Sundance 2007 : Award Winners announced

Our previous years' luck has held, we've seen few of the award winners - take a look, and see what to look out for in the upcoming months.

by Amber Wilkinson

Christopher Zalla won the dramatic award for Padre Nuestro

The Grand Jury Prize: Documentary - Manda Bala (Send A Bullet). Amazingly, one we've seen. There is much to admire about Jason Kohn's direction of this film about the state of Brazil today, which focuses both on political corruption and street violence - using a frog farm as a metaphor for the country. It is a little overlong, but since many of the directors finish their films only days before screening them at Sundance, this is a common complaint.

The Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic - Padre Nuestro. This really came from left-field. There has been virutally no buzz about this film concerning an illegal Mexican immigrant in New York. It's a debut feature by Christopher Zalla - and hopefully it will secure a distributor soon, since we missed the press screening.

The World Cinema Jury Prize: Documentary - Vores Lykkes Fjender (Enemies Of Happiness). This film about an Afghani woman who redefined the role of women in the country after an historic election victory is one we sadly didn't catch.

The World Cinema Jury rize: Dramatic - Adama Meshugaat (Sweet Mud). Drama about son taking care of his mentally ill mum in an Israeli kibbutz... which we didn't see.

Audience Award: Documentary - Hear And Now. A deeply personal documentary about her deaf parents' decision to undergo cochlear implant surgery. Another we missed.

Audience Award: Dramatic - Grace Is Gone. Another Iraq-themed film. This time about a man who has to tell his daughters that their mother has died in Iraq. Care to guess if we've seen it?

Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary: In The Shadow Of The Moon. Finally, one we managed to see. Lots of great footage and candid interviews with the Apollo astronauts make this a real crowd pleaser. Director David Sington revealed it will be screened on Channel 4 during 2008.

Audience Award: World Cinema Dramatic: Once. Interesting choice this one. Featuring Glen Hansard and his band The Frames, it's an endearing off-centre love story.

Directing Award: Documentary - Sean and Andrea Nix Fine for War Dance, which follows three children in a refugee campin Uganda a sthey fulfil an ambition to attend a music and dance competition. We, like you, are wishing we'd seen it.

Directing Award: Dramatic - Jeffrey Blitz for Rocket Science, a quirky comedy in the Thumbsucker mode, apparently. Sorry we can't tell you more.

Excellence in Cinematography - Heloisa Passos for Manda Bala (Send A Bullet) and Benoit Debie for Joshua - a sub-Omen horror tale.

Documentary Editing: Hibah Sherif Frisina, Charlton McMillian and Michael Schweitzer for Nanking - not a surprise this, since it features a host of archival footage which doubtless required considerable work.

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: James C Strouse for Grace Is Gone.

Special Jury Prizes:

No End in Sight - "In recognition of the fim as a timeley work that clearly illuminates the misguided policy decisions that have led to the catastrophic quagmire of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq."

Jess Weixler chats to Eye For Film after winning Best Actress

Acting: Jess Weixler in Teeth - "for a juicy, jaw-dropping performance". Look out for Jess, she's an excellent actor and we reckon we'll be seeing a lot more of her soon, although she says she's going to be doing a play off-Broadway next.

Acting: Tamara Podemski in Four Sheets To The Wind - "for a fully realised physical and emotional turn". We didn't like the film, but we did like her performance.

Singularity of Vision - Chris Smith, director of The Pool which tells the story of a "room boy" in Goa.

World Cinema: L'Heritage (The Legacy), directed by Gela Babluani and Temur Babluani (13 [film]Tzameti[/film]).

Short film Jury Prize: Everything Will Be Ok, by Don Hertzfeldt.

International Short Film: The Tube With A Hat (Romania), directed by Radu Jude.

Jury Special mentions also went to Death To The Tinman, The Fighting Cholitas, Men Understand Each Other Better, Motodrom, Spitfire 944, Freeheld and British short t.o.m.

Alfred P Sloan Prize celebrating science and technology in independent film - Dark Matter.

NHK International Filmmakers Award - "created to honour and support emerging filmmakers wtih their next screenplays, one each from the US, Japan, Europe and Latin Ameria, who possess the originality, talent and vision to be celebrated."

  • Lucia Cedron: Agnus Dei, from Argentina
  • Caran Hartsfield, Bury Me Standing, from the US
  • Tomoko Kana, Two By The River, from Japan
  • Dagur Kari, The Good Heart, from Iceland.

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