5 films that prove the Spirit Awards are better than the Oscars

Article: 5 films that prove the Spirit Awards are better than the Oscars

The old adage is just as true of awards shows as it is of movies: bigger does not mean better. The Oscars might get all the press, they might have all the prestige, but that doesn’t mean they’re superior to all other movie awards. Case in point: this year, the Spirit Awards, the Oscars’ indie alternative, the Elizabeth to the Academy’s Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, honored all sorts of outstanding movies that barely even garnered a mention on the big show. Does that mean those films were inferior? Nope; it means the Oscars were. Here are five films that prove the Spirits Awards’ are better than the Oscars.

Sundance Film Festival Follow Up: PARIAH

Article: Sundance Film Festival Follow Up: PARIAH

It’s hard to believe it has been almost a year since PARIAH premiered at Sundance. The Brooklyn based, coming-out story impressed audiences in Park City and is now in theaters (well, theaters in certain cities). It’s the end of an extensive Sundance cycle for writer/director Dee Rees, who premiered a short version of the semi-autobiographical story at the festival back in 2007 and was chosen as a 2008 Sundance Screenwriting & Directing Lab Fellow.

Sundance 2011 = Officially Over

Article: Sundance 2011 = Officially Over

(Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images)
It’s been a long week—exhilarating, grueling, and never, ever dull—but Sundance 2011 is officially over. The stars, the studio executives, and the filmmakers have all packed up their North Face gear and headed home, wherever that may be.

Looking back on the last several days, there were some amazing, quintessentially Sundance-ian moments. We got to meet Robert Redford! We got to talk to young, idealistic, and extremely talented new artists (Brit Marling, Mike Cahill, for instance) whom we will certainly be hearing more from, and who are a reminder of Sundance’s real purpose (beyond an excuse to see a lot of great movies in the middle of a snowy paradise). As Marling told us, just following the premiere of ANOTHER EARTH, “I feel so lucky to be a part of this. Sundance is bringing together all these people and you know, brings them all into this little, this tiny town in the middle of the snow, and everyone can just talk and revel in ideas and make them into realities. It’s pretty awesome.”

Sundance Film Festival Deals: PARIAH

Article: Sundance Film Festival Deals: PARIAH

Focus Features has acquired the worldwide rights to PARIAH, Dee Rees’ coming-of-age film about a lesbian teenager in Brooklyn struggling to find her identity and a sense of belonging, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. Dramatic Competition. (The film was executive produced by Spike Lee.) The deal, reportedly under $1 million,…

Emerging Theme of Teenage Angst: LITTLE BIRDS, PARIAH, CIRCUMSTANCE

Article: Emerging Theme of Teenage Angst: LITTLE BIRDS, PARIAH, CIRCUMSTANCE

Still from LITTLE BIRDS. If there’s one thing this year’s festival has seen lot of of, it’s teenage girls grappling with being teenage girls. There is Alike (Adepero Oduye), the coming-of-age lesbian in Dee Rees’ gritty, Bronx tale, PARIAH. There is Iranian teen Atafeh (Nikohl Boosheri), rebelling against her parents’ traditionalism and experimenting with her…

Interview: Robert Redford

Article: Interview: Robert Redford

“O.K., what’s up?” This is how Robert Redford, i.e. The Most Important Person on The Planet, as far as the Sundance Film Festival is concerned, starts a conversation. It’s Friday afternoon, and he’s just finished an interview for Sundance Channel, is about to dash off to do God knows what (judging by the number of…

PARIAH filmmaker starts donation campaign

Article: PARIAH filmmaker starts donation campaign

Dee Rees, Director or PARIAH You might think a young filmmaker talented enough to have her first feature film selected to make its worldwide debut at the Sundance Film Festival would have it made in the shade. But, for Dee Rees, whose PARIAH, a coming-of-age story about a Brooklyn teenager juggling disparate identities in a…