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2008 Sundance Film Festival Award Winners

Frozen River Wins Best Drama


2008 Sundance Film Festival Award Winners

A still from Courtney Hunt's "Frozen River"

Sony Picture Classics
Updated January 28, 2008
Frozen River won the dramatic grand jury prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Courtney Hunt's debut film tells the story of a struggling single mother (Melissa Leo) in upstate New York who teams with a Mohawk woman to smuggle people across the Canadian border. Hunt adapted the film from her own 2004 short film.

Sony Pictures Classics purchased Frozen River for under $1 million. Quentin Tarantino, a juror this year at the fest, described "a wonderful depiction of poverty in America."

Tia Lessin and Carl Deal's Trouble the Water won the documentary grand jury prize. The film about the survival of a New Orleans couple through Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath uses footage shot by one of its subjects, Kimberly Rivers Roberts.

The dramatic audience award went to Jonathan Levine's debut comedy The Wackness, which featured the much talked make-out session between Ben (Ghandi) Kingsley and Mary-Kate Olsen. The documentary audience award went to Josh Tickell's Fields of Fuel.


Complete list of Sundance 2008 Award Winners:

Grand Jury Prize: Documentary
Trouble The Water; directed by Tia Lessin and Carl Deal

Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic
Frozen River; directed by Courtney Hunt

World Cinema Jury Prize: Documentary
Man on Wire; directed by James Marsh

World Cinema Jury Prize: Dramatic
King of Ping Pong (Ping Pongkingen); directed by Jens Jonsson

Audience Award: Documentary
Fields of Fuel; directed by Josh Tickell

Audience Award: Dramatic
The Wackness; directed by Jonathan Levine

World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary
Man on Wire; directed by James Marsh

World Cinema Audience Award: Dramatic
Captain Abu Raed; directed by Amin Matalqa

Directing Award: Documentary
Nanette Burstein for American Teen

Directing Award: Dramatic
Lance Hammer for Ballast

World Cinema Directing Award: Documentary
Nino Kirtadze for Durakovo: Village of Fools (Durakovo: Le Village Des Fous)

World Cinema Directing Award: Dramatic
Anna Melikyan for Mermaid (Rusalka)

World Cinema Screenwriting Award
Samuel Benchetrit for I Always Wanted To Be A Gangster (J'ai Toujours Reve D'Etre Un Gangster)

World Cinema Documentary Editing Award
Irena Dol for The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins

Excellence in Cinematography Award: Documentary
Phillip Hunt and Steven Sebring for Patti Smith: Dream of Life

Excellence in Cinematography Award: Dramatic
Lol Crawley for Ballast

World Cinema Cinematography Award: Documentary
al Massad for Recycle

World Cinema Cinematography Award: Dramatic
Askild Vik Edvardsen for King of Pong (Ping Pongkingen)

Documentary Editing Award
Joe Bini for Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award
Alex Rivera and David Riker for Sleep Dealer

Special Jury Prizes

World Cinema Special Jury Prize: Dramatic
Blue Eyelids (Parpados Azules), directed by Ernesto Contreas

Special Jury Prize: Documentary
Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo, directed by Lisa F. Jackson

Special Jury Prize: Dramatic, The Spirit of Independence
Anywhere, U.S.A., directed by Chusy Haney-Jardine

Special Jury Prize: Dramatic, Work by an Ensemble Cast
Sam Rockwell, Anjelica Huston, Kelly MacDonald and Brad Henke for Choke

Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking
My Olympic Summer, directed by Daniel Robin Sikumi (On the Ice), directed by Andrew Okpeaha MacLean

Jury Prize in International Short Filmmaking
Soft, directed by Simon Ellis

Shorts Jury Honorable Mentions in Short Filmmaking
Aquarium, directed by Rob Meyer
August 15th, directed by Xuan Jiang
La Corona, (The Crown), directed by Amanda Micheli and Isabel Vega
Oiran Lyrics, directed by Ryosuke Ogawa
Spider, directed by Nash Edgerton
Suspension, directed by Nicolas Provost
W., directed by The Vikings

Alfred P. Sloan Prize
The Sleep Dealer; directed by Alex Rivera

Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award
Alejandro Fernandez Almendras for Huacho
Braden King for Here
Aiko Nagatsu for Apoptsis
Radu Jude for The Happiest Girl In The World

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