By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire January 25, 2012 at 2:47PM
The Sundance Institute has revealed this year's jury prizes and honorable mentions in short filmmaking at the festival. Winners include "Waste Land" director Lucy Walker, for her non-fiction short "The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom"; "Fishing Without Nets," helmed by Cutter Hodierne; and "The Black Balloon" by Benny and Josh Safdie.
The award recipients will be honored at the festival's awards ceremony, hosted by Parker Posey on Saturday, January 28.
Below is the full list of winners with synopses courtesy of the Sundance Institute:
The Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking was awarded to:
FISHING WITHOUT NETS / U.S.A. (Director: Cutter Hodierne, Screenwriters: Cutter Hodierne, John Hibey) — A story of pirates in Somalia, told from the perspective of the pirates themselves. Said the Short Film Jury of the film, “By approaching a story of epic scope with an intimate perspective, this visually stunning film creates a rare, inside point of view that humanizes a global story.”
The Jury Prize in Short Film, U.S. Fiction was presented to:
The Black Balloon / U.S.A. (Directors: Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie) — The Black Balloon strays from the herd and experiences what life as an individual is like. He explores New York City in the deepest way, seeing all of its characters.
The Jury Prize in Short Film, International Fiction was presented to:
The Return (Kthimi) / Kosovo (Director: Blerta Zeqiri, Screenwriter: Shefqet Gjocaj) — A man comes back from a Serb prison to his wife and son. Much has changed since he was declared missing and continuing where they left off four years ago may not be as easy as it seems.
The Jury Prize in Short Film, Non-Fiction was presented to:
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom / U.S.A. (Director: Lucy Walker) — Survivors in the areas hardest hit by Japan's recent tsunami find the courage to revive and rebuild as cherry blossom season begins. A visual haiku about the ephemeral nature of life and the healing power of Japan's most beloved flower.
The Jury Prize in Animated Short Film was presented to:
A Morning Stroll / United Kingdom (Director: Grant Orchard) — When a New Yorker walks past a chicken on his morning stroll, we are left to wonder which one is the real city slicker.
The Special Jury Award for Comedic Storytelling was presented to:
The Arm / U.S.A. (Directors and screenwriters: Brie Larson, Sarah Ramos, Jessie Ennis) — In an attempt to keep up with social pressure in a technologically advanced world, Chance starts a texting relationship with Genevieve, a girl he meets at a yogurt shop.
The Special Jury Award for Animation Direction was presented to:
Robots of Brixton / United Kingdom (Director: Kibwe Tavares) — The trials and tribulations of young robots surviving at the sharp end of inner city life, living the predictable existence of a populous hemmed in by poverty, disillusionment and mass unemployment.