Festival Audience Awards are presented by Honda.

The Audience Award: Documentary was presented to WAITING FOR SUPERMAN, directed by Davis Guggenheim, for his examination of the crisis of public education in the United States through multiple interlocking stories.

The Audience Award: Dramatic was presented to happythankyoumoreplease, written and directed by Josh Radnor, about six New Yorkers juggling love, friendship, and the keenly challenging specter of adulthood.

The World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary was presented to Wasteland, directed by Lucy Walker about international art star Vik Muniz, garbage pickers in the world's largest landfill in Rio de Janeiro and the transformative power of art. United Kingdom / Brazil

The World Cinema Audience Award: Dramatic was presented to Contracorriente (Undertow) written and directed by Javier Fuentes-Leõn, an unusual ghost story set on the Peruvian seaside in which a married fisherman struggles to reconcile his devotion to his male lover within his town's rigid traditions. Peru / Colombia / France / Germany

New for 2010: Best of NEXT. Selected by ballots cast by the eight NEXT filmmakers, this award celebrates a film creating the greatest art on a low budget. The Best of NEXT award is presented by YouTube™.

The Best of NEXT award was presented to Homewrecker, directed by Todd Barnes and Brad Barnes and written by Todd Barnes, Brad Barnes, and Sophie Goodhart. The last romantic in New York City is an ex-con locksmith on work release.

Directing Awards recognize excellence in directing for dramatic and documentary features.

The Directing Award: Documentary was presented to Smash His Camera, directed by Leon Gast, about famous celebrity photographer and original paparazzo, Ron Galella.

The Directing Award: Dramatic was presented to 3 Backyards, directed and written by Eric Mendelsohn. The film is about a trio of brief, life-altering adventures unfolding in a seemingly normal autumn day.

The World Cinema Directing Award: Documentary was presented to Space Tourists, directed by Christian Frei who explores the impact of space tourism in the heavens and on earth. Switzerland

The World Cinema Directing Award: Dramatic was presented to Southern District, directed and written by Juan Carlos Valdivia, about a bourgeois family in La Paz, Bolivia who watches as social change begins to penetrate their insulated world. Bolivia

The Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award was presented to Winter's Bone, directed by Debra Granik; written by Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini. An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her missing father while trying to keep her family intact.

The World Cinema Screenwriting Award was presented to Southern District, written and directed by Juan Carlos Valdivia, about a bourgeois family in La Paz, Bolivia who watches as social change begins to penetrate their insulated world. Bolivia

The Documentary Editing Award was presented to Joan Rivers-A Piece Of Work, edited by Penelope Falk; directed by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg. An exposé chronicling the private dramas of irreverent, legendary comedian and pop icon Joan Rivers.

The World Cinema Documentary Editing Award was presented to A Film Unfinished, written and directed by Yael Hersonski. Edited by Joëlle Alexis. The film is a powerful documentary about Nazi-produced propaganda films. Germany / Israel.

The Excellence in Cinematography Awards honor exceptional cinematography in both dramatic and documentary categories:

The Excellence in Cinematography Award: Documentary was presented to The Oath, directed by Laura Poitras. Cinematographers: Kirsten Johnson and Laura Poitras. The interlocking drama of two brothers-in-law whose associations with al Qaeda in the 1990s propelled them on divergent courses.

The Excellence in Cinematography Award: Dramatic was presented to Obselidia,written and directed by Diane Bell. Cinematographer: Zak Mulligan. In his quest to document nearly extinct occupations, a man unexpectedly finds romance.

The World Cinema Cinematography Award: Documentary was presented to His & Hers, directed by Ken Wardrop. Cinematographers: Kate McCullough and Michael Lavelle. A 90-year-old love story through the collective voice of 70 days at different stages of their lives. Ireland

The World Cinema Cinematography Award: Dramatic was presented to The Man Next Door (El Hombre de al Lado). Directors and cinematographers Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat. A small incident over two neighbors' common wall sparks a conflict which affects the intimacy of the view over the chimney; the protagonist sparks a conflict and with paranoiac obsession destroys everyday life. Argentina

A World Cinema Special Jury Prize: Dramatic for Breakout Performance was presented to Tatiana Maslany for her role as a starry-eyed teenager in Grown Up Movie Star. Canada

A World Cinema Special Jury Prize: Documentary was presented to Enemies of the People, directed by Rob Lemkin and Thet Sambath, for their watershed account of Cambodian history and a quest for closure on one of the world's darkest episodes. Cambodia / United Kingdom

A Special Jury Prize: Documentary was presented to GASLAND, directed by Josh Fox. With spirit, strength, and a sense of humor, Fox's personal documentary takes a look at how natural gas affects our air and drinking water.

A Special Jury Prize: Dramatic was presented to Sympathy for Delicious, directed by Mark Ruffalo; written by and starring Christopher Thornton about a recently paralyzed DJ who seeks out the dubious world of faith healing.

For more of our Sundance 2010 coverage, click here.
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