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The 2013 Sundance Film Festival in Retrospect

The 2013 Sundance Film Festival in Retrospect


Film festivals are indeed a great way to showcase one’s work as well as provide credence to a film made well. The Sundance Film Festival 2013, held recently, is one of the biggest in the US and was attended by some of the biggest names of Hollywood. Over 120 films were showcased in the 11-day run of this year’s festival.

Ryan Coogler’s ‘Fruitvale’ bagged the coveted American jury grand prize for dramatics and the U.S. dramatic audience award amidst a standing ovation from the crowd. This was the first time since 2009’s Precious wherein the same movie was adjudged the best both by the jury as well as the audience. The film is a dramatic depiction of the BART shooting that took place in 2009, and is also a debut for the filmmaker.

Among the showcased films, there were movies by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, David Gordon Green and Richard Linklater among other renowned as well as first-time directors Steve Hoover’s ‘Blood Brother’, which won hands down in the documentary section with both the Grand Jury Price and the Audience Award. This documentary tracks the journey of Rocky Braat, Hoover’s friend, as he works at an orphanage in India with children suffering from HIV/AIDS.

Other recognised films in the festival include A.C.O.D, a comedy directed by Stu Zicherman; and After Tiller, a documentary by Martha Shane and Lana Wilson. Jill Soloway won the prestigious ‘Directing Award: US Dramatics’ for Afternoon Delight, a movie about a woman who invites a dancer from a strip club to become her child’s nanny. Another movie that earned praise from critics and audiences alike in the festival was ‘Before Midnight’, the sequel to Before Sunrise and Before Sunset.

‘Blackfish’, a documentary film directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, was successful in making a strong case against the captivity of wild animals, while the crime drama ‘Blue Caprice’ was acclaimed to be a ‘beautifully shot, sensitively acted drama.’ Another comedy ‘Computer Chess’ by Andrew Bujalski about a weekend chess tournament between a man and machine won the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize.

Many other movies were successful in making their mark in the festival this year which include ‘Concussion’ by Stacie Passon, ‘Crystal Fairy’ by Sebastian Silva, ‘The East’ by Zal Batmanglij, ‘In a World’ by Lake Bell, ‘Jobs’ by Joshua Michael Stern, and ‘May in the Summer’ by Cherian Dabis. The 2013 Sundance Film Festival has lent a winning start to many movies and directors, making them strong contenders for the Oscars this year.

While many outstanding movies were showcased at the festival, most of them will also be among the DVD new releases at Tesco, which is certainly great news for movie enthusiasts.

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