Sundance Film Fest 2006: Awards

Park City, UT ” The winners of the 2006 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prizes, World Cinema Jury Prizes, and Audience Awards were announced tonight at the closing award ceremony in Park City, Utah.

For the first time in the Festivals history, both the Grand Jury Prizes and Audience Awards for Documentary and Dramatic Competitions were presented to the same two films. The award-winning films were selected by distinguished jurors for the Independent Film Competition: Documentary; Independent Film Competition: Dramatic; World Cinema Competition: Documentary; and World Cinema Competition: Dramatic. Audience Awards were also bestowed on films within each of these categories based on the results of ballots cast by Festival filmgoers. Additionally, the Shorts Jury awarded the Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking to an American short and the Jury Prize in International Short Filmmaking to an international short film.

The Festival is the premier showcase for American independent film, and an important new platform for international independent film, screening films that embody risk-taking, diversity, and aesthetic innovation.

“On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Sundance Institute and the close of the 22nd Sundance Film Festival, we celebrate the winning artists and their films, and have been fortunate to share their stories, diverse voices, and original aesthetics with our Sundance audiences, said Geoffrey Gilmore, Director of the Sundance Film Festival. This year weve seen a number of films that deal sensitively with the timely and complex issues of cultural assimilation and community. Clearly, these compelling stories along with the quality of filmmaking have resonated with audiences and jury members alike.

The Grand Jury Prize: Documentary was given to GOD GREW TIRED OF US, directed by Christopher Quinn. In the late 1980s, 27,000 Sudanese lost boys marched barefoot over thousands of miles of barren desert, seeking safe haven from the brutal civil war in their homeland. The film chronicles the experiences of three of these boys who seek refuge in the U.S. as they work to adjust to a strange new world.

The Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic was presented to QUINCEAERA, written and directed by Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer. Disaffected Latino teenagers come of age in a gentrifying community in the Echo Park district of Los Angeles. Westmoreland and Glatzer have molded their mostly unknown ensemble into a tender portrait of a changing world and in doing so, have illuminated modern realities of family and hope.

The World Cinema Jury Prize: Documentary was given to IN THE PIT (Mexico), written and directed by Juan Carlos Rulfo. According to Mexican legend, whenever a bridge is built the devil asks for one soul, in exchange for keeping the bridge standing. This film chronicles the daily lives of the workers

building a second deck to Mexico Citys Periferico freeway ” their hopes, dreams and struggle for survival.

The World Cinema Jury Prize: Dramatic was presented to 13 TZAMETI (France), written and directed by Gla Babluani. When the protagonist decides to follow instructions intended for someone else, he finds himself at the brink of human decency, a place whose only inhabitants are the underbelly of society. In his feature debut, Babluani expertly combines story and style.

The Audience Award: Documentary was presented to GOD GREW TIRED OF US, a film directed by Christopher Quinn. The Audience Award: Dramatic winner is QUINCEAERA, written and directed by Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer. The Audience Awards are sponsored by Volkswagen of America, and are given to a documentary and a dramatic film screening in competition, as voted by Film Festival audiences.

The World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary was presented to DE NADIE (Mexico), directed by Tin Dirdamal. Maria, a Central American immigrant who is forced to leave her family in search of a better life embarks on the dangerous 1300-mile journey through Mexico to the U.S. Without taking a political stance, the film provides a deeper understanding of the United States border crisis and intolerance in Mexican society.

The World Cinema Audience Award: Dramatic was presented to NO. 2 (New Zealand), written and directed by Toa Fraser. Nanna Marias family has forgotten how to party. Shes going to change all that, and make them come alive with the heat and passion of the South Pacific.

The World Cinema Audience Awards are given to both an international documentary and dramatic film in the World Cinema Competition as voted by Film Festival audiences.

The 32 American films in the Independent Film Competition are also eligible for a range of other awards.

The Directing Award recognizes excellence in directing for American documentary and dramatic features in the Independent Film Competition. The Documentary Directing Award went to James Longley, director of IRAQ IN FRAGMENTS. The Dramatic Directing Award was presented to Dito Montiel for A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS.

The Excellence in Cinematography Award honors exceptional photography in both a dramatic and documentary film in the Independent Film Competition. James Longley for IRAQ IN FRAGMENTS from the Documentary Competition and Tom Richmond for RIGHT AT YOUR DOOR from the Dramatic Competition received the 2006 Cinematography Awards.

New to the Sundance Film Festival this year is an award recognizing excellence in Documentary Film Editing. Films in the Documentary Competition are eligible for this award. The 2006 prize was given to Billy McMillin, Fiona Otway and James Longley, editors of IRAQ IN FRAGMENTS.

The Dramatic Jury presents the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for outstanding achievement in writing. The 2006 prize was given to Hilary Brougher for STEPHANIE DALEY.

