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Sundance Film Festival 2010

Park City, Utah (Jan. 21-31, 2010)
Park City, Utah (Jan. 21-31, 2010)

 "One of the founding values of Sundance Institute is that artistic excellence should never be gauged in terms of marketability, Our mandate is to support the independent artist and celebrate originality, creativity and compelling storytelling. It is not our place to decide what will be shown a year from now in theatres. Our place is to shine a light on the art of film. This year’s program shows integrity and a willingness to move beyond preconceived ideas about what our Festival should be."     --Robert Redford, Sundance Institute President and Founder.

In its 26th year, the Sundance Film Festival showcased 186 films, documentaries and shorts, chosen from almost 10,000 submissions. After being selected to show at Sundance, filmmakers still vie for recognition, stapling their own movie posters to bulletin boards for tickets to be sold. Reps from distribution companies such as Focus, Fox Searchlight, Magnolia Pictures and Summit Entertainment were on the lookout for films with originality and yes, marketability. Deals could be for a theatrical release or a straight-to-video release, and sometimes just an offer to show the film to their bosses.

Lining Park City's snow-filled Main Street are 19th century shops and attractions and the Egyptian Theater where many main events are held, including the awards ceremony. This year the show was hosted by David Hyde Pierce, who stars in Nick Tomnay's The Perfect Host and is best known for his beloved character, Niles, on the hit TV show Frasier. Here are a few of the awards that were bestowed Saturday night:

Grand Jury Prize, Dramatic
Winter's Bone --Directed by Debra Granik (Also won the "Waldo Salt" Screenwriting Award, with Anne Rosellini) Stark thriller about a giirl from Ozarks tries to keep family together while searching for her meth-dealing father
Grand Jury Prize, Documentary
Restrepo --Documentary by Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
War documentary, Afganistan's deadliest valley
Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic
HappyThankYouMorePlease --Directed by Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother)
Six New Yorkers juggle love and friendship
Audience Award: U.S. Documentary
Waiting for Superman --Documentary by Davis Guggenheim
Discusses American public school system
World Cinema Jury Prize: Dramatic
Animal Kingdom --Directed by David Michod
After his mother's death, a 17 year-old boy is thrown into the Australian underworld, caught between a family of criminals and a detective who tries to save him
Special Jury Prize: U.S. Dramatic
Sympathy for Delicious --Directed by Mark Ruffalo
A recently paralyzed man seeks out the dubious world of faith healing

Here are a few other movies that stirred up a lot of buzz:

  • The Runaways starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning (coming to theaters in March)
  • Welcome to the Rileys starring Kristen Stewart (as a stripper)
  • Buried starring Ryan Reynolds and Samantha Mathis

Read the full list of award winners and more about the 2010 Sundance Film Festival at


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