'Snow and Ashes' takes grand jury prize

PARK CITY — Utah Slamdance’s 16th annual fest wrapped here Thursday night with the announcement of winners in three competitive categories: grand jury, audience and sponsored awards.

Fest’s grand jury Sparky feature prize winners are limited to first-time filmmakers working with production budgets of $1 million or less.

Grand jury narrative feature Sparky went to “Snow and Ashes,” helmed by Charles-Olivier Michaud, with a special mention going to Conor Horgan’s “One Hundred Mornings.”

Docu prize winner was “American Jihadist,” directed by Mark Claywell.

“Seed,” from helmers Ben Richardson and Daniel Bird, snapped up the animation short kudo. Narrative short prize went to “First Day of Peace,” helmed by Mirko Rucnov. Special mention for a short doc went to “Bout That Bout,” directed by Nico Sabenorio.

Audience prize winners for narrative feature went to “The Wild Hunt,” directed by Alexandre Franchi and documentary “Mind of the Demon: The Larry Linkogle Story,” directed by Adam Barker.

Audience Sparky for Anarchy Online Film went to Laura Harris’ “Sugar Stick.”

Jeremy Engle’s “Mosquito” won the audience Spirit of Slamdance Sparky short award.

As for the sponsored awards, the Kodak Vision kudo for cinematography went to Bob Persons for “General Orders No. 9.” Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Film Award went to “Nothing but Everything,” directed by Wallace Cotton.

Fest’s first Script Accessible Screenplay Award, sponsored by Lonely Seal Releasing, went to “The Wrong Reasons,” penned by Gia Milani. Prize is part of a year-round script competish.

Fest drew a record 5,000 submissions from around the world and programmed 91 films this year, under its mission of “by filmmakers, for filmmakers.”

Selected grand jury and audience award winners will be screened in a few domestic venues throughout the year, including Gotham’s IFC Center.

On Wednesday, Slamdance’s new distrib partnership with Microsoft went live on Zune and Xbox LIVE platforms. Four 2010 fest films are part of the Microsoft program: prizewinners “American Jihadist,” “Mind of the Demon” and “The Wild Hunt,” as well as feature “The Scenesters.” The films are available to rent for a seven-day period via computers or on Xbox LIVE until Feb. 2.

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