The World Cinema Jury Prize: Documentary went to James Marsh's UK film Man On Wire, about a high wire walker's bid to cross between New York's Twin Towers. The World Cinema Jury Prize: Dramatic was presented to Jens Jonsson's Swedish tale King Of Ping Pong (Ping Pongkingen), about a lonely sibling's struggle to fit into the world.
The Audience Award: Documentary was presented to Josh Tickell's alternative energy essay Fields Of Fuel, while Jonathan Levine's rites-of-passage drama The Wackness won the corresponding dramatic award.
The World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary also went to Man On Wire and the dramatic prize was awarded to Amin Matalqa's Jordanian title Captain Abu Raed, which centres on an ageing fabulist who regales youngsters with his tall stories.
The Directing Award: Documentary went to Nanette Burstein for her Indiana High School film American Teen, while to Lance Hammer took the dramatic prize for Ballast, which portrays a traumatised Mississippi Delta family.
The World Cinema Directing Award: Documentary went to Nino Kirtadze for the French entry Durakovo: Village Of Fools (Durakovo: Le Village Des Fous), which centres on a right-wing movement housed in a castle outside Moscow. The dramatic award went to Anna Melikyan's Russian tale Mermaid, about a naive girl whose beliefs are challenged when she travels to Moscow.
The Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for outstanding achievement in writing was presented to Alex Rivera and David Riker for their screenplay for the sci-fi tale Sleep Dealer, and the World Cinema Screenwriting Award went to Samuel Benchetrit for the French existential comedy I Always Wanted To Be A Gangster (J'ai Toujours Reve D'etre Un Gangster).
The Documentary Editing Award was presented to Joe Bini for Roman Polanski: Wanted And Desired and the corresponding world award went to Irena Dol for her work on New Zealand's The Art Star And The Sudanese Twins.
The Excellence In Cinematography Award: Documentary was presented to Phillip Hunt and Steven Sebring for Patti Smith: Dream Of Life, and the dramatic prize went to Lol Crawley for Ballast.
The World Cinema Cinematography Award: Documentary was presented to Mahmoud al Massad for Recycle and Askild Vik Edvardsen's work on the Swedish title King Of Ping Pong (Ping Pongkingen) took dramatic honours. A World Cinema Special Jury Prize: Dramatic was presented to Blue Eyelids (Parpados Azules) Mexican director Ernesto Contreras.
A Special Jury Prize: Documentary was presented to Lisa F Jackson, director of Greatest Silence: Rape In The Congo; a Special Jury Prize: Dramatic, The Spirit of Independence was presented to director Chusy Haney-Jardine for Anywhere, USA; and a Special Jury Prize: Dramatic, Work By An Ensemble Cast was presented to Sam Rockwell, Anjelica Huston, Kelly MacDonald, Brad Henke and the cast of Choke.
The 2008 Jury Prize In Short Filmmaking was awarded to two films: My Olympic Summer directed by Daniel Robin, and Sikumi (On The Ice) directed by Andrew Okpeaha MacLean.
The jury also presented the International Jury Prize in International Short Filmmaking to Simon Ellis' Soft. Honourable Mentions in Short Filmmaking were presented to: 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, and W. directed by The Vikings.
Alex Rivera's Sleep Dealer won this year's Alfred P Sloan Prize and a $20,000 cash award to 'an outstanding feature film focusing on science or technology as a theme, or depicting a scientist, engineer or mathematician as a major character.'
Earlier in the week [Jan 24] the Sundance Institute and Japanese Broadcasting Corporation NHK announced the winners of the 2008 Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Awards. Now in its 12th year, the winning film-makers and their projects for 2008 are: Alejandro Fernandez Almendras from Chile with Huacho; Braden King from the US with Here; Aiko Nagatsu from Japan with apoptosis; and Radu Jude from Romania with The Happiest Girl In The World.
Dramatic Competition jurors were Marcia Gay Harden, Mary Harron, Diego Luna, Sandra Oh and Quentin Tarantino. Documentary Competition jurors were Michelle Byrd, Heidi Ewing, Eugene Jarecki, Steven Okazaki and Annie Sundberg.
The World Dramatic Competition jury comprised Shunji Iwai (Japan), Lucrecia Martel (Argentina) and Jan Schutte (Germany) and the World Documentary Competition featured Amir Bar-Lev (US), Leena Pasanen (Finland/Denmark) and Ilda Santiago (Brazil).
The American and International Shorts jury comprised Jon Bloom, Melonie Diaz and Jason Reitman and The Alfred P. Sloan Prize jurors were Alan Alda, Michael Polish, Evan Schwartz, Benedict Schwegler and John Underkoffler.
'The festival has been incredibly fortunate this year to have esteemed, diverse jurors committed to advancing independent film, film-makers willing to take risks with their work and audiences in search of yet-to-be-discovered voices,' festival director Geoffrey Gilmore said. 'This year's award recipients, including 11 first-time feature film-makers, have taken on the world through a personal lens and audiences have responded.'