2013 Sundance Film Festival Awards Updates

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Eric Hynes, Jeremy Kinser, and Nate von Zumwalt

Read the live updates from the Awards Ceremony below or click here to jump to the full list of winners.

Hi everyone, and welcome to the live blog for the 2013 Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony. We’re Eric Hynes and Jeremy Kinser, and we’ll be your eyes and ears for tonight’s festivities. Things kick off at 7pm Mountain Time, which means we’re less than an hour away from learning which films and filmmakers are going home as Sundance award winners. Everyone’s a winner, as they say—and as it inevitably will be said this evening—but there will be actual, honored, singled out, applauded and hooted for, Winners as well. That’s why they call it an Awards Ceremony, and that’s why the Festival’s juries spent the better part of Friday debating from among dozens of competition films.

As it has for the past several years, the Awards Ceremony takes place a few miles north of Park City at the Basin Recreation Fieldhouse at Kimball Junction. We’re off to the right of the stage, looking out into a sea of beige folding chairs, where several ushers are doing some serious boogieing to the dance music that’s pumping from giant speakers scattered throughout this vast hanger of a space. Attendees are filtering in, grazing from the hors d’oeuvres buffet at the center of the floor. I’ve got my eye on that buffet table, but not because I’m particularly hungry—it’s because the table is suspended at waist height via four giant cables affixed to the ceiling. Just moments ago I saw a gentleman Windexing and polishing industrial-sized lighting fixtures that are sitting on the four corners of the table, and said gentleman suggested that the table would be raised heavenward later in the evening, potentially with the food still on the table. Also just moments ago, a worker adjusted a stage light three stories high via an elevator on wheels called a Genie Lift (I asked). Forgive my still very fourth-grade-era sense of wonder.  

In keeping with this year’s graphic theme, the stage is bedecked in arrows of various shapes, colors and orientation, a fitting spectacle for a Festival that featured 191 feature-length and short films from all corners of the earth, in five competition categories and five non-competition categories, from veterans like Barbara Kopple and Richard Linklater and newbies like Richard Rowley and Ryan Coogler. For the first time ever, half of this year’s competition films were helmed by women, a development that the Institute clearly invites, having recently commissioned an independent study meant to identify the difficulties and possibilities for further female participation in independent filmmaking.

We’re just a few minutes away from starting the show, so hang right here.

Updated 7:26 PM:

An exceptionally friendly sounding Voice of God introduces tonight’s host, Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Out comes Gordon-Levitt, with handsome spectacles and a blazer and generally looking like a very well tailored boy next door.

“It’s very cool and a real honor to be here. The first time I ever heard the name Sundance I was ten years old and working on A River Runs Through it with Mr. Redford. I saw t-shirt, and didn’t know what it was.”

“Ten years ago I came to Sundance with Manic.  Sundance has been fundamental in my ability to grow up and become the artist that I want to be. I love the festival but also the Institute. I’ve been up to the Labs twice. More than a Festival, what Sundance is is a community of people. Of filmmakers and film lovers. People who believe that there’s more to movies than glitz, glamour, box office and money. In Hollywood you can be made to feel like a freak for thinking of film as an art. It makes a difference to have a community of people that have that in common.”

Gordon-Levitt introduces Executive Director of Sundance Institute, Keri Putnam.  

“This has been an amazing ten days. I hope all of you will spread the word about the new work you’ve seen here this week, and continue to support independent film in your own communities,” says Putnam.

Putnam calls attention to the recipients of this year’s Sundance Institute /Mahindra Global Filmmaking Awards. Mahindras are given to emerging filmmakers from the World Cinema stage on the basis of their next screenplay, and the winners are:

From Brazil, Aly Muritiba for The Man Who Killed My Dead Beloved.

From the US, UK and Germany, Eva Weber for Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name.

From Italy and the US, Jonas Carpignano for A Chjana.

And from India, Sarthak Dasgupta for The Music Teacher.

Keri also mentions that earlier in the week the Sundance Institute/NHK Award went to co-writer and director Kentaro Hagiwara and co-writer Kyohta Fujimoto for their project Spectacled Tiger.

Putnam then introduces the Director of the Sundance Film Festival, John Cooper.

Cooper thanks the Festival volunteers, 1,830 strong this year, and gives special thanks to those who logged over 100 hours during the Festival to join the “100 Club.” He also mentions the winner of this year’s the Gayle Stevens Volunteer Award, an annual award given at the start of the Festival to a volunteer who has demonstrated a long-standing passion for and commitment to the work of the Institute. The award went to Shirley Olson, who has been a volunteer for the festival for 22 years.

