Fruitvale Gets Top Honors at 2013 Sundance

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As the Sundance Film Festival clears out for another year, /Film has reported the major award-winners of the 2013 fest.

This year, the big contender was director/writer Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale, which picked up both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Awards in the U.S. Dramatic Competition. The film tells the story of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old Oakland man who spends the last day of 2008 interacting with friends, family and enemies alike. Based on a tragic true story, a preface informs the audience that these will be Oscar’s final moments and that he will be shot and killed by an overzealous police officer on New Year’s Day.

The film stars Michael B. Jordan (of Chronicle and Friday Night Lights fame) and last year’s Oscar winner Octavia Spencer (The Help).

Acting awards went to Miles Teller (Rabbit Hole) and Shailene Woodley(The Descendants) in the much buzzed-about The Spectacular Now. A teen drama about a troubled young boy whose newfound romance encourages him to make peace with the demons in his life, the film is directed by James Ponsoldt, whose previous film Smashed received excellent marks at last year’s fest, and written by the team behind (500) Days of Summer. According to reports, there was a heated bidding war surrounding the film, which was eventually acquired by new company A24, who managed to outbid the Weinstein Co.

In the documentary realm, The U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary and Audience Award went to Blood Brother, the story of a world-weary tourist who travels to India and decides to stay with a group of HIV-afflicted children. What happens from there changes his life forever.

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