Sundance Film Festival 2011 is basically over for many and we’ve done our best to keep you updated on films and people coming out of the fest. There are still plenty of people hanging around hoping to either take home some awards and prizes or to watch the winning films being replayed! The festival breaks up their awards into jury and audience winners and on top of that have several programs organized to award prizes, which often include money or grants in order to help young filmmakers on their way. The jury have just announced their picks and those of the audience. Check out the winners from the award ceremony below!
As a reminder, this years Sundance Film Festival had 118 feature-length films were selected, representing 29 countries by 40 first-time filmmakers, including 25 in competition. These films were selected from 3,812 feature-length film submissions composed of 1,943 U.S. and 1,869 international feature-length films. 95 films at the Festival were world premieres. This year the Festival’s Short Film Program was comprised 81 short films from U.S. and international filmmakers selected from 6,467 submissions.
But who was the best of the best….
Grand Jury Winners:
- The Grand Jury Prize: Documentary was presented to How to Die in Oregon,directed by Peter D. Richardson. In 1994 Oregon became the first state to legalize physician-assisted suicide. How to Die in Oregon gently enters the lives of terminally ill Oregonians to illuminate the power of death with dignity.
- The Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic was presented to Like Crazy, directed by Drake Doremus; written by Drake Doremus and Ben York Jones. A young American guy and a young British girl meet in college and fall in love. Their love is tested when she is required to leave the country and they must face the challenges of a long-distance relationship.
- The World Cinema Jury Prize: Documentary was presented to Hell and Back Again, directed by Danfung Dennis. Told through the eyes of one Marine from the start of his 2009 Afghanistan tour to his distressing return and rehabilitation in the U.S., we witness what modern “unconventional” warfare really means to the men who are fighting it. U.S.A./United Kingdom
- The World Cinema Jury Prize: Dramatic was presented to Happy, Happy (Sykt Lykkelig), directed by Anne Sewitsky; written by Ragnhild Tronvoll. A perfect housewife, who just happens to be sex-starved, struggles to keep her emotions in check when an attractive family moves in next door. Norway
Audience Award Winners:
- The Audience Award: Documentary was presented to Buck, directed by Cindy Meehl, for her story about the power of non-violence and master horse trainer Buck Brannaman, who uses principles of respect and trust to tame horses and inspire their human counterparts.
- The Audience Award: Dramatic was presented to Circumstance (Read Review), directed and written by Maryam Keshavarz, in which a wealthy Iranian family struggles to contain a teenager’s growing sexual rebellion and her brother’s dangerous obsession.
- The World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary was presented to Senna, directed by Asif Kapadia; written by Manish Pandey, about legendary racing driver and Brazilian hero Ayrton Senna, taking us on the ultimate journey of what it means to become the greatest when faced with the constant possibility of death. United Kingdom
- The World Cinema Audience Award: Dramatic was presented to Kinyarwanda, directed and written by Alrick Brown, which tells the story of Rwandans who crossed the lines of hatred during the 1994 genocide, turning mosques into places of refuge for Muslims and Christians, Hutus and Tutsis. U.S.A./Rwanda
- The Best of NEXT!: Audience Award was presented to to.get.her, directed and written by Erica Dunton about five girls who come together for one fateful night where anything goes. They all had secrets, but their friendship was the only thing they knew to be true.
Recognizing excellence in directing for dramatic and documentary features…
- The Directing Award: Documentary was presented to Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles, directed by Jon Foy. An urban mystery unfurls as one man pieces together the surreal meaning of hundreds of cryptic tiled messages that have been appearing in city streets across the U.S. and South America.
- The Directing Award: Dramatic was presented to Martha Marcy May Marlene, directed and written by Sean Durkin. Haunted by painful memories and increasing paranoia, a damaged woman struggles to re-assimilate with her family after fleeing an abusive cult.
