Check back at 10:30PM EST to see which films impressed the Jury at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
grand jury prize
Saul Williams [www.saulwilliams.com] is a hybrid. A poet. A rapstar. A rockstar. Maybe the best way to describe Williams is renaissance man, or you could simply say hes an artist. Williams started out as an open-mic poet, so it goes without saying that he comes from a distinctly different background from a typical MC, and…
The 2008 Sundance Film Festival ended today with the Awards Ceremony. Staying true to this year’s theme “Film Takes Place,” the Festival honored films situated in distinct locales. From the Katrina-ravaged New Orleans of TROUBLE THE WATER to the war-ravaged Congo of THE GREATEST SILENCE: RAPE IN THE CONGO the documentary competition proved once again that poverty knows no borders, and that local history can be as devastating to people’s lives as the global struggles that cover the front pages.
By the time Tia Lessin and Carl Deal got to Louisiana to start TROUBLE THE WATER, they had years of experience under their collective belts. Lessin had worked with documentary filmmakers Charles Guggenheim and Arthur Dong before joining forces with Michael Moore, for whom she served a producer on his two television shows. Her filmmaking partner Carl Deal had been a broadcast journalist before meeting Lessin on BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE.
Courtney Hunt shooting FROZEN RIVER Courtney Hunt first heard the story of Native Americans smuggling merchandise over the frozen St. Lawrence river – an anecdote that would become the basis for her 2008 Sundance Film Festival Dramatic Grand Jury Prize FROZEN RIVER [frozenriverthemovie.com] – more than ten years ago. She had just graduated from Columbia’s…
UPDATE: Manda Bala is a superbly-composed and riveting look at kidnapping and corruption in Brazil. It made its theatrical debut on Friday, August 17 at the Angelika Film Center in New York, with nationwide releases leading through November.
Christopher Zalla, the writer/director of this year’s Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic PADRE NUESTRO [festival.sundance.org] is an American independent filmmaker with a global perspective. His film, a neo-realist primarily Spanish-language thriller in which a case of identity theft awkwardly brings together a mismatched quartet of outsiders in New York, highlights the immigrant populations that make up New York with an empathy that makes them feel completely American.
Tonight the Awards Ceremony marked the unofficial end of the Sundance Film Festival. And the participants demonstrated as much drama, passion, and comic turns as many of the films the awards were honoring. One award even involved a suspense-filled car chase as Jess Weixler, who was receiving a Special Jury Prize for Acting raced from the Salt Lake City airport to get to the ceremony. While she missed her name being called out, she made it in time to still get on stage to give a charming and breathless acceptance speech.
Filmmaking duo Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer show up last year to Sundance with thier low-budget no-star “kitchen sink” drama QUINCEANERA. They left winning both Grand Jury prize and Audience Award. Now we can learn from their experience.
Read more after the jump…