As you all know (or do not know) I recently returned from The Sundance Film Festival. I've been looking around and find it odd that I have yet to come across a comprehensive list of the festival award winners, especially considering the Academy Awards are on the horizon. I figure that if I can supply you with a list of those lauded for their efforts at this year's festival, you might be able to increase your odds in next year's Oscar office pool.
Here we go...
"The film's in this year's program have opened up the possibilities of what independent film can be and will be in the future. The Sundance Film Festival award-winners reflect the talent, diversity and evolution of independent film and exemplify the artistic power of film to illuminate and explore issues that are prevalent to our global society." - Geoffrey Gilmore, Director of the Sundance Film Festival
GRAND JURY PRIZE
DOCUMENTARY - MANDA BALA (SEND A BULLET), directed by Jason Kohn.
In Brazil, known as one of the worlds most corrupt countries, MANDA BALA follows a politician who uses a frog farm to steal billions of dollars, a wealthy businessman who spends a small fortune bulletproofing his cars, and a plastic surgeon who reconstructs the ears of mutilated kidnapping victims.
DRAMATIC - PADRE NUESTRO, directed by Christopher Zalla.
Fleeing a criminal past, Juan hops a truck transporting illegal immigrants from Mexico to New York City, where he meets Pedro, who is seeking his rich father.
WORLD CINEMA GRAND JURY PRIZE
DOCUMENTARY - ENEMIES OF HAPPINESS (VORES LYKKES FJENDER)/Denmark, directed by Eva Mulvad and Anja Al Erhayem
In ENEMIES OF HAPPINESS, Malalai Joya, a 28 year-old Afghani woman, redefines the role of woman and elected officials in her country with her historic 2005 victory in Afghanistan's first democratic election in over 30 years.
DRAMATIC - SWEET MUD (ADAMA MESHUGAAT)/Isreal, directed by Dror Shaul
On a kibbutz in southern Isreal in the 1970's, Dvir Avni realizes that his mother is mentally ill. In this closed community, bound by rigid rules, Dvir must navigate between the kibbutz motto of equality and the stinging reality that his mother has, in effect, been abandoned by the community.