Cooper thanks the filmmakers. “When I say the filmmakers, I mean DPs, editors, casting directors, screenwriters and directors. You have both humbled and inspired us with your generosity of talent.” He gets misty-eyed, but then fore-scolds the winners to not dawdle on stage, lest they delay “the Dance of Sundance that’s going to happen after this.”

Cooper then calls up Lisa Randall, Harvard professor of theoretical Physics and Cosmology who served on this year’s jury for the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize. The Sloan Prize is presented to a director with an outstanding film focusing on science or technology as a theme, or depicting a scientist, engineer, or mathematician as a major character. The prize-winning creative team will receive a cash award of 20 thousand dollars. 

Winner of the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize:  

Computer Chess, Andrew Bujalski

Producers Alex Lipschultz and Houston King accept on behalf of Bujalski.

Gordon-Levitt returns to the stage and introduces Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival, Trevor Groth, “the best dressed man tonight.”

Groth, in a blue and green plaid suit and sporty brown saddle shoes, announces the winners of this year’s Shorts Awards, which were presented on Tuesday night at Jupiter Bowl, which is a short walk across the parking lot from tonight’s venue.   

The winners were/are:

Short Film Special Jury Award:

Until the Quiet Comes directed by Kahlil Joseph.

Short Film Special Jury Award for Acting:

Joel Nagle for his work in the film Palimpsest.

Short Film Jury Award: Animation:

Irish Folk Furniture directed by Tony Donoghue.

Short Film Jury Award: Non-Fiction

Skinningrove directed by Michael Almereyda.

Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction

The Date directed by Jenni Toiyoniemi.

Short Film Jury Award: US Fiction

Whiplash directed by Damien Chazelle. 

Short Film Grand Jury Prize:

The Whistle directed by Grzegorz Zariczny.

Zariczny, who wasn’t able to attend Tuesday night’s ceremony, claims the award tonight. 

Zariczny: “My heart is beating very fast now, like jungle drums. It’s something special for me. Thank you to all my friends in Poland who helped me when I didn’t have enough strength to finish my film.”

Then Groth calls us Lee Hunter from YouTube, who announces the winner of this year’s Audience Award, chosen from among 12 films that played on YouTube’s Screening Room channel during the Festival. Hunter says the films received more than 2 million views, averaging over 175,000 views per film. 

Winner of the 2013 Shorts Audience Award, presented by YouTube:

Catnip: Egress to Oblivion directed by Jason Willis

Updated 7:38 PM:

Gordon Levitt is back on stage to show a highlight reel of films in the World Cinema categories. Then he introduces the World Cinema Documentary Jury. Members include the former Director of Programming at Hot Docs, Sean Farnel, Enat Sidi, who won the editing award last year for her work on the film Detropia, and Bob Hawk, a veteran consultant to filmmakers and film festivals who produced such Sundance films as Ballet Russes and Trick.

Farnel: “Thanks to all of the filmmakers for their commitment to a film form that’s exciting and necessary.”

Winner of the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award:  

Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer, directed by Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin (Russian Federation/U.K.)    

Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin: “This is an incredible honor and a great prize. Thanks to the BritDoc that supported this film so well. Masha, Nasdia and Katya started a feminist revolution that we hope continues throughout the world. Let’s make it happen.” 

Winner of the Cinematography Award: World Cinema Documentary 

Who Is Dayani Cristal?, cinematography by Marc Silver and Pau Esteve Birba (U.K.)

Marc Silver: “My heart’s beating faster than our Polish friend. Want to thank whoever invented the Cannon EOS 7D – I wouldn’t be standing here if it weren’t for that.”

Winner of the Editing Award: World Cinema Documentary:

The Summit, edited by Ben Stark (Ireland/U.K.)

Nick Ryan, director: “He would be so pleased to get this. It was a 12 month process but it was worth it. Everyone worked so hard. It was a complex story.”

Winner of the Directing Award: World Cinema Documentary: 

The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear, directed by Tinatin Gurchiani (Georgia/Germany)

Gurchiani: “I’ve had a lot of fun. I hope the film is better than my English.

Winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary:                                                                        

A River Changes Course, directed by Kalyanee Mam

Mam: “We’re so shocked. This film is about family, a universal film. Not just about globalization but about our connection with each other. Events like these bring our communities together, to celebrate the beauty of our world.” 

Updated 7:47 PM

Gordon-Levitt returns to the stage to introduce the World Cinema Dramatic Jury, comprised of Joana Vicente, Executive Director of the IFP and producer of 20 films that have premiered at Sundance including Welcome to the Dollhouse and Broken English, Nadine Labaki, the renowned Lebanese director and star of Cannes film Festival hits Caramel, and Where Do We Go Now?, and Anurag Kashyap, one of the leading directors of India’s New Wave of Cinema whose two-part film Gangs of Wasseypur played in the Spotlight section at Sundance this year.