The Documentary Jury bestowed a Special Jury Prize for AMERICAN BLACKOUT, directed by Ian Inaba and TV JUNKIE, directed by Michael Cain and Matt Radecki.

The Dramatic Jury presented Special Jury Prizes for Best Ensemble Performance for A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS, directed by Dito Montiel and starring Robert Downey, Jr., Shia La Boeuf, Rosario Dawson, Chazz Palminteri, Dianne Wiest and Channing Tatum. The Dramatic Jury also awarded Special Jury Prizes for Independent Vision to IN BETWEEN DAYS directed by So Yong Kim and written by So Yong Kim and Bradley Rust Gray.

The World Cinema Documentary Jury presented Special Jury Prizes to INTO GREAT SILENCE, written and directed by Philip Groening and DEAR PYONGYANG, written and directed by Yonghi Yang.

The World Cinema Dramatic Jury presented a Special Jury Prize to EVE & THE FIRE HORSE, written and directed by Julia Kwan.

The Shorts Jury presented the Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking in a tie to BUGCRUSH, directed by Carter Smith and to THE WRAITH OF COBBLE HILL, directed by Adam Parrish King. The Jury Prize in International Short Filmmaking was given to THE NATURAL ROUTE (Spain), directed by Alex Pastor. The Shorts Jury awarded Honorable Mentions in Short Filmmaking to BEFORE DAWN (Hungary), directed by Blint Kenyeres; PREACHER WITH AN UNKNOWN GOD, directed by Rob VanAlkemade; and UNDRESSING MY MOTHER (Ireland), directed by Ken Wardrop.

The 2006 Documentary Competition Jurors are Joe Bini, Zana Briski, Andrew Jarecki, Alexander Payne and Heather Rae.

The 2006 Dramatic Competition Jurors are Miguel Arteta, Terrence Howard, Alan Rudolph, Nancy Schreiber, and Audrey Wells.

The 2006 World Cinema Documentary Competition Jurors are Kate Amend, Jean-Xavier de Lestrade and Rachel Perkins.

The 2006 World Cinema Dramatic Competition Jurors are Irene Bignardi, Lu Chuan and Thomas Vinterberg.

The 2006 Shorts Jurors are Georgia Lee, Sydney Neter and John Vanco.

Other awards presented at the ceremony included the Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award and the Alfred P. Sloan Prize.

Now in its tenth 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, 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: Patrice Toy, THE SPRING RITUAL from Europe; Fernando Eimbcke, LAKE TAHOE from Latin America; Cruz Angeles, DONT LET ME DROWN from the United States; and Kanji Nakajima, THE CLONE RETURNS TO THE HOMELAND from Japan.

The 2006 Sundance/NHK Jurors are: Wim Wenders, Hector Babenco, Anthony Drazan, Marcos Bernstein, Fiona Mitchell, Joan Tewksberry, Toshio Endo, Yoshio Kakeo, and Shunichi Nagasaki.

The film that received the 2006 Alfred P. Sloan Prize is THE HOUSE OF SAND, directed by Andrucha Waddington and written by Elena Soarez. The Prize carries a $20,000 cash award and is designed to increase the visibility of outstanding independent films on science and technology and to showcase the work of emerging filmmakers tackling compelling topics in science.

This years Alfred P. Sloan Selection Committee includes: John Underkoffler, Greg Harrison, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Dr. Martha Farah and Dr. Antonio Damasio.

Sundance Film Festival

The Sundance Film Festival is the premier showcase for American and international independent film. Held each January in and around Park City, Utah, the Festival is a core program of Sundance Institute, a nonprofit cultural organization founded by Robert Redford in 1981.

Presenting 120 dramatic and documentary feature-length films in nine distinct categories, and 80 short films each year, the Sundance Film Festival has introduced American audiences to some of the most innovative films of the past two decades, including sex, lies, and videotape, Clerks, Smoke Signals, In the Bedroom, American Splendor, Napoleon Dynamite, Born into Brothels, and Me and You and Everyone We Know. Beyond the streets of Park City, the official Website of the Sundance Film Festival,, shares the Festival experience with a global audience through the streaming of short films and filmmaker interviews, combined with current news and box office information.

Sundance Institute

Dedicated year-round to the development of artists of independent vision and to the exhibition of their new work, Sundance Institute celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2006. Since its inception, the Institute has grown into an internationally recognized resource for thousands of independent artists through its Sundance Film Festival and artistic development programs which provide a range of concentrated creative and financial support for fiction and nonfiction filmmakers, screenwriters, documentary film editors, composers, playwrights and theatre artists. The original values of independence, creative diversity, and discovery continue to define and guide the work of Sundance Institute, both with artists in the U.S. and, increasingly, with artists from other regions of the world.