2012 Sundance Film Festival Awards Announced

2012 Sundance Film Festival Awards Announced

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Sundance Institute this evening announced the Jury, Audience, NEXT <=> and other special awards of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival at the Festival’s Awards Ceremony, hosted by Parker Posey in Park City, Utah.

An archived video of the ceremony in its entirety is available here: www.sundance.org/live.

“Every year the Sundance Film Festival brings to light exciting new directions and fresh voices in independent film, and this year is no different,” said John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival. “While these awards further distinguish those that have had the most impact on audiences and our jury, the level of talent showcased across the board at the Festival was really impressive, and all are to be congratulated and thanked for sharing their work with us.”

Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, said, “As we close what was a remarkable 10 days of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, we look to the year ahead with incredible optimism for the independent film community. As filmmakers continue to push each other to achieve new heights in storytelling we are excited to see what’s next.”

Among the winners:

The Grand Jury Prize: Documentary was presented by Charles Ferguson to:

The House I Live In / U.S.A. (Director: Eugene Jarecki) — For over 40 years, the War on Drugs has accounted for 45 million arrests, made America the world’s largest jailer and damaged poor communities at home and abroad. Yet, drugs are cheaper, purer and more available today than ever. Where did we go wrong and what is the path toward healing?

The Audience Award: U.S. Documentary, Presented by Acura, was presented by Mike Birbiglia to:

The Invisible War / U.S.A. (Director: Kirby Dick) — An investigative and powerfully emotional examination of the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the U.S. military, the institutions that cover up its existence and the profound personal and social consequences that arise from it.

The Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic, Presented by Acura, was presented by Mike Birbiglia to:

The Surrogate / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Ben Lewin) — Mark O’Brien, a 36-year-old poet and journalist in an iron lung, decides he no longer wishes to be a virgin. With the help of his therapist and the guidance of his priest, he contacts a professional sex surrogate to take him on a journey to manhood. Cast: John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy.

The Best of NEXT <=> Audience Award, Presented by Adobe Systems Incorporated, was presented by Tim Heidecker to:

Sleepwalk With Me / U.S.A. (Director: Mike Birbiglia, Screenwriters: Mike Birbiglia, Ira Glass, Joe Birbiglia, Seth Barrish) — Reluctant to confront his fears of love, honesty, and growing up, a budding standup comedian has both a hilarious and intense struggle with sleepwalking. Cast: Mike Birbiglia, Lauren Ambrose, Carol Kane, James Rebhorn, Cristin Milioti.

The World Cinema Screenwriting Award was presented by Richard Pena to:

Young & Wild / Chile (Director: Marialy Rivas, Screenwriters: Marialy Rivas, Camila Gutiérrez, Pedro Peirano, Sebastián Sepúlveda) — 17-year-old Daniela, raised in the bosom of a strict Evangelical family and recently unmasked as a fornicator by her shocked parents, struggles to find her own path to spiritual harmony. Cast: Alicia Rodríguez, Aline Kuppenheim, María Gracia Omegna, Felipe Pinto.

The Excellence in Cinematography Award: U.S. Documentary was presented by Tia Lessin to:

Chasing Ice / U.S.A. (Director: Jeff Orlowski) — Science, spectacle and human passion mix in this stunningly cinematic portrait as National Geographic photographer James Balog captures time-lapse photography of glaciers over several years providing tangible visual evidence of climate change.

A U.S. Documentary Special Jury Prize for an Agent of Change was presented by Heather Croall to:

Love Free or Die / U.S.A. (Director: Macky Alston) — One man whose two defining passions are in conflict: An openly gay bishop refuses to leave the Church or the man he loves.

The 2012 Sundance Film Festival presented 117 feature-length films, representing 30 countries by 45 first-time filmmakers, including 24 in competition. These films were selected from 4,042 feature-length film submissions composed of 2,059 U.S. and 1,983 international feature-length films. 91 films at the Festival were world premieres. The Short Film Program was comprised of 64 short films selected from a record 7,675 submissions.

The 2012 Sundance Film Festival runs through January 29 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. A complete list of films and events is available at www.sundance.org/festival.

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