2007 Sundance winners (with links to reviews, and info on acquisitions)
Here's the full list of 2007 award winners at the festival (from Sundance's official press release), with a few links to reviews. I've put an asterisk* next to films that have been acquired by distributors as of Saturday:
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
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. (Variety review)
The Audience Awards are given to both a dramatic and documentary film in the Independent Film
Competition as voted by Sundance Film Festival audiences. The 2007 Sundance Film Festival Audience
Awards for the Independent Film Competition are presented by Volkswagen of America, Inc.
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
hear. (Variety review)
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. (Variety review ... Cinematical review ... Hollywood Reporter review)
The World Cinema Audience Awards are given 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. (Variety review)
The Directing Award: Dramatic was presented to Jeffrey Blitz, director of ROCKET SCIENCE. (Variety review ... Cinematical review)
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. (Variety review of JOSHUA ... Hollywood Reporter review of JOSHUA)
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*. (Variety review)
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
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. (Hollywood Reporter review of FOUR SHEETS and TEETH ... Cinematical review of TEETH)
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. (Variety review)
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.
Only a few of the winners have been acquired thus far: Fox Searchlight is distributing JOSHUA, ThinkFilm is distributing IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON, and The Weinstein Company is distributing GRACE IS GONE.
Looking forward to seeing GRACE and ROCKET SCIENCE tomorrow before I leave...