PARK CITY, UT (CBS SF/AP) – The dramatic film “Fruitvale” and the documentary “Blood Brother” won over audiences and Sundance Film Festival judges. Both American films won audience awards and grand jury prizes Saturday at the Sundance Awards.
“Fruitvale” is based on the story of Oscar Grant, who was 22 years old when he was shot and killed at a BART Station in Oakland. First-time filmmaker Ryan Coogler wrote and directed the dramatic narrative.
“This project was about humanity, about human beings and how we treat each other; how we treat the people that we love the most, and how we treat the people that we don’t know,” the 26-year-old said as he accepted the final prize of the night. “To get this award means that it had a profound impact on the audience that saw it, on the people that were responsible for picking it up. And this goes back to my home, to the Bay Area, where Oscar Grant lived, breathed, slept, loved, fought, had fun, and survived for 22 years.”
Fox Searchlight founder and Sundance juror Tom Rothman said “Fruitvale” was recognized for “its skillful realization, its devastating emotional impact and its moral and social urgency – and for anyone out there who thinks for one second that movies don’t matter and can’t make a difference in the world.
“This will not be the last time you guys walk to a podium,” he added.
The U.S. documentary winner, “Blood Brother” follows a young American, Rocky Braat, who moved to India to work with orphans infected with HIV.
“This means so much to so many kids,” director Steve Hoover said as he accepted the award.
The Cambodian film “A River Changes Course” won the grand jury prize for international documentary, and a narrative film from South Korea, “Jiseul,” claimed the grand jury prize for dramatic world cinema.
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