Winner of the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award 

Circles, directed by Srdan Golubovic

Golubovic: “Especially I would like to thank my crew. You supported me all of those years. It was not easy with me. Thank you.”

Winner of the Cinematography Award: World Cinema Dramatic:

Lasting, cinematography by Michal Englert

Director Jacek Borcuch: “I’m also from Poland and my heart is also [beating] very hard.”

Winner of the Screenwriting Award: World Cinema Dramatic 

Wajma (An Afghan Love Story)written by Barmak Akram

Akram, looking damn dapper in a blazer, turtleneck, specs, and trim beard: “Thank you to Sundance for supporting Afghani film and Afghani women. In Afghanistan they love American films and now Americans love afghan films.”

Winner of the Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic:

Crystal Fairy, directed by Sebastian Silva

Silva’s not in attendance, but there’s a video. Silva: “Really thrilled but I don’t want to give a boring speech. This is something I’ve always wanted to do but don’t even ask why.” He distorts his image to the tune of and sings Hava Nagila. Exeunt.

The following was a unanimous decision by the Jury. Took “one minute” to choose, according to Labaki.

Winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic:

Jisuel, directed by Muel O (South Korea)   

Also a video acceptance from Muel O.: “I would love to share the honor with the people of the Jeju Island. I want to share this glory…”

Updated 7:55 PM

Time for the Audience Awards.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt returns, saying the NEXT section is devoted to films of pure, bold innovative storytelling. Digital technology paired with unfettered creativity promises that these films signal a “greater” next wave in American Cinema. Slide Show of NEXT films.

Gordon-Levitt awards this one himself.

Winner of the Audience Award: Best of NEXT:

This is Martin Bonner, directed by Chad Hartigan (U.S.)   

Hartigan: “I’m really proud to be part of the NEXT section. A very humbling experience.” Calls up members of the cast. “If you responded to this film it was because of them.”

Gordon-Levitt: “Our next two presenters are here with the film Running From Crazy which is playing in the Documentary Premieres Section. Barbara Kopple is a two-time Academy Award–winning director who is the only filmmaker to ever sweep the Sundance Film Festival’s documentary award categories. Mariel Hemingway is an activist and an Oscar-nominated actress who has starred in such films as Woody Allen’s ManhattanPersonal Best and Star 80. Please welcome Barbara Kopple and Mariel Hemingway.”

Kopple: “As filmmakers, we live for our films to be seen by audiences. When we hear people laugh and are moved, it means everything to us. It’s what it’s all about.”

Winner of the Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary:

The Square, directed by Jehane Noujaim

Noujaim calls up her extended crew, then says: “It was a true collaboration. My incredible amazing team who I love so much.”

Hemingway present the next award, and thanks Sundance for including Running From Crazy in the festival.

Winner of the Audience Award: World Cinema Dramatic:

Metro Manila, directed by Sean Ellis (U.K./Philippines) 

Ellis, also bringing his cast and crew on stage: “I’m so glad that this film connected with everyone. I’d like to dedicate this to my mum, who passed away last year. Mum, this is for you.”

Hemingway introduces a slide Show of Films in U. S. Documentary and Dramatic Competition.

Updated 8:19 PM

Winner of the Audience: U.S. Documentary:  

Blood Brother, directed by Steve Hoover

Hoover: “I understand this whole heart beating thing. It’s been great to connect with you guys with this thing.” All of our profits are going to help Rocky and his efforts against orphans with H.I.V.

Winner of the Audience Award: Dramatic:

Fruitvale, Ryan Coogler

Coogler ascends the stage with over a dozen cast and crewmembers: “I can’t say enough what an incredible experience going through the labs was.” He also thanks his fellow filmmakers for how they’ve affected his life. 

“I fucking loved that movie,” says Gordon-Levitt.

Gordon-Levitt introduces juror Diane Weyermann, the former Director of Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program and currently Participant Media’s Executive Vice President overseeing documentary production, executive producing such Sundance hits as An Inconvenient TruthChicago 10 and Waiting For Superman.

Winner of the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award:

Inequality for All, directed by Jacob Kornbluth

Kornbluth: “An honor to have worked with such an amazing person as Robert Reich.” Hoping Reich’s ideas get out into the world. Thanks his wife who’s carrying “our unborn child in your womb.”

Winner of the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award:

American Promise, directed by Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson

Brewster: “Michelle you’ve been my spokesmodel for 13 years” and asks here to accept for the film. Stephenson thanks the boys who are the subjects of the film, as well as the schools and families that made it possible.

Gordon-Levitt introduces juror Clare Stewart, Head of Exhibition for the British Film Institute. 

Stewart: “This has been an exceptional festival” and thanks Cooper and Groth for it. To filmmakers: “Huge kudos to you all.” 

