This year the awards went to:
The Grand Jury Prize winner for U.S. Dramatic films , *Frozen River, centers on a woman in upstate New York struggling to provide food for her kids - until she is drawn into a smuggling ring carrying illegal immigrants from Canada through the Mohawk Indian reservation. The Grand Jury Prize for U.S. documentaries, Trouble the Water, focuses on Kimberly Rivers Roberts and Scott Roberts, a couple from New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward during Hurricane Katrina - and features footage shot by Kimberly on her camcorder as the floodwaters forced the family to seek refuge in the attic. I heard Kenneth Turan speak on both of these films. He says the mere description of plot doesn’t do either justice. Both were powerful films that are worth waiting to see in your local theaters!
In the World Cinema: Documentary category, the top honors from both the Jury and the audience were presented to Man on Wire, which chronicles French artist Philippe Petit's daring dance on a wire suspended between New York's Twin Towers and his subsequent arrest for what would become known as “the artistic crime of the century”.
Audience awards went to the documentary, Fields of Fuel about America's addiction to oil, and the drama *The Wackness about a teen drug dealer.
A Special Jury Prize was awarded to *Choke for Work by an Ensemble Cast (Sam Rockwell, Anjelica Huston, Kelly MacDonald, Brad Henke). The film is an adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's (Fight Club) novel by the same name.
(* means the film has a distribution deal. Hopefully they all will get distribution now that they have won awards at Sundance!)