- The World Cinema Directing Award: Documentary was presented to Project Nim (Read Review) directed by James Marsh, who explores the story of Nim, the chimpanzee who was taught to communicate with language as he was raised and nurtured like a human child.United Kingdom
- The World Cinema Directing Award: Dramatic was presented to Tyrannosaur, directed and written by Paddy Considine. For a man plagued by self-destructive violence and rage, a chance of redemption appears in the form of Hannah, a Christian charity shop worker with a devastating secret of her own. United Kingdom
- The Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award was presented to Another Happy Day, directed and written by Sam Levinson, about a pair of reckless siblings who are dragged into a chaotic family wedding by their overwrought mother.
- The World Cinema Screenwriting Award was presented to Restoration, directed by Yossi Madmony; written by Erez Kav-El, about an antique furniture restorer, who, aided by a young and mysterious apprentice, struggles to keep his workshop alive, while his relationship with his own estranged son, who is trying to close down the shop, begins to disintegrate. Israel
- The Documentary Editing Award: Matthew Hamachek and Marshall Curry and directed by Marshall Curry. The Earth Liberation Front is a radical environmental group that the FBI calls America’s “number one domestic terrorist threat.” Daniel McGowan, an ELF member, faces life in prison for two multi-million dollar arsons against Oregon timber companies.
- The World Cinema Documentary Editing Award was presented to The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975, edited by Göran Hugo Olsson and Hanna Lejonqvist and directed by Göran Hugo Olsson. From 1967 to 1975, Swedish journalists chronicled the Black Power movement in America. Combining that 16mm footage, undiscovered until now, with contemporary audio interviews, this film illuminates the people and culture that fueled change and brings the movement to life anew.Sweden/U.S.A.
The Excellence in Cinematography Award:
- The Excellence in Cinematography Award: Documentary was presented to The Redemption of General Butt Naked, directed by Eric Strauss and Daniele Anastasion; cinematographers: Eric Strauss, Ryan Hill and Peter Hutchens. A brutal warlord who murdered thousands during Liberia’s horrific 14-year civil war renounces his violent past and reinvents himself as an Evangelist, facing those he once terrorized.
- The Excellence in Cinematography Award: Dramatic was presented to Pariah (Read Review), directed and written by Dee Rees; cinematographer: Bradford Young. When forced to choose between losing her best friend or destroying her family, a Brooklyn teenager juggles conflicting identities and endures heartbreak in a desperate search for sexual expression.
- The World Cinema Cinematography Award: Documentary was presented to Hell and Back Again, directed by Danfung Dennis; cinematographer: Danfung Dennis. Told through the eyes of one Marine from the start of his 2009 Afghanistan tour to his distressing return and rehabilitation in the U.S., we witness what modern “unconventional” warfare really means to the men who are fighting it. U.S.A./United Kingdom
- The World Cinema Cinematography Award: Dramatic was presented to All Your Dead Ones, directed by Carlos Moreno; written by Alonso Torres and Carlos Moreno; cinematographer: Diego F. Jimenez. One morning, a peasant wakes to find a pile of bodies in the middle of his crops. When he goes to the authorities, he quickly realizes that the dead ones are a problem nobody wants to deal with. Colombia
- Two World Cinema Special Jury Prizes: Dramatic for Breakout Performances were presented to Olivia Colman and Peter Mullan for their roles in Tyrannosaur, directed and written by Paddy Considine.For a man plagued by self-destructive violence and rage, a chance of redemption appears in the form of Hannah, a Christian charity shop worker with a devastating secret of her own. United Kingdom
- A World Cinema Special Jury Prize: Documentary was presented to Position Among the Stars (Stand van de Sterren) directed by Leonard Retel Helmrich, for his expose of the effects of globalization on Indonesia’s rapidly changing society as it ripples into the life of a poor Christian woman living in the slums of Jakarta with her Muslim sons and teenage granddaughter. The Netherlands
Special Jury Prizes
- A Special Jury Prize: Documentary was presented to BEING ELMO: A Puppeteer’s Journey, directed by Constance Marks, an inspirational film that crosses cultures and generations
- A Special Jury Prize: Dramatic was presented to Another Earth directed by Mike Cahill; written by Mike Cahill and Brit Marling. On the eve of the discovery of a duplicate Earth, a horrible tragedy irrevocably alters the lives of two strangers, who begin an unlikely love affair.
