By Eugene Hernandez | Indiewire January 31, 2010 at 4:43AM
Closing its 2010 edition tomorrow here in Park City, the Sundance Film Festival presented its awards tonight.
"We really do believe in this thing called Sundance," said new festival director John Cooper, standing alongside managing director Jill Miller today, kicking off the ceremony and introducing host David Hyde Pierce, leading into a rap duet between the two men to kick-off the night.
Debra Granik's "Winter's Bone" led the U.S. Dramatic Competition, taking both the grand jury prize and a special jury prize for screenwriting, while suspected player "Blue Valentine" was entirely shut out of the winners. "Bone" follows an Ozark Mountain girl who hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her missing father while trying to keep her family intact.
"I'm so excited and moved that this film is even out there," jury member Parker Posey said upon announcing the award. "If it doesn't get the attention and respect it deserves, I'm going to stab myself."
"Bone" was joined in the winners by actor-turned-director Mark Ruffalo's "Sympathy For Delicious," which won a special jury prize.
"We've gotten our ass handed to us by the reviewers and still we're here," said Ruffalo, thanking audiences and the festival for their support of his movie.
In the U.S. Documentary Competition, Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington's "Restrepo" led the winners, taking the grand jury prize. "Restrepo" 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.
"If this movie can help this country understand how to go forward we would be honored by that," Junger said upon accepting the prize.
Filmmaker Laura Poitras - accepting the cinematography award on behalf of her film "The Oath," took a moment to honor the memory of Karen Schmeer, who died tragically last night in New York City. Moments later, "Sergio" director Greg Barker took the stage to also honor Schmeer, who won the editing award at Sundance last year for the film. "We all had a great loss yesterday," Barker began, continuing, "We look for meaning in tragedy and experienging it, I just don't know what the meaning is. We have lost a great talent and a very dear friend."
David Michôd's "Animal Kingdom" led the World Cinema Dramatic categories, winning the grand jury prize. The Australian film follows a seventeen year-old boy who is thrust precariously between an explosive criminal family and a detective who thinks he can save him.
In all, the 2010 Sundance Film Festival screened 117 feature-length films with 85 world premieres, 11 North American and 12 U.S. premieres from 39 countries with 51 first-time filmmakers. Jury awards were presented in 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.
The World Cinema Documentary categories were led by Mads Brügger's "The Red Chapel," which took the grand jury prize. The Danish film follows 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.
"This is mind-blowing," said Brügger upon accepting the award. "Every time the sun sets, 33 million spend another day in North Korea, which is a nightmare on Earth."
Other major winners in the program included Christian Frei's "Space Tourists," which won the directing prize.
"Wow, I am overwhelmed, I wasn't expecting any award," Frei said, accepting his prize. "I saw so many strong, well-crafted documentaries."
The festival's announced audience awards - given out in all four of their major categories - were given to Josh Radnor's "happythankyoumoreplease" (U.S. Dramatic), Davis Guggenheim's "WAITING FOR SUPERMAN" (U.S. Doc), Javier Fuentes-Leon's "Contracorriente" (World Dramatic) and Lucy Walker's "Wasteland" (World Doc) in the world cinema dramatic and documentary categories, respectively.
"This film almost killed us," Guggenheim said upon accepting his audience award. He related a story about seeing a woman from South Africa at one of the Sundance screenings of his doc about U.S. education. She told him, "You should be ashamed the way you treat your children in America." While Guggenheim said he was proud of the movie, he added, "I realized there is so much more to do."
In the brand new NEXT category, a jury selected "Homewrecker," directed by Todd Barnes and Brad Barnes and written by Todd Barnes, Brad Barnes, and Sophie Goodhart won the "best of NEXT" award. The American film follows "the last romantic in New York City, an ex-con locksmith on work release."
"If there's anyone out there who hasn't made a film yet," Todd Barnes said upon accepting the award alongside his brother Brad. He relayed the short time frame in which the two made their film, starting with funding from a good friend in Singapore on June 25th of last year. "We started July 27th, we shot for 13 days," he said, relating a series of key dates that included sending their movie to the festival on October 5th and receiving their acceptance on November 27th. "We finished our movie about three days before the festival," he concluded, "If you want to make a movie, set a start data and call your best friend!"
