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Sundance Announces Winners of 2005 Festival

By Keiko Beatie

Sundance Film Festival held its award ceremony at the Park City Racquet Club this past weekend and announced the winners.  Leading the way for Best Feature Film is 40 Shades of Blue and for Best Documentary is What IS IT? With more than 6,500 films submitted to the festival, the 16-member jury had a huge task set before them to decide on the top winners for the festival. Sundance is known as one of the top festivals in the United States and draws in a dedicated independent audience in the beautiful setting of Park City Utah. Created by Robert Redford to highlight his ski resort, Sundance Film Festival is now considered the top festival across the country. So much so that the tickets for regular screenings are almost non-existing for filmgoers.  Passes and special tickets purchasing are the way to get to see films now for the 10-day festival.

Leading this year are the winners decided by the Jury Members of the Sundance Film Festival.

The American Documentary Grand Jury Prize was given to WHY WE FIGHT, written and directed by Eugene Jarecki.

The American Dramatic Grand Jury Prize was presented to FORTY SHADES OF BLUE, directed by Ira Sachs and written by Michael Rohatyn and Ira Sachs.

The World Cinema Documentary Grand Jury Prize was given to SHAPE OF THE MOON (The Netherlands), directed by Leonard Retel Helmrich and written by Leonard Retel Helmrich and Hetty Naaijkens-Retel Helmrich.

The World Cinema Dramatic Jury Prize was presented to THE HERO (Angola/Portugal/France), directed by Zézé Gamboa and written by Carla Baptista.

The American Documentary Audience Award was presented to MURDERBALL, a film directed by Henry-Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro.

The American Dramatic Audience Award winner is HUSTLE & FLOW, written and directed by Craig Brewer. The Audience Awards are sponsored by Volkswagen of America, and are given to a documentary and a dramatic film in Competition or American Spectrum, as voted by Film Festival audiences.

The World Cinema Documentary Audience Award was presented to SHAKE HANDS WITH THE DEVIL: THE JOURNEY OF ROMÉO DALLAIRE (Canada), directed by Peter Raymont.

The World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award was presented to BROTHERS (Denmark), directed by Susanne Bier. The World Cinema Audience Awards are given to both an international dramatic and documentary film in World Cinema Competition as voted by Film Festival audiences.

The American Directing Award recognizes excellence in directing for dramatic and documentary features. The Documentary Directing Award went to Jeff Feuerzeig, director of THE DEVIL AND DANIEL JOHNSTON. The Dramatic Directing Award was presented to Noah Baumbach for THE SQUID AND THE WHALE.

The American Excellence in Cinematography Award honors exceptional photography in both a dramatic and documentary film at the Festival. Gary Griffin for THE EDUCATION OF SHELBY KNOX from the Documentary Competition and Amelia Vincent for HUSTLE & FLOW from the Dramatic Competition received the 2005 Cinematography Awards.

The American Dramatic Jury presents the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for outstanding achievement in writing. The 2005 prize was given to Noah Baumbach for THE SQUID AND THE WHALE. The award is sponsored by the Utah Film Commission.
The American Documentary Jury bestowed a Special Jury Prize for Editing to MURDERBALL, directed by Henry-Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro and edited by Geoffrey Richman and Conor O Neill, and a Special Jury Prize to AFTER INNOCENCE, directed by Jessica Sanders.

The American Dramatic Jury presented Special Jury Prizes for Acting to Amy Adams, for her performance in JUNEBUG, and to Lou Pucci, for his performance in THUMBSUCKER.

The Dramatic Jury also awarded Special Jury Prizes for Originality of Vision to Miranda July, who wrote, directed, and acted in ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW, and to Rian Johnson, who directed BRICK.
The World Cinema Documentary Jury presented Special Jury Prizes to THE LIBERACE OF BAGHDAD (United Kingdom), directed by Sean McAllister, and to WALL (France/Israel), directed by Simone Bitton.

The Shorts Jury presented the Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking to FAMILY PORTRAIT, directed by Patricia Riggen.

The Jury Prize in International Short Filmmaking was given to WASP (United Kingdom), directed by Andrea Arnold. The Shorts Jury also awarded a special recognition to BULLETS IN THE HOOD: A BED-STUY STORY, directed by Terrence Fisher and Daniel Howard.

The Shorts Jury awarded Honorable Mentions in Short Filmmaking to ONE WEEKEND A MONTH, directed by Eric Escobar; RYAN (Canada), directed by Chris Landreth; SMALL TOWN SECRETS, directed by Katherine Leggett; TAMA TU (New Zealand), directed by Taika Waititi; and VICTORIA PARA CHINO, directed by Cary Fukunaga.

The 2005 American Documentary Competition Jurors are Jean-Philippe Boucicaut, Gail Dolgin, Steve James, Jehane Noujaim and Stacy Peralta.
The 2005 American Dramatic Competition Jurors are Chris Eyre, Vera Farmiga, John C. Reilly, B. Ruby Rich and Christine Vachon.
The 2005 World Cinema Documentary Competition Jurors are Miriam Cutler, Jean Perret and Penny Woolcock.
The 2005 World Cinema Dramatic Competition Jurors are Antonia Bird, Mike Goodridge and Fernando León de Aranoa.
The 2005 Shorts Jurors are Ernest Hardy, Connie White, and Sam Green.
The Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award was created to honor and support emerging filmmakers with their next screenplays one each from the United States, Europe and Latin America who possess the originality, talent and vision to be celebrated as we look to the future of international cinema.

The winning filmmakers and projects are: Catalin Mitulescu, How I spent the end of the world from Europe; Rodrigo Moreno, The Minder from Latin America; Richard Press, VirTUAL Love from the United States; and Mipo Oh, Yomoyama Blues from Japan.

The film that received the 2005 Alfred P. Sloan Prize is GRIZZLY MAN, directed by Werner Herzog. The Prize carries a $20,000 cash award and is designed to increase the visibility of outstanding independent films on science and technology and to showcase the work of emerging filmmakers tackling compelling topics in science.
This years Alfred P. Sloan selection committee includes Miguel Arteta, Shane Carruth, Lawrence Krauss, Peggy LeMone and John Underkoffler.

The Sundance Film Festival now in its 24th year brings the very best in contemporary independent films to Park City, Utah.  The on going lab program assist fellow filmmakers to develop their skills during the summer at the Sundance Institute.  Visualized by Robert Redford the Festival and Institute is now a creative support to the film industry by the nurturing of fellow filmmakers.  For more information please view the website at

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