'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

  • Movie reviews: Unpredictable space flick 'Life' ratchets up the tension

    Entertainment CTV News
    LIFE: 4 STARS Best selling romance writer Jude Deveraux declares that there are no new stories, just interesting, inventive ways of taking the journey with characters. “In romances,” she says, “the characters are going to fall in love with each other; you know that when you see the syrupy cover. Source
  • Netflix/Marvel's 'Iron Fist' derided by both viewers and critics

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- If your web connection seems sluggish while you're watching "Iron Fist," don't blame your internet provider. The problem is the listless pace of this new Netflix series. But such languor isn't the only failing of this latest offering from the Marvel factory, judging from critical pans and fan unrest since the 13-episode season was unveiled last week. Source
  • 'Hidden Figures' author wins literary award for promoting diversity

    Entertainment CTV News
    CLEVELAND - An author whose book was the basis for the Oscar-nominated movie "Hidden Figures" has won an award for writing literature that promotes diversity and confronts racism. Margot Lee Shetterly's book and the namesake movie are about the contributions of a team of black women mathematicians to the NASA space program. Source
  • Donald Trump tried to date Emma Thompson

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Emma Thompson was once a favourite of President Donald Trump. The actress, who has been married to actor Greg Wise since 2003, has revealed the future leader of the free world once tried to charm her into going on a date with him, while she was filming 1998 movie Primary Colors. Source
  • Amy Schumer bails on Barbie

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Amy Schumer has dropped out of the Barbie movie. The actress/comedian signed on to play the woman who inspired Mattel’s popular doll for Sony, but scheduling conflicts have forced her to bow out. “Sadly, I’m no longer able to commit to Barbie due to scheduling conflicts,” Schumer said in a statement released on Thursday. Source
  • 'Qapla'!': Timmins, Ont. Klingons raise their flag at city hall to celebrate 50th anniversary

    Entertainment CBC News
    There's a flag flying in front of the city hall in Timmins, Ont. — but it's not one that usually adorns municipal buildings. On earth. The raising of the Klingon Empire flag in northern Ontario this week doesn't mean the battle-hungry alien race of warriors, made popular in the Star Trek television franchise, has conquered the region. Source
  • 'Life' review: Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds' space horror a real treat for the audience

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    The film "Life" is a test-tube baby, born from a blend of old-school monster-movie DNA and state-of-the-art digital effects. At times silly - yet surprisingly satisfying - this tale of sci-fi suspense and horror, set in the weightless environment of the International Space Station, gives Emmanuel Lubezki's vertiginous "Gravity" cinematography a run for its money, with dizzyingly deft camera choreography and long, unbroken takes shot by Seamus McGarvey ("Nocturnal Animals," "The Avengers") that…
  • Feds promise more money for arts, culture in budget but with few details

    Entertainment CBC News
    The Liberal government promised more funding for arts and culture in Wednesday's budget, but offered few concrete details as to what the money will be spent on. The budget promised an extra $1.8 billion for culture and recreation over the next decade, starting next year. Source
  • There are few details but here's what the federal budget means for the arts

    Entertainment CBC News
    The Liberal government promised more funding for arts and culture in Wednesday's budget, but offered few concrete details as to what the money will be spent on. The budget promised an extra $1.8 billion for culture and recreation over the next decade, starting next year. Source
  • Russia, Ukraine at odds over singer's Eurovision performance

    Entertainment CTV News
    GENEVA -- Eurovision song contest organizers say they have taken the unprecedented step of offering to let Russia's contestant perform via satellite after authorities in host Ukraine banned her from entering the country -- a proposal that was immediately rejected by a Russian state broadcaster. Source