- A Special Jury Prize: Dramatic was presented to Felicity Jones for her role in Like Crazy, directed by Drake Doremus; written by Drake Doremus and Ben York Jones. A young American guy and a young British girl meet in college and fall in love. Their love is tested when she is required to leave the country and they must face the challenges of a long-distance relationship.
The 2011 Sundance Film Festival Jury:
U.S. Documentary Competition: Jeffrey Blitz, Matt Groening, Laura Poitras, Jess Search, Sloane Klevin; U.S. Dramatic Competition: America Ferrera, Todd McCarthy, Tim Orr, Kimberly Peirce, Jason Reitman; World Cinema Documentary Competition: José Padilha, Mette Hoffmann Meyer, Lucy Walker; World Cinema Dramatic Competition: Susanne Bier, Bong Joon-Ho, Rajendra Roy; Shorts Competition: Barry Jenkins, Kim Morgan, Sara Bernstein; Alfred P. Sloan Award: Jon Amiel, Paula Apsell, Sean Carroll, Clark Gregg.
Announced earlier this week…
The Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking was awarded to Brick Novax pt 1 and 2 (Director and Screenwriter: Matt Piedmont)— Penniless and now living in a seedy motel with only weeks to live, international super legend Brick Novax records his amazing tales as an astronaut, movie star, corporate CEO, and famous musician to preserve his legacy as the coolest guy in the history of the world.
The Jury Prize in International Short Filmmaking was given to Deeper Than Yesterday Australia (Director and Screenwriter: Ariel Kleiman) – After three months submerged underwater in a submarine, the crew have become savages. Oleg, one of the men onboard, fears that losing perspective may mean losing himself.
In addition, The Shorts Jury awarded Honorable Mentions in Short Filmmaking to:
- Choke / Canada (Drector and Screenwriter: Michelle Latimer)— Upon leaving his First Nations reserve, Jimmy encounters the lost souls of the city and is reminded that no matter how far you travel, you cannot escape who you are.
- Diarchy / Italy (Director and Screenwriter: Ferdinando Cito Filmomarino) – Giano and Luc are traveling through the woods when a storm breaks, forcing them to take shelter in Luc’s villa. Gradually and insidiously, a competition emerges between them, with terrible consequences.
- The External World / Germany, Ireland (Director and Screenwriter: David O’Reilly) – A boy learns to play the piano.
- The Legend of Beaver Dam / Canada (Director: Jerome Sable; Screenwriters: Jerome Sable and Eli Batalion) – When a ghost story around the campfire awakens an evil monster, it’s up to nerdy Danny Zigwitz to be the hero and save his fellow campers from a bloody massacre.
- Out of Reach / Poland (Director and Screenwriter: Jakub Stozek) – Karolina and Natalia seek refuge from their domineering father and reminiscence about sad childhood without a mother in a basement of their block of flats.
- Protoparticles / Spain (Director and Screenwriter: Chema García Ibarra) – The experiment was a success: protomatter exists.
2011 Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film prize: Another Earth
- Directed by Mike Cahill and Written and Produced by Mike Cahill and Brit Marling, who also stars in the film.
- Synopsis: On the night of the discovery of a duplicate planet in the solar system, an ambitious young student and an accomplished composer cross paths in a tragic accident.
- Prize: The prize consists of a cash award of $20,000 that has been offered for the past 9 years to the feature film of their choice that is considered an outstanding feature film that has a scientific or technological theme or depicts a scientist, mathematician or engineer in a leading role. The film has also been picked up by Fox Searchlight for distribution.
2011 Sundance/NHK International Filmmaker Award
- Winner: Director Cherien Dabis
- The Prize: Originally created to celebrate 100 years of Cinema, the annual award recognizes and supports a visionary filmmaker on his or her next film. Sundance Institute staff works closely with the winner throughout the year, providing creative and strategic support through the development, financing and production of their films.