×

‘Fruitvale’ tops Sundance awards

'Blood Brother' leads U.S. doc prizes

PARK CITY, Utah — “Fruitvale,” writer-director Ryan Coogler’s emotional, fact-based drama about the last day in the life of 22-year-old Bay Area shooting victim Oscar Grant, scored a double victory at the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday night, winning the grand jury prize and the audience award for U.S. dramatic features.

An early audience favorite that was scooped up for distribution by the Weinstein Co., “Fruitvale” is the first picture to sweep the top two prizes in the dramatic competition since 2009’s “Precious” (then titled “Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire”).

In another double-fisted win, “Blood Brother,” helmer Steve Hoover’s study of American activist Rocky Braat’s work on behalf of an AIDS-afflicted community in India, swept the grand jury prize and audience award for U.S. documentaries.

This marks the first time that both a U.S. drama and a U.S. documentary have scored the top two prizes in their respective categories since 2006, when “Quinceanera” and “God Grew Tired of Us” were the big winners.

By contrast, no entry in the World Cinema competitions drew more than one award. Grand jury prizes were presented to “Jiseul,” Muel O’s dramatization of a 1948 massacre of civilians by the South Korean army, and “A River Changes Course,” Kalyanee Mam’s study of the crippling effects of deforestation, overfishing and debt on present-day Cambodia.

Aud nods for international features were voted to “The Square,” Jehane Noujaim’s documentary about the ongoing Egyptian Revolution, and “Metro Manila,” Sean Ellis’ drama about a Filipino family’s move from the rice fields to the titular city.

In a U.S. dramatic competition where a notable eight of 16 films were directed by women, two female filmmakers came away with prizes: TV writer Jill Soloway drew the directing award for her dark comedy “Afternoon Delight,” while actress-helmer Lake Bell received the Waldo Salt screenwriting prize for “In a World … ,” a comedy set in the world of Hollywood voice talent. An equivalent screenwriting prize in the World Cinema category was given to Barmak Akram for “Wajma (An Afghan Love Story),” about the fallout of a Kabul girl’s unwanted pregnancy.

For American docs, the directing award was given to Zachary Heinzerling for “Cutie and the Boxer,” his chronicle of the 40-year marriage of boxing painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife, Noriko. World Cinema helming honors were voted to Georgian helmer Tinatin Gurchiani for “The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear,” her documentary about a casting call in her native country, and Chile’s Sebastian Silva for his drug-fueled road-trip movie “Crystal Fairy and the Magical Cactus & 2012.”

Multiple special jury prizes were presented in the U.S. competitions. In the dramatic field, actors Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley drew laurels for their performances in James Ponsoldt’s high-school drama “The Spectacular Now,” while Shane Carruth and Johnny Marshall were cited for their sound-design work on “Upstream Color,” which Carruth also wrote and directed. Jacob Kornbluth’s “Inequality for All” and Joe Brewster and Michele Stephenson’s “American Promise” shared the special jury awards for U.S. documentary.

The World Cinema special jury prizes went to “Circles,” Serbian helmer Srdan Golubovic’s multistranded drama, and “Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer,” Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin’s pic about the titular Russian band’s recent travails.

Bradford Young drew a cinematography prize for two films he lensed in the dramatic competition, David Lowery’s “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” and Andrew Dosunmu’s “Mother of George.” Richard Rowley for “Dirty Wars” (U.S. docu); Michal Englert, “Lasting” (World Cinema dramatic); and Marc Silver and Pau Esteve Birba, “Who is Dayani Cristal?” (World Cinema documentary) also received lensing honors.

Documentary editing awards were given to Matthew Hamachek for his work on Dawn Porter’s “Gideon’s Army” (U.S.) and Ben Stark for his work on Ben Stark’s “The Summit” (international).”This Is Martin Bonner,” Chad Hartigan’s Reno-set tale of an unlikely friendship between two lost souls, won the audience award in the festival’s Next category devoted to edgy, low-budget fare.

The Sundance Institute/NHK Award for emerging filmmakers was presented to helmer Kentaro Hagiwara for his upcoming debut, “Spectacled Tiger.” A past recipient of the prize, Cherien Dabis, directed this year’s dramatic competition entry “May in the Summer.”

As announced on Friday, the $20,000 Alfred P. Sloan prize, presented annually to a film that focuses on science/technology as a theme, was given to Andrew Bujalski’s Next entry “Computer Chess,” a 1980-set comedy about a weekend-long tournament for chess software programmers.

Announced earlier in the week, the Sundance Institute/Mahindra Globe Filmmaking Award for emerging independent filmmakers was presented to Aly Muritaba, “The Man Who Killed My Beloved Dead”; Eva Weber, “Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name”; Jonas Carpignano, “A Chjana”; and Sarthak Dasgupta, “The Music Teacher.”J

The awards ceremony was hosted by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, whose directing debut, “Don Jon’s Addiction,” screened in the Premieres category and was acquired by Relativity Media during the fest.

