The jury and audience award-winners of the 2007 Sundance Film Festival were just announced at the Festival’s closing Awards Ceremony in Park City, Utah. The films receiving jury awards were selected by renowned jurors from the pool of films screening in the Independent Film Competition and the World
Cinema Competition. Awards were given out to both dramatic and documentary films screening in the four categories: Documentary Competition, Dramatic Competition, World Cinema Documentary Competition, and World Cinema Dramatic Competition. The films in these four categories were also eligible for the 2007 Sundance Film Festival Audience Awards as selected by Film Festival audiences.
Also, the Shorts Jury awarded a Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking to a U.S. and international filmmaker. Additional awards were given out as well. These included the Aflred P. Sloan Prize, which is given to a film which addresses important topics in science or technology, and the Sundace/NHK International Filmmakers Awards, which were created to honor and support up-and-coming 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 embodies the spirit of the Sundance Film Festival program. It has introduced audiences to some of the best American and international independent films and filmmakers.
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 awarded to both a dramatic and documentary film in the Independent Film Competition as voted by Sundance Film Festival audiences.
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
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 awarded 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.