The jury and audience award-winners of the 2007 Sundance Film Festival were announced at the Festival’s closing Awards Ceremony in Park City, Utah on Saturday, January 27th, 2007. The films receiving jury awards were selected by distinguished jurors from films screening in the Independent Film Competition and the World Cinema Competition. Awards were given to both dramatic and documentary films screening in the four competitive categories: Documentary Competition, Dramatic Competition, World Cinema Documentary Competition, and World Cinema Dramatic Competition. The films in these categories were also eligible for the 2007 Sundance Film Festival Audience Awards as selected by Film Festival audiences. The premier showcase for U.S. independent film, the Film Festival is an important new platform for international independent film and screens films that embody risk-taking, diversity, and aesthetic innovation. In addition, the Shorts Jury awarded a Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking to a U.S. and international filmmaker. Other awards recognized at the ceremony include the recipient of the Alfred P. Sloan Prize, awarded to a film which excels in addressing compelling topics in science or technology and the recipients of the Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award, created to honor and support emerging filmmakers with their next screenplays.
“The films in this year’s program have opened up the possibilities of what independent film can be and will be in the future,” said Geoffrey Gilmore, Director of the Sundance Film Festival. “The 2007 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 in our global society.”
The Independent Film Competition is the heart and soul of the Sundance Film Festival program. It has introduced audiences to many of the best American and international independent films and filmmakers of the past 24 years. Films selected to screen in the Dramatic and Documentary Competitions were eligible for a number of jury awards.
The 2007 Sundance Film Festival Award-Winners are:
The Grand Jury Prize: Documentary was given to MANDA BALA (SEND A BULLET), directed by Jason Kohn. In Brazil, known as one of the world’s most corrupt and violent 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.
The Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic was given to 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.
The World Cinema Jury Prize: Documentary was given to 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 women and elected officials in her country with her historic 2005 victory in Afghanistan’s first democratic parliamentary election in over 30 years.
The World Cinema Jury Prize: Dramatic was given to SWEET MUD (ADAMA MESHUGAAT)/Israel, directed by Dror Shaul. On a kibbutz in southern Israel 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.
The Audience Awards are given to both a dramatic and documentary film in the Independent Film Competition as voted by Sundance Film Festival audiences. The 2007 Sundance Film Festival Audience Awards for the Independent Film Competition are presented by Volkswagen of America, Inc.
The Audience Award: Documentary was given to HEAR AND NOW, directed by Irene Taylor Brodsky. Brodsky tells a deeply personal story about her deaf parents and their radical decision–after 65 years living together in silence–to undergo cochlear implant surgery, a procedure that could give them the ability to hear.
The Audience Award: Dramatic was given to GRACE IS GONE, directed by James C. Strouse. After learning that his wife has been killed in Iraq, a father finds the courage to tell his daughters the news during a quixotic road trip to an amusement park.
The World Cinema Audience Awards are given to both a dramatic and documentary film in the World Cinema Competition as voted by Sundance Film Festival audiences.
The World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary was given to IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON/United Kingdom, directed by David Sington. One of the defining passages of American history, the Apollo Space Program literally brought the aspirations of a nation to another world. Awe-inspiring footage and candid interviews with the astronauts who visited the moon provide unparalleled perspective on the precious state of our planet.
The World Cinema Audience Award: Dramatic was given to ONCE/Ireland, directed by John Carney. ONCE is a modern day musical set on the streets of Dublin. Featuring Glen Hansard and his Irish band “The Frames,” the film tells the story of a busker and an immigrant during an eventful week as they write, rehearse and record songs that reveal their unique love story.
The Directing Awards recognize excellence in directing for dramatic and documentary features.
The Directing Award: Documentary went to Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine, directors of WAR/DANCE.
The Directing Award: Dramatic was presented to Jeffrey Blitz, director of ROCKET SCIENCE.
The Excellence in Cinematography Awards honor exceptional photography in both a dramatic and documentary film at the Festival. Heloisa Passos for MANDA BALA (SEND A BULLET) from the Documentary Competition and Benoit Debie for JOSHUA from the Dramatic Competition received the 2007 Cinematography Awards.
