Scroll To Top
Arts & Entertainment

Quinceañera wins top two drama prizes at

Quinceañera wins top two drama prizes at

The Sundance Film Festival drew to a close on Sunday after giving its top honors to two movies, Quinceanera and God Grew Tired of Us, that peered inside multiethnic U.S. communities and world culture. Quinceanera, which looks at Hispanic traditions in a Los Angeles community, and God Grew Tired of Us, about three Sudanese refugees in the United States, won the best drama and documentary awards, respectively, from both Sundance juries and audiences, marking the first time that has ever occurred. Another documentary, Iraq in Fragments, earned three Sundance prizes--more than any other film--by giving audiences a picture of the Iraq war from the points of view of people living in three disparate regions of that country.

Sundance is the top gathering for independent movies in the United States, and in the past U.S. filmmakers there focused mainly on their country and allowed international writers and directors to look at the world. But that changed this year. "I think the U.S. was so insular in the 1990s, and I don't know if it was 9/11, but there was something that opened it up," festival director Geoffrey Gilmore told Reuters."There's filmmakers here, almost every single one of them, who are thinking about [the world] when they work, and we saw it throughout the festival," Gilmore added.

Sundance also serves as a launchpad for many movies that will make the rounds of art-house cinemas in 2006 and, as a result, is closely watched for its influence on U.S. culture. "I thought Africa, by and large, had been forgotten. At least, I got that sense living in America," said God Grew Tired director Christopher Quinn. God Grew Tired of Us tells of Sudanese boys who were taken from their homes in a civil war and marched across a desert to refugee camps. Director Quinn documents them forming a community, and he shows three of them emigrating to the U.S. and blending their culture into life in America.

Quinceanera offers insight into Hispanic families through the eyes of teenagers living in Los Angeles, and gay directors Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer (The Fluffer) said they hoped the movie could shed light on Hispanic traditions that are dying in modern U.S. cities.

James Longley won Sundance awards for directing and cinematography for Iraq In Fragments, and he, Billy McMillin, and Fiona Otway won for best documentary editing. "[Iraq] is an important subject that needs to be more detailed and appreciated, and if the movie can help a little to illuminate that, then I'll be happy," Longley told Reuters.

Last year, Sundance organizers began giving out awards for internationally made movies too, and in that arena, French neo-noir thriller 13 (Tzameti), won the jury prize for best world drama, and Mexico's In the Pit, about workers building a bridge, was picked by the jury for world documentary. The international audience award for best drama went to New Zealand's No. 2, which tells of a woman's plans to bring her family together for one big celebration. Best documentary went to the immigration tale De Nadie (About Nobody) from Mexico.

The Sundance award for best dramatic film directing went to Dito Montiel for A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, in which a man looks back on his youth. The prize for dramatic film cinematography was won by Tom Richmond for Right at Your Door, about mass hysteria after a dirty bomb explodes. The screenwriting honor went to Hilary Brougher for Stephanie Daley, about two women dealing with grief. (Bob Tourtellotte, additional reporting by Jane Clark, Reuters)

Advocate Channel - Out100 StreamAdvocate Magazine - Gio Benitez

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Outtraveler Staff