Girlfight - the story of a teenage girl boxer - and You Can Count On Me - about a brother and sister whose parents died when they were kids - tied for the Grand Jury Prize in the dramatic competition section of the Sundance Film Festival this year.
Girlfight, directed by Karyn Kusama, was one of the festival's most popular titles and was acquired for distribution earlier in the week by Screen Gems (for the US and UK) and United Artists Films (for all other territories). Kusama also won the Directing Award for the film at the Sundance Awards Night on Saturday.
You Can Count On Me, produced by Hart Sharp Entertainment and The Shooting Gallery, has yet to complete a domestic distribution deal, although there are offers on the table. The Shooting Gallery could, in any event, distribute the film itself through its domestic theatrical distribution deal with Universal Pictures, and has international sales rights. You Can Count On Me's director Kenneth Lonergan also won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award.
Long Night's Journey Into Day, directed by Frances Reid and Deborah Hoffman, won the Grand Jury Prize in the documentary section. The film is a gruelling portrait of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), formed to investigate the crimes of Apartheid.
But it was Dark Days, by British film-maker Marc Singer, which dominated the documentary section with three awards - the Audience Award, the Excellence in Cinematography Award and the Freedom Of Expression Award (for a film which educates the public on issues of social or political concern). Dark Days highlights a homeless community living in the underground railway tunnels of New York City.
Nigel Cole's Saving Grace took the World Cinema Audience Award, ending a triumphant week for the UK comedy which Fine Line Features acquired domestic rights to for $4m. Portman Entertainment and Sky Pictures co-produced the picture.
Unusually the Audience Award for US cinema went to an entry from American Spectrum - Raymond DeFelitta's Two Family House, worldwide rights to which were acquired this week by Lions Gate Entertainment.
The dramatic competition jury which included producer Lawrence Bender, actress Patricia Clarkson, director Kevin Smith and film critic Janet Maslin also bestowed two special jury prizes for outstanding performance - one to the cast of Maggie Greenwald's Songcatcher (Janet McTeer, Aidan Quinn, Pat Carroll, Jane Adams, Gregory Cook and Iris Dement) and one to Donal Logue who played the lead role in comedy The Tao Of Steve.
SUNDANCE 2000 PRIZE LIST
Grand Jury Prize (Dramatic Competition):
Girlfight (director: Karyn Kusama)
You Can Count On Me (director: Kenneth Lonergan)
Grand Jury Prize (Documentary Competition):
Long Night's Journey Into Day (directors: Frances Reid & Deborah Hoffman)
Audience Award (Dramatic Competition or American Spectrum):
Two Family House (director: Raymond DeFelitta)
Audience Award (Documentary Competition):
Dark Days (director: Marc Singer)
Audience Award (World Cinema):
Saving Grace (director: Nigel Cole)
Directing Award (Dramatic Competition):
Karyn Kusama (Girlfight)
Directing Award (Documentary Competition):
Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman (Paragraph 175)
Excellence In Cinematography (Dramatic Competition):
Tom Krueger (Committed)
Excellence In Cinematography (Documentary Competition):
Andrew Young (Americanos: Latino Life In The United States)
Freedom Of Expression Award (Documentary only):
Dark Days (director: Marc Singer)
Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award:
Kenneth Lonergan (You Can Count On Me)
Special Jury Prize for Outstanding Ensemble Performance (Dramatic Competition jury):
Janet McTeer, Aidan Quinn, Pat Carroll, Jane Adams, Gregory Cook & Iris Dement (Songcatcher)
Special Jury Prize for Outstanding Performance (Dramatic Competition jury):
Donal Logue (The Tao Of Steve)
Special Jury Prize For Artistic Achievement (Documentary competition jury):
The Ballad Of Ramblin' Jack (director: Aiyana Elliott)
Special Jury Prize For Writing (Documentary competition jury):
Daniel McCabe, Paul Stekler & Steve Fayer, George Wallace (Settin' The Woods On Fire)
Jury Prize in Latin American Cinema (tied):
Herod's Law (director: Luis Estrada)
No One Writes To The Colonel (director: Arturo Ripstein)
Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking:
Five Feet High And Rising (director: Peter Sollett)