The U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting:

Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley in The Spectacular Now

The actors aren’t here, so director James Ponsoldt accepts.

The U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Sound Design:

Upstream Color, Shane Carruth and Johnny Marshall

Carruth: “We spent such a lot of time with this, and it’s such an integral part of the narrative. I’m so grateful to be here. The film is really ambitious and to have it received by filmmakers and people who are into film literature is the biggest gift.”

Gordon-Levitt introduces juror Brett Morgan:

Morgan: “Anyone who’s ever shot a documentary knows it’s asking a lot to even hold the camera steady. But this is one of the most stunning documentaries I’ve ever seen.”

Winner of the Cinematography Award: U.S. Documentary:

Dirty Wars, cinematography by Richard Rowley

Rowley: “Almost three years ago when we knocked on a door in Gardez, Afghanistan, we were the first filmmakers they’d seen since Americans kicked in their doors and murdered members of their family.” But he promised to tell their stories, and thanks Sundance, “for allowing us to keep that promise.”

Winner of the Cinematography Award: U.S. Dramatic:

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints and Mother of George, cinematography by Bradford Young

David Lowery accepts along with Dosunmu, and has Young on the cell phone: “He says thank you so much. He’s like a brother to me, I couldn’t have made this film without him.”

Gordon-Levitt introduces juror Gary Hustwit.

Hustwit: “Your film is only as strong as your editor is.”

Winner of the Editing Award: U.S. Documentary:

Gideon’s Army, edited by Matthew Hamachek

Hamachek: “I’m not Zen at all right now.” Thanks his director and producers, who flank him.

Updated 8:38 PM

Winner of the Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic:

Afternoon Delight, directed by Jill Soloway 

Soloway sings Hava Nagila, echoing/calling back to Sebastian Silva. “Guys this crazy.” Thanks her producers, her cast and crew. “I want to thank some of the other lady directors who are here. We‘re all out there together exposing ourselves, and I love you guys.” They’re all heard hooting and hugging back stage after they leave.

Gordon-Levitt introduces juror Davis Guggenheim.

Guggenheim: “It was a profound experience to share this with my fellow jurors. This film shook us to our core.”

Winner of the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: U.S. Dramatic: 

In A World…, written by Lake Bell

Bell, in a black leather dress and updo: “I think I might be Polish,” patting her heart. “I guess I’m going through puberty as well. Thank you Sundance for giving me continued encouragement to have the balls to do this.”

Gordon-Levitt: “I saw that one too. Really fucking good.” Then introduces juror Liz Garbus.

Winner of the Directing Award: U.S. Documentary:

Cutie and the Boxer, directed by Zachary Heinzerling

Heinzerling: “So many people to thank, unfortunately most of them are back home. I drove most of them crazy – this took about five years.” Thanks his mom and dad, and the two main subjects of the film. Thanks those who gave the film money, which was funded purely on grants.

Gordon-Levitt introduces juror (and filmmaker and actor) Ed Burns, whose The Brothers McMullin won here in 1995.

Burns: “It has been a long time” since I’ve been here “and it has been ten great days.”

Winner of the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary:

Blood Brother, directed by Steve Hoover

Hoover: “Sorry I might cry a little bit.”

Rocky, the film’s subject: “Man it is so encouraging. For the kids, that is so awesome. Because they’re lives are so challenging. And no one remembers their names. To take their stories and everyone can see them.”

Hoover: “Seeing Rocky’s life blew me away. Can’t wait to see the difference we can make in the world because of this.”

Gordon-Levitt introduces juror and former Fox Chairman Tom Rothman.

Rothman: “I was at the very first festival, and it was just like this,” he says sarcastically. “For sure. Alright. Now, the big enchilada. For those who think that films can’t make a difference in the world, I present to you…”

Winner of the U. S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic:

Fruitvale, directed by Ryan Coogler

Standing ovation from a large portion of the crowd.

Coogler again brings his crew and cast up with him.

Coogler, nervously petting his head: “I’d like to thank all of those people again” that he thanked for the audience award. “David Lowery, stand up for me man. We formed crazy relationships with people in the labs, and at this festival. At the end of the day, when I first made this project, it was about humanity, and how we treat the people we love most and the people we don’t know. To get this means that this film made a powerful impact. This goes back to my home, the Bay area, where Oscar Grant lived for 22 years. I can’t wait to see you all when this is said and done and I’m more articulate and not so emotional.”

Gordon-Levitt concludes the ceremony, thanks us all, and sets the party part of the evening off. To recap, that was a double win, Audience and Grand Jury Prizes for both US Documentary Blood Brother and US Dramatic Film Fruitvale. Thanks to everyone out there who followed along on Sundance.org.

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