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Sundance Film Festival Winners

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Would you give these Sundance winners two thumbs up?

The Sundance festival is one of the nation's most respected film festivals. Not only do critics appreciate the often groundbreaking works presented, but many films that started at Sundance have gone on to touch, delight, and enlighten general audiences on a much larger scale. Here is a recap of some of the 2013 Sundance festival's big winners.


Fruitvale was definitely one of the 2013 Sundance victors, taking home both the U.S. Grand Jury Prize and the U.S. Audience Award (drama category) — the first film to do so since Precious (2009). The film is based on the true story of a young Bay Area man named Oscar, who died at age 22 when a police officer shot him in a transit station. The story follows Oscar as he interacts with those he loves, hates, and doesn't know just before the year comes to an end. Eight people who worked on the film, including director Ryan Coogler, were alumni from the USC School of Cinematics.

Didn't catch the festival? No problem. The Weinstein Company bought rights to Fruitville, so the film should soon be showing in theaters.

Cutie and the Boxer

Cutie and the Boxer, a sweet yet probing documentary into the lives of a married couple who are both artists took home the U.S. Directing Award (documentary category). The documentary tells the story of Ushio Shinohara, famous for his "action painting" where he uses paint-covered boxing gloves to create artwork for an audience, and his wife Noriko, who married Ushio when he was 41 and she 19. Now, after decades of marriage, Noriko begins to break out of an identity that revolved for so long around her husband to pursue her own art. Directed by Zachary Heinzerling.

In a World...

Women in film had a good run at the 2013 Sundance festival, as evidenced in part by Lake Bell's success with her screenplay for In a World, which won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award (U.S. drama category). The comedy follows a vocal coach who pursues her dream to be a voice-over star, spurred in part by her father, himself an already-successful voice-over artist. In addition to writing the screenplay, Bell directed and starred in the film.

Not all Sundance winners end up making it onto a big screen across the country and beyond, but many will eventually be available on streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. Next time movie night rolls around, why not pop some popcorn and choose one of the latest Sundance winners? It just might have you shouting “Encore!”

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