With the Screen Actors Guild awards approaching tomorrow and the Oscars coming late in February, you may wonder how a film becomes an award-winning movie. Today many independent film look to the Sundance Film Festival to secure distribution rights and hopefully a platform to reach its target audience. Today, Jan. 26, 2013, winners of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival were released and Ryan Coogler's new film "Fruitvale" won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Prize.
Last year the Grand Jury Prize went to "Beasts of the Southern Wild," which is now nominated for four Academy Awards and the Audience Prize went to Ben Lewin's "The Sessions," which has garnered an Academy Award nomination for actress Helen Hunt. So, will "Fruitvale" be the film to beat next award season? It's too soon to tell now, but now the film has a very good start.
"Fruitvale" is the true story of Oscar, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family, and strangers on the last day of 2008. It stars Chad Michael Murray, Kevin Durand and Octavia Spencer.
Full list of winners:
Grand Jury Prize, Dramatic:"Fruitvale," directed by Ryan Coogler
Grand Jury Prize, Documentary:"Blood Brother," directed by Steve Hoover
World Cinema Jury Prize, Dramatic:"Jiseul," directed by Muel O
World Cinema Jury Prize, Documentary: "A River Changes Course," directed Kalyanee Mam
Dramatic Audience Award: "Fruitvale," directed by Ryan Coogler
Documentary Audience Award: "Blood Brother," directed by Steve Hoover
World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award: "Metro Manila," directed by Sean Ellis
World Cinema Documentary Audience Award: "The Square," directed by Jehane Noujaim
The Best of NEXT Audience Award: "This Is Martin Bonner," directed by Chad Hartigan
Directing Award, Dramatic: Jill Solloway, "Afternoon Delight"
Directing Award, Documentary: Zachary Heinzerling, "Cutie and the Boxer"
World Cinema Directing Award, Dramatic: Sebastián Silva, "Crystal Fairy"
World Cinema Directing Award, Documentary: Tinatin Gurchiani, "The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear"
Waldo Scott Screenwriting Award: Lake Bell, "In a World"
World Cinema Screenwriting Award: Barmak Akram, "Wajma (An Afghan Love Story)"
Documentary Editing Award: Matthew Hamachek, "Gideon's Army"
World Cinema Documentary Editing Award: Ben Stark, "The Summit"
Excellence in Cinematography Award, Dramatic: Bradford Young, "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" and "Mother of George"
Excellence in Cinematography Award, Documentary: Richard Rowley, "Dirty Wars"
World Cinema Cinematography Award, Dramatic: Michal Englert, "Lasting"
World Cinema Cinematography Award, Documentary: Marc Silver & Pau Esteve Birba, "Who Is Dayani Cristal?"
Special Jury Prize: Dramatic (Acting): Miles Teller & Shailene Woodley, "The Spectacular Now"
Special Jury Prize: Dramatic (For Sound Design) Shane Carruth & Johnny Marshal, "Upstream Color"
Special Jury Prizes: Documentary:
"Inequality For All," directed by Jacob Kornbluth
"American Promise" directed by Joe Brewster & Michèle Stephenson
World Cinema Special Jury Prize: Documentary "Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer," directed by Mike Lerner & Maxim Pozdorovkin
World Cinema Special Jury Prize: Dramatic "Circus" directed by Srdan Golubovic
Alfred P. Sloan Prize "Computer Chess," directed by Andrew Bujalski
The Short Film Audience Award "Catnip: Egress to Oblivion," directed by Jason Willis
The Short Film Grand Jury Prize: "The Whistle," directed by Grzegorz Zariczny
The Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction: "Whiplash," directed by Damien Chazelle
The Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction: "The Date," directed by Jenni Toivoniemi
The Short Film Jury Award: Non-fiction: "Skinningrove," directed by Michael Almereyda
The Short Film Jury Award: Animation: "Irish Folk Furniture," directed by Tony Donoghue
A Short Film Special Jury Award for Acting: Joel Naglein in "Palimpsest"
A Short Film Special Jury Award: "Until the Quiet Comes," directed by Kahlil Joseph
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Whatever your movie choice this week, please remember your movie theater etiquette: silence your cell phones and no texting, please don't talk during the film and remove your children if they become a distraction to other audience members. Don't forget that laughing, crying and cheering are always approved behavior and even encouraged.
-Kay Shackleton is a film historian with special focus on Silent Films, see her work at SilentHollywood.com