Tuesday, September 2, 2014

FRUITVALE IS THE BIG WINNER AT SUNDANCE

January 26, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

In the end, the film that most critics thought would take top honors at the Sundance Film Festival did. Fruitvale, which tells the story of the seemingly senseless shooting of 22-year-old Oscar Grant by a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police officer at the Fruitvale station in Oakland on New Year’s Day of 2009, came away with both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for a dramatic film. It had been hailed passionately by critics (NPR/Los Angeles Times critic Kenneth Turan called it “the standout film” of the festival, “a very, very moving film;” Marlow Stern of the Daily Beast noted that it received “rounds and rounds of applause — and quite a few tears — at its press screening” in Park City, Utah.) The film, which was produced by Forest Whitaker and Nina Yang, was quickly snapped up for $2 million by the Weinstein Co., topping bids from Paramount, Universal’s Focus Features, Fox Searchlight, and CBS Films. Announcing the award Saturday night, former Fox studio chief Tom Rothman predicted that it will pick up many more awards down the line. “This will not be the last time you guys walk to a podium,” he said to the filmmakers, who included the much praised first-time director Ryan Coogler. He also predicted that the film will deliver a mighty social impact. “For anyone out there who thinks for one second that movies don’t matter or can’t make a difference in the world, welcome the winner,” he said. (Not so impressed was Daily Variety critic Geoff Berkshire, who complained that the film “forgoes nuanced drama for heart-tugging, head-shaking and rabble-rousing.”) In the documentary category, Steve Hoover’s Blood Brother won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award. The film has not yet been picked up by a distributor.

Other awards in the dramatic category:
World Cinema Audience Award: Metro Manila
Best of NEXT Audience Award: This is Martin Bonner
U.S. Directing Award: Jill Soloway, Afternoon Delight
World Cinema Directing Award: Sebastian Silva, Crystal Fairy
Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: Lake Bell, In a World
World Cinema Screenwriting Award: Barmak Akram, Wajma (An Afghan Love Story)
Excellence in Cinematography Award: U.S. Bradford Young, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints and Mother of George
World Cinema Cinematography Award: Michal Englert, Lasting
World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Prize for Artistic Vision: Circles
U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Sound Design: Upstream Color, Shane Carruth and Johnny Marshall
U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting: Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, The Spectacular Now

Other awards in the documentary category:
World Cinema Audience Award: The Square
U.S. Directing Award: Zachary Heinzerling, Cutie and the Boxer
World Cinema Directing Award: Tinatin Gurchani, The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear
U.S. Documentary Editing Award – Matthew Hamachek, Gideon’s Army
World Cinema Documentary Editing Award: Ben Stark, The Summit
Excellence in Cinematography Award: U.S. Dirty Wars
World Cinema Cinematography Award: Marc Silver and Pau Esteve Birba, Who is Dayani Cristal?
U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award: Inequality for All
World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award: Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer
U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award: American Promise