SUNDANCE ANNOUNCES AWARDS AT CLOSING NIGHT
by Paul Fischer
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The Sundance Film Festival closed with the announcement of its annual awardsw which included some surprises.
Films receiving Jury Awards were selected from four categories: U.S. Dramatic Competition, U.S. Documentary Competition, World Cinema Dramatic Competition and World Cinema Documentary Competition. All films in competition were also eligible for Sundance Film Festival Audience Awards as selected by Festival audiences. The U.S. Audience Awards and World Cinema Audience Awards were announced by Louis C.K.
Joseph Gordon Levitt announced the new Best of NEXT award, chosen by peers in the section and presented by YouTub in celebration of films made with little or no budget.
Jury Prizes in Shorts Filmmaking were awarded to American and international short-form films on Tuesday, January 26. Other awards recognized at the ceremony included the Sundance / NHK International Filmmakers Award, created to honor and support emerging filmmakers with their next screenplays, and the Alfred P. Sloan Prize, awarded to a film which excels in addressing compelling topics in science or technology.
The 2010 Sundance Film Festival Juries consisted of:
U.S. Documentary Competition: Greg Barker, Dayna Goldfine, Nancy Miller, Morgan Spurlock, Ondi Timoner; U.S. Dramatic Competition: Russell Banks, Jason Kliot, Karyn Kusama, Parker Posey, Robert Yeoman; World Cinema Documentary Competition: Jennifer Baichwal, Jeffrey Brown, Asako Fujioka; World Cinema Dramatic Competition: Alison Maclean, Lisa Schwarzbaum, Sigurjon “Joni” Sighvatsson; Shorts Competition: Sterlin Harjo, Brent Hoff, Christine Vachon; Alfred P. Sloan Award: Peter Galison, Darcy Kelley, Joe Palca, Paul Sereno, Marianna Palka.
For the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, 117 feature-length films were selected including 85 world premieres, 11 North American premieres, and 12 U.S. premieres representing 39 countries with 51 first-time filmmakers, including 27 in competition. These films were selected from 3,724 feature-length film submissions composed of 1,920 U.S. and 1,804 international feature-length films.
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 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
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 Award: Documentary was presented to The Oath, directed by Laura Poitras. Cinematographers: Kirsten Johnson and Laura Poitras.
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).
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.
Paul Fischer is originally from Australia. Now he is an interviewer and film critic living in Hollywood.
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