And the Sundance award goes to...


When Sundance winds down, there is a big awards ceremony to honor the hard work of the independent filmmakers who participated.

The big winner of the night was Beasts of a Southern Wild (Director: Benh Zeitlin) which took home the Dramatic Grand Jury Prize as well as the Excellence in Cinematography Prize in the U.S. Dramatic category. Word is that the little 8-year old who stars in the film can tear up the dance floor.

The Documentary Grand Jury Prize went to The House I Live In (Director: Eugene Jarecki).

Films that garnered two prizes include The Surrogate, directed/written by Ben Lewin (U.S. Dramatic Audience Prize and U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Prize for Ensemble Acting), and the anticipated documentary Searching for Sugarman, directed by Malik Bendjelloul (Documentary World Cinema Audience Prize and the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Prize for its Celebration of the Artistic Spirit).

The U.S. Directing Awards went to Lauren Greenfield for The Queen of Versailles (Documentary) and Ava DuVernay for Middle of Nowhere (Dramatic). 5 Broken Cameras directors Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi and Teddy Bear writer/director Mads Matthiesen took home the World Cinema Directing Awards for the Documentary and Dramatic categories, respectively.

Let's not forget about the writers behind the stories. The Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award went to Derek Connolly's Safety Not Guaranteed (Director: Colin Trevorrow) while the World Cinema Screenwriting Award was given to Marialy Rivas, Camila Gutiérrez, Pedro Peirano, and Sebastián Sepúlveda for Young & Wild (Director: Marialy Rivas).

The World Cinema Jury Prizes went to The Law in These Parts (Director: Ra'anan Alexandrowicz) for the Documentary category and Violeta Went to Heaven (Violeta se Fue a Los Cielos) (Director: Andrés Wood) for the Dramatic category.

As we know, movies would not be anything without an audience. The U.S. Documentary Audience Award went to The Invisible War (Director: Kirby Dick). Valley of Saints (Director/Writer: Musa Syeed) won the Dramatic World Cinema Audience Award. The Best of NEXT <=> Audience Award was awarded to Sleepwalk With Me (Director: Mike Birbiglia).

Here are the rest of the Sundance Film Festival awards given out on Saturday night. U.S. Documentary Editing Award DETROPIA (Directors: Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady)

World Cinema Documentary Editing Award Indie Game: The Movie (Directors: Lisanne Pajot, James Swirsky)

Excellence in Cinematography Award: U.S. Documentary Chasing Ice (Director: Jeff Orlowski)

World Cinema Cinematography Award: Documentary Putin's Kiss (Director: Lise Birk Pedersen)

World Cinema Cinematography Award: Dramatic My Brother the Devil (Director/screenwriter: Sally El Hosaini)

U.S. Documentary Special Jury Prize for an Agent of Change Love Free or Die (Director: Macky Alston) U.S. Documentary Special Jury Prize for Spirit of Defiance Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (Director: Alison Klayman)

U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Prize for Excellence in Independent Film ProducingSmashed (Director: James Ponsoldt, Screenwriters: Susan Burke, James Ponsoldt) • Nobody Walks (Director: Ry Russo-Young, Screenwriters: Lena Dunham, Ry Russo-Young)

World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Prize for Artistic Vision Can (Director/screenwriter: Rasit Celikezer)

Short Film Audience Award The Debutante Hunters (Director: Maria White)

If you want to see more information on these films, visit the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Awards webpage.

Did you see any of these films at Sundance? If so, let us know what you thought of them!