And the winners are:

Grand Jury Prize (Dramatic): “Fruitvale”

Grand Jury Prize (Documentary): “Blood Brother”

Audience Award (Dramatic): “Fruitvale”

Audience Award (Documentary): “Blood Brother”

Directing (Dramatic): Jill Soloway, “Afternoon Delight”

Directing (Documentary): Zachary Heinzerling, “Cutie and the Boxer”

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award (Dramatic): Lake Bell, “In a World … ”

Cinematography (Dramatic): Bradford Young, “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” and “Mother of George”

Cinematography (Documentary): Richard Rowley, “Dirty Wars”

Editing (Documentary): Matthew Hamachek, “Gideon’s Army”

Special Jury Prizes (Dramatic): Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, “The Spectacular Now” (acting) and Shane Carruth and Johnny Marshall, “Upstream Color” (sound design)

Special Jury Prizes (Documentary):Inequality for All” and “American Promise”

World Cinema Grand Jury Prize (Dramatic): “Jiseul”

World Cinema Grand Jury Prize (Documentary): “A River Changes Course”

World Cinema Audience Award (Dramatic): “Metro Manila”

World Cinema Audience Award (Documentary): “The Square”

Best of Next Audience Award:This Is Martin Bonner

World Cinema Directing Award (Dramatic): Sebastian Silva, “Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus and 2012”

World Cinema Directing Award (Documentary): Tinatin Gurchiani, “The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear”

World Cinema Screenwriting Award: Barmak Akram, “Wajma (An Afghan Love Story)”

World Cinema Cinematography Award (Dramatic): Michal Englert, “Lasting”

World Cinema Special Jury Prize (Dramatic): “Circles”

World Cinema Editing Award (Documentary): Ben Stark, “The Summit”

World Cinema Cinematography Award (Documentary): Marc Silver and Pau Esteve Birba, “Who Is Dayani Cristal?”

World Cinema Special Jury Prize (Documentary): “Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer”

Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize:Computer Chess

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • (from left) Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham)

    Korea Box Office: ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ Topples ‘Exit,’ ‘Roar to Victory’  

    Opening on Wednesday, “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” debuted on top of the South Korean box office. Showing on some 1,311 screens nationwide, the UPI release earned $15.1 million from 2.03 million admissions over five days. That included the four-day National Liberation Day weekend. “The Battle: Roar to Victory” remained in second. The [...]

  • Tracy Morgan Netflix stand-up special

    Film News Roundup: Tracy Morgan Joins Eddie Murphy's 'Coming 2 America'

    In today’s film news roundup, Tracy Morgan and Michael Rooker book roles in major movies, and Gravitas buys “Christmas Break-In.” CASTINGS Tracy Morgan has signed on to appear in Eddie Murphy’s “Coming 2 America” sequel as the brother of Lesley Jones’ character. “Hustle & Flow” helmer Craig Brewer is directing the project with Murphy, Kevin [...]

  • Spider-Man Far From Home

    'Spider-Man: Far From Home' Gets Re-Release With New Scene

    Sony Pictures is re-releasing “Spider-Man: Far From Home” with a new action scene. Starting Aug. 29, a new extended cut, featuring four minutes of a never-before-seen action sequence, will be released in theaters in the United States and Canada. The film will also be available in IMAX and large formats in select locations. “Spider-Man: Far [...]

  • Matthew Modine

    Supporters Back Matthew Modine After Clumsy Joke at SAG-AFTRA Meeting

    More than 100 women, including Ellen Barkin and Allison Janney, have voiced support for Matthew Modine’s campaign for SAG-AFTRA presidency, following a joke at a SAG-AFTRA meeting that some decried as misogynist. With voting set to conclude on Aug. 28, the campaigns have featured vitriolic attacks between supporters of Modine, secretary-treasurer Jane Austin and incumbent [...]

  • Lady Gaga

    Variety Earns 14 Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Award Nominations

    Variety has received 14 Folio: Eddie & Ozzie award nominations for its coverage of the entertainment industry over the past year. The awards gala, which will take place at The Hilton Midtown in New York City on Oct. 30, celebrates publications that have demonstrated impressive investigative journalism, in addition to thoughtful digital and print design. [...]

  • WGA Agents Packaging Fight Placeholder

    Writers Guild Withdraws State Suit Against Agencies, Refiles in Federal Court

    The Writers Guild of America has withdrawn its state court suit against WME, CAA, UTA and ICM Partners alleging packaging fees are illegal and re-filed suit in federal court. The WGA also responded to antitrust claims brought against the guild by the three agencies. Those agency suits alleged that the WGA abused its power in [...]

  • Tim Roth to Receive Honorary Heart

    Tim Roth to Receive Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award

    British actor Tim Roth is to receive the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award in recognition of his “exceptional contribution to the art of film.” The ceremony at the Sarajevo Film Festival will be held on Tuesday. He will hold a masterclass on the same day. His first screen role was the lead in the controversial [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content