The Independent Film Competition Documentary Jury presented the Documentary Editing Award to editors Hibah Sherif Frisina, Charlton McMillian, and Michael Schweitzer for their work on the film NANKING.
The Jury for the Independent Film Dramatic Competition presents the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for outstanding achievement in writing. The 2007 prize was given to James C. Strouse for GRACE IS GONE.
The Documentary Jury presented a Special Jury Prize to NO END IN SIGHT, directed by Charles Ferguson, “in recognition of the film as timely work that clearly illuminates the misguided policy decisions that have led to the catastrophic quagmire of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq.”
The Jury for the Independent Film Dramatic Competition also presented two special Jury Prizes. Special Jury Prizes for Acting were presented to Jess Weixler in TEETH “for a juicy and jaw-dropping performance” and to Tamara Podemski in FOUR SHEETS TO THE WIND “for a fully realized physical and emotional turn.” The Jury also presented a Special Jury Prize for Singularity of Vision to Chris Smith, director of THE POOL.
The World Cinema Documentary Competition Jury presented a Special Jury Prize to HOT HOUSE/Israel, directed by Shimon Dotan.
The World Cinema Dramatic Competition Jury presented a Special Jury Prize to THE LEGACY (L’HERITAGE)/France directed by Géla Babluani and Temur Babluani.
The Shorts Jury presented the Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking to EVERYTHING WILL BE OK directed by Don Hertzfeldt. The Jury Prize in International Short Filmmaking was given to THE TUBE WITH A HAT/Romania, directed by Radu Jude. The Shorts Jury awarded Honorable Mentions in Short Filmmaking to DEATH TO THE TINMAN, directed by Ray Tintori; THE FIGHTING CHOLITAS, directed by Mariam Jobrani; MEN UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER BETTER (MARDHA HAMDIGAR RA BEHTAR MIFAHMAND)/Iran, directed by Marjan Alizadeh; MOTODROM/Germany, directed by Joerg Wagner; SPITFIRE 944 directed by William Lorton; and t.o.m./United Kingdom, directed by Tom Brown and Daniel Gray. The 2007 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Awards are presented by Adobe Systems Incorporated. The Shorts Jury also presented a Special Jury Prize to the documentary short film FREEHELD, directed by Cynthia Wade.
The 2007 Independent Film Competition Documentary Jurors are Alan Berliner, Lewis Erskine, Lauren Greenfield, Julia Reichert, and Carlos Sandoval.
The 2007 Independent Film Competition Dramatic Jurors are Catherine Hardwicke, Dawn Hudson, Pamela Martin, Elvis Mitchell and Sarah Polley.
The 2007 World Cinema Competition Documentary Jurors are Raoul Peck, Juan Carlos Rulfo, and Elizabeth Weatherford.
The 2007 World Cinema Competition Dramatic Jurors are Carlos Bolado, Lynne Ramsay, and U-Wei Bin Haji Saari.
The 2007 Shorts Jurors presenting awards to U.S. and international short films are Jared Hess, Daniela Michel, and Mark Elijah Rosenberg.
The Alfred P. Sloan Prize carries a $20,000 cash award and celebrates the work of emerging independent feature filmmakers tackling compelling ideas and issues in science and technology. The 2007 Alfred P. Sloan Prize was presented to DARK MATTER, directed by Chen Shi-Zhen.
The 2007 Alfred P. Sloan Jurors are Darren Aronofsky, Ann Druyan, Dr. Brian Greene, Howard Suber, and John Underkoffler.
Now in its eleventh year, the Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award was created to honor and support emerging filmmakers with their next screenplays–one each from the United States, Japan, Europe and Latin America–who possess the originality, talent and vision to be celebrated as we look to the future of international cinema. The winning filmmakers and projects are: Lucía Cedrón, AGNUS DEI from
Argentina; Caran Hartsfield, BURY ME STANDING from the United States; Tomoko Kana, TWO BY THE RIVER from Japan; and Dagur Kári, THE GOOD HEART from Iceland.
Posted on January 29, 2007 in Festivals by Mark Bell
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