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2009 Sundance Film Festival Premiere ‘Precious’ Sweeps Spirit Awards

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Jessica Buzzard

On a rooftop in downtown L.A. last night, Lee Daniel’s Precious and nine other films supported in various ways by Sundance Institute’s programs were honored with Independent Spirit Awards. In total, 17 Sundance-supported films received 37 Spirit Award nominations. Marking the 25th anniversary of the Awards, the event took place in downtown Los Angeles at the new L.A. Live complex.

In addition to Best Feature, Precious was honored with Best Director for Lee Daniels, Best First Screenplay for Geoffrey Fletcher, Best Supporting Female for Mo’Nique, and Best Female Lead for Gabourey Sidibe. Accepting her award, Sidibe attributed her own independent spirit to a Todd Haynes film. “My mom used to pay me $2 to go to school,” she said, “and I saved up my money for a week so that I could see Welcome to the Dollhouse and that’s the first film I saw where I could say ‘I could do that.'”

Other Sundance-supported films receiving awards were:

Sasha Gervasi’s Anvil! The Story of Anvil for Best Documentary
 

Lone Scherfig’s An Education for Best Foreign Film

(500) Days of Summer (Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber for Best Screenplay)

Oren Moverman’s The Messenger (Woody Harrelson for Best Supporting Male)

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Sundance Institute Piloting Direct Individual Support for Mediamakers Through the Sundance Institute | Humanities Sustainability Fellowship

Long before the COVID-19 pandemic upended life in general, and halted production and distribution for many creatives, the nonfiction field was plagued by issues of sustainability. For several years, sustainability has been an urgent and vigorous topic of study, debate, and organizing, as more and more filmmakers find it difficult, if not impossible, to make a living solely on the basis of their creative work. 

In Memoriam: Diane Weyermann (1955–2021)

A singular force within the documentary film world with a global reach, Diane Weyermann passed away at age 66 after battling cancer. Over the course of her 30-year career as a funder and an executive, her work elevated the documentary form and expanded its cultural impact.

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