'Fruitvale' & 'Blood Brother' Both Win Double Sundance 2013 Awards
by Alex Billington
January 26, 2013
The official awards for the 2013 Sundance Film Festival were announced tonight at a ceremony in Park City. The Sundance awards are always very interesting to follow each year, because the winners are usually unexpected, but of course deserving of their awards. This year the two biggest winners were Ryan Coogler's Fruitvale (read our review) and Steve Hoover's doc Blood Brother, both of which won both the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize in their respective categories. These two films, and all of the winners below, are worth watching out for when they eventually get released. Read on for the full list of 2013 winners below!
2013 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL JURY AWARDS:
The Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic was presented to Fruitvale, directed by Ryan Coogler — The true story of Oscar, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family and strangers on the last day of 2008.
The Grand Jury Prize: Documentary was presented to Blood Brother, directed by Steve Hoover — Rocky went to India as a disillusioned tourist. When he met a group of children with HIV, he decided to stay. He never could have imagined the obstacles he would face, or the love he would find.
The World Cinema Jury Prize: Dramatic was presented to Jiseul (from South Korea), directed by Muel O — In 1948, as the Korean government ordered the Communists' eviction to Jeju Island, the military invaded a calm and peaceful village. Townsfolk took sanctuary in a cave and debated moving to a higher mountain.
The World Cinema Jury Prize: Documentary was presented to A River Changes Course (from Cambodia), directed by Kalyanee Mam — Three young Cambodians struggle to overcome the crushing effects of deforestation, overfishing, and overwhelming debt in this devastatingly beautiful story of a country reeling from the tragedies of war and rushing to keep pace with a rapidly expanding world.
The Directing Award: U.S. Documentary was presented to Cutie and the Boxer, directed by Zachary Heinzerling — This candid New York love story explores the chaotic 40-year marriage of famed boxing painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife, Noriko. Anxious to shed her role of assistant to her overbearing husband, Noriko seeks an identity of her own.
The Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic was presented to Afternoon Delight, written and directed by Jill Soloway — In this sexy, dark comedy, a lost L.A. housewife puts her idyllic life in jeopardy when she tries to rescue a stripper by taking her in as a live-in nanny.
The Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: U.S. Dramatic was presented to In a World..., written and directed by Lake Bell — An underachieving vocal coach is motivated by her father, the king of movie-trailer voice-overs, to pursue her aspirations of becoming a voiceover star. Amidst pride, sexism and family dysfunction, she sets out to change the voice of a generation.
The Editing Award: U.S. Documentary was presented to Gideon's Army, directed by Dawn Porter — Gideon's Army follows three young, committed Public Defenders who are dedicated to working for the people society would rather forget. Long hours, low pay and staggering caseloads are so common that even the most committed often give up.
The Editing Award: World Cinema Documentary was presented to The Summit, directed by Nick Ryan — Twenty-four climbers converged at the last stop before summiting the most dangerous mountain on Earth. Forty-eight hours later, 11 had been killed or simply vanished. Had one, Ger McDonnell, stuck to the climbers' code, he might still be alive.
The Cinematography Award: U.S. Documentary was presented to Dirty Wars, directed by Richard Rowley — Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill chases down the truth behind America's covert wars.
The Cinematography Award: U.S. Dramatic was presented to Bradford Young for two films he was Director of Photography on: Ain't Them Bodies Saints, directed by David Lowery, and Mother of George, directed by Andrew Dosunmu.
A U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Achievement in Filmmaking was presented to Inequality for All, directed by Jacob Kornbluth — In this timely and entertaining documentary, noted economic-policy expert Robert Reich distills the topic of widening income inequality, and addresses the question of what effects this increasing gap has on our economy and our democracy.
A U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Achievement in Filmmaking was presented to American Promise, directed by Joe Brewster, Michèle Stephenson — This intimate documentary follows the 12-year journey of two African-American families pursuing the promise of opportunity through the education of their sons.
A U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting was presented to Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley in The Spectacular Now, directed by James Ponsoldt.
A U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Sound Design was presented to Shane Carruth and Johnny Marshall for Upstream Color, written & directed by Shane Carruth.
A World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award was presented to Circles, directed by Srdan Golubovic.
A World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Punk Spirit was presented to Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer, directed by Mike Lerner & Maxim Pozdorovkin.
The Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize, presented to outstanding feature films focusing on science or technology as a theme, or depicting a scientist, engineer, or mathematician as a major character, was presented to Computer Chess, directed and written by Andrew Bujalski. The film received a $20,000 cash award from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
2013 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL AUDIENCE AWARDS:
The Audience Award: Dramatic was presented to Fruitvale, written and directed by Ryan Coogler — The true story of Oscar, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family and strangers on the last day of 2008.
The Audience Award: Documentary was presented to Blood Brother, directed by Steve Hoover — Rocky went to India as a disillusioned tourist. When he met a group of children with HIV, he decided to stay. He never could have imagined the obstacles he would face, or the love he would find.
The World Cinema Audience Award: Dramatic was presented to Metro Manila, co-written and directed by Sean Ellis — Seeking a better life, Oscar and his family move from the poverty-stricken rice fields to the big city of Manila, where they fall victim to various inhabitants whose manipulative ways are a daily part of city survival.
The World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary was presented to The Square (Al Midan), directed by Jehane Noujaim — What does it mean to risk your life for your ideals? How far will five revolutionaries go in defending their beliefs in the fight for their nation?
The Best of NEXT!: Audience Award was presented to This is Martin Bonner, written and directed by Chad Hartigan — Martin Bonner has just moved to Reno for a new job in prison rehabilitation. Starting over at age 58, he struggles to adapt until an unlikely friendship with an ex-con blossoms, helping him confront the problems he left behind.
Congratulations to all of this year's winners. I just saw Fruitvale a few days ago and loved it, too. I'm very happy that it won because it's a film that needs to be seen by as many people as possible. This double win of both of the big awards reminds of when Precious won both in 2009 (later earning six Oscar nominations). It's not rare, but it usually means the film is something truly special when it takes home these two together. As always, I suggest everyone keep their eyes on all of these films and everything else good coming out of Sundance. You can find all of our coverage from Sundance 2013 here. That's all for now until the next year!
Photo at the top is of Fruitvale director Ryan Coogler accepting his award at the ceremony via Facebook.