'The Birth of a Nation' wins top honours at Sundance

(Los Angeles) - "The Birth of a Nation," a drama about a 19th century slave revolt in Virginia, swept top prizes at the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday.

See Full Article

The movie, acquired earlier this week by Fox Searchlight for a record-shattering US$17.5 million, won the grand jury prize and the audience award at the prestigious festival held in Park City, Utah.

The dual awards mark a major victory for filmmaker Nate Parker, who wrote and directed the movie about Nat Turner, who led a slave rebellion in 1831.

It also comes at a time when Hollywood is under fire for its lack of diversity in the list of actors and filmmakers nominated for Oscars this year.

"Thank you, Sundance, for creating a platform for us to grow, in spite of what the rest of Hollywood is doing," Parker, who is black, said as he accepted the grand jury prize for his film already being touted for a 2017 Oscar.

The U.S. documentary grand jury prize was awarded to "Weiner," a behind-the-scenes portrait of disgraced US politician Anthony Weiner as he attempts a comeback by running for mayor of New York.

The audience award in that category went to "Jim: The James Foley Story," a documentary about the U.S. journalist slain by the Islamic State group in 2014.

In the world cinema category, the grand jury prize for a drama went to "Sand Storm," an Israeli film that follows the struggle of women in a Bedouin village, while the audience award went to "Between Sea and Land," a Colombian movie about a man afflicted with an illness that confines him to his bed, and his mother who cares for him.

Both the audience and grand jury prizes for foreign documentary went to "Sonita," about an 18-year-old Afghan refugee illegally living in Tehran and who dreams of becoming the next Rihanna.

The Sundance Film Festival founded by actor Robert Redford is considered a showcase for independent and documentary films and festival winners often go on to receive critical acclaim and Hollywood awards season glory.

Last year, the crop of movies shown at the festival yielded "Brooklyn," which is up for three Oscars next month, including best picture and best actress for its Irish star Saoirse Ronan.

Here is a full list of prize winners from Saturday's awards:

U.S. DRAMA

Grand Jury Prize: "The Birth of a Nation"

Directing: Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan for "Swiss Army Man"

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: Chad Hartigan for "Morris from America"

Special Jury Award: "As You Are"

Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Performance: Joe Seo for "Spa Night"

Special Jury Award for Individual Performance: Melanie Lynskey in "The Intervention" and Graig Robinson in "Morris in America"

Audience Award: "The Birth of a Nation"

U.S. DOCUMENTARY

Grand Jury Prize: "Weiner"

Directing: Roger Ross Williams for "Life, Animated"

Special Jury Award for Editing: Penny Lane and Thom Stylinski for "Nuts!"

Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking: "Trapped"

Special Jury Award for Writing: "Kate Plays Christine"

Special Jury Award for Verite Filmmaking: "The Bad Kids"

Audience Award: "Jim: The James Foley Story"

WORLD CINEMA DRAMA

Grand Jury Prize: "Sand Storm"

Directing: "Belgica"

Special Jury Award for Acting: Vicky Hernandez and Manolo Cruz for "Between Sea and Land"

Award for Screenwriting: Ana Katz and Ines Bortagaray for "Mi Amiga del Parque"

Unique Vision and Design: Agnieszka Smoczynska for "The Lure"

Audience Award: "Between Sea and Land"

WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY

Grand Jury Prize: "Sonita"

Directing: Michal Marczak for "All These Sleepless Nights"

Special Jury Award for Debut Feature: Heidi Brandenburg and Mathew Orzel for "When Two Worlds Collide"

Special Jury Award for Cinematography: Pieter-Jan De Pue for "The Land of the Enlightened"

Special Jury Award for Editing: Mako Kamitsuna and John Maringouin for "We Are X"

Audience Award: "Sonita"



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Fyre Festival fiasco lives, dies on social media

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    In this day and age, the young and beautiful live and die on social media. And it’s been a sudden and ugly death for the ill-fated Fyre Festival, a multiday music, art and culture party that promised “an invitation to let loose and unplug with the likeminded” on the Bahamian island of Exuma. Source
  • Shannen Doherty's breast cancer in remission

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Shannen Doherty is in remission following a two-year battle with breast cancer. The 46-year-old former Charmed actress took to Instagram on Friday to reveal the news in an emotional post, thanking her followers for taking part in her cancer journey. Source
  • TV biopic on Whitney Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown in the works

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    A biopic about Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown’s tragic daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown is in the works. Stuck in the Middle star Joy Rovaris will play Bobbi Kristina, while singer Demetria McKinney will portray Houston. The Wire’s Hassan Johnson has been cast as Bobby Brown in the film Bobbi Kristina. Source
  • 'Orange Is the New Black' season 5 uploaded to torrent site, hacker claims

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    SAN FRANCISCO — A hacker who claimed to have stolen the upcoming season of Netflix’s hit series Orange Is The New Black, and demanded a a ransom from the streaming service, has posted it online, according to MassLive.com. Source
  • DMX checks into rehab

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    DMX has checked himself into a rehabilitation facility after cancelling a series of gigs. The rapper voluntarily entered a treatment centre in southern California on Thursday, according to TMZ.com. DMX’s manager Pat Gallo confirmed the Party Up (In Here) hitmaker was taking time off to focus on his health. Source
  • Bahamas-based Fyre Festival fizzles, promising refunds and better luck next year

    Entertainment CBC News
    In this day and age, the young and beautiful live and die on social media. In the case of the ill-fated Fyre Festival — a multiday music, art and culture party that promised "an invitation to let loose and unplug with the like-minded" on the Bahamian island of Exuma — it's been a sudden and ugly death, chronicled in real-time on YouTube and filtered through Facebook. Source
  • Fizzled Fyre Festival promises refunds but partygoers 'skeptical'

    Entertainment CBC News
    In this day and age, the young and beautiful live and die on social media. In the case of the ill-fated Fyre Festival — a multiday music, art and culture party that promised "an invitation to let loose and unplug with the like-minded" on the Bahamian island of Exuma — it's been a sudden and ugly death, chronicled in real-time on YouTube and filtered through Facebook. Source
  • DJ Khaled has 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' cameo

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Hip-hop star DJ Khaled’s movie resume has been given a big boost after reportedly landing a cameo in the forthcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming film. The All I Do Is Win hitmaker and prolific Snapchat user took to the social media site earlier this week to share footage of himself and his entourage on a “top secret” set at a store in New York City. Source
  • 13 Reasons Why: Is it 'exposing the truth' or a 'primer' on teen suicide?

    Entertainment CBC News
    It's a death scene unlike most others on television. A 17-year-old girl kills herself in a bathtub and the audience, which includes a significant young adult following, sees every moment. The Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, based on the best-selling YA novel by Jay Asher, has scored fans around the world for its raw portrayal of high school life and teen suicide. Source
  • TV biopic on Whitney Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina in the works

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    A biopic about Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown’s tragic daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown is in the works. Stuck in the Middle star Joy Rovaris will play Bobbi Kristina, while singer Demetria McKinney will portray Houston. The Wire’s Hassan Johnson has been cast as Bobby Brown in the film Bobbi Kristina. Source