Jurors for the 2010 Sundance Film Festival Juries included Greg Barker, Dayna Goldfine, Nancy Miller, Morgan Spurlock, and Ondi Timoner (U.S. Documentary Competition); Russell Banks, Jason Kliot, Karyn Kusama, Parker Posey, and Robert Yeoman (U.S. Dramatic Competition); Jennifer Baichwal, Jeffrey Brown, and Asako Fujioka (World Cinema Documentary Competition); Alison Maclean, Lisa Schwarzbaum, and Sigurjon “Joni” Sighvatsson (World Cinema Dramatic Competition); Sterlin Harjo, Brent Hoff, and Christine Vachon (Shorts Competition); and Peter Galison, Darcy Kelley, Joe Palca, Paul Sereno, and Marianna Palka (Alfred P. Sloan Award).
-- a full list of winners is on the next page --
Backstage video from the Sundance awards ceremony with Debra Granik and Sebastian Junger.
2010 Sundance Film Festival Award Winners:
Grand Jury Prize, Dramatic:
Winter’s Bone, directed by Debra Granik (film page).
Grand Jury Prize, Documentary:
Restrepo, directed by Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington (film page).
World Cinema Jury Prize, Dramatic:
Animal Kingdom, written and directed by David Michôd (film page).
World Cinema Jury Prize, Documentary:
The Red Chapel (Det Røde Kapel), directed by Mads Brügger (film page).
Dramatic Audience Award:
happythankyoumoreplease, written and directed by Josh Radnor (film page).
Documentary Audience Award:
WAITING FOR SUPERMAN, directed by Davis Guggenheim (film page).
World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award:
Contracorriente (Undertow), written and directed by Javier Fuentes-Leõn (film page).
World Cinema Documentary Audience Award:
Wasteland, directed by Lucy Walker (film page).
The Best of NEXT:
Homewrecker, directed by Todd Barnes and Brad Barnes (film page).
Directing Award, Dramatic:
3 Backyards, directed and written by Eric Mendelsohn (film page)
Directing Award, Documentary:
Smash His Camera, directed by Leon Gast (film page)
World Cinema Directing Award, Dramatic:
Southern District directed and written by Juan Carlos Valdivia (film page).
World Cinema Directing Award, Documentary:
Space Tourists, directed by Christian Frei (film page).
Waldo Scott Screenwriting Award:
Winter’s Bone, written by Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini. (film page).
World Cinema Screenwriting Award:
Southern District, written and directed by Juan Carlos Valdivia (film page).
Documentary Editing Award:
Joan Rivers—A Piece Of Work, edited by Penelope Falk
World Cinema Documentary Editing Award:
A Film Unfinished, edited by Joëlle Alexis (film page).
Excellence in Cinematography Award, Dramatic:
Obselidia Cinematographer: Zak Mulligan (film page).
Excellence in Cinematography Award, Documentary:
The Oath Cinematographers: Kirsten Johnson and Laura Poitras (film page).
World Cinema Cinematography Award, Dramatic:
The Man Next Door (El Hombre de al Lado) Directors and cinematographers Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat (film page).
World Cinema Cinematography Award, Documentary:
His & Hers Cinematographers: Kate McCullough and Michael Lavelle (film page).
Special Jury Prize: Dramatic:
Sympathy for Delicious, directed by Mark Ruffalo (film page).
Special Jury Prize: Documentary:
GASLAND, directed by Josh Fox (film page).
World Cinema Special Jury Prize: Documentary
Enemies of the People, directed by Rob Lemkin and Thet Sambath (film page).
Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking:
Drunk History: Douglass & Lincoln, directed by Jeremy Konner
Jury Prize in International Short Filmmaking:
The Six Dollar Fifty Man, directed by Mark Albiston and Louis Sutherland (New Zealand)
World Cinema Special Jury Prize: Dramatic for Breakout Performance:
Tatiana Maslany, for her role as a starry-eyed teenager in "Grown Up Movie Star."
Honorable Mentions in Short Filmmaking:
Born Sweet, directed by Cynthia Wade (USA, Cambodia)
Can We Talk?, directed by Jim Owen (United Kingdom)
Dock Ellis & The LSD No-No, directed by James Blagden (USA)
How I Met Your Father, directed by Álex Montoya (Spain)
Quadrangle, directed by Amy Grappell (USA)
Rob and Valentyna in Scotland, directed by Eric Lynne (USA, United Kingdom)
Young Love, directed by Ariel Kleiman (Australia)
Alfred P. Sloan PrizeL
Obselidia, directed by Diane Bell
Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Awards:
Amat Escalante, Heli (Mexico)
Andrey Zvyagintsev, Elena (Russia)
Daisuke Yamaoka, The Wonderful Lives at Asahigaoka (Japan)
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild (USA)