Drake Doremus’ Like Crazy, starring Felicity Jones, Anton Yelchin and Jennifer Lawrence, was awarded the grand jury prize for U.S. dramatic film Saturday night at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival awards ceremony.
The romantic drama was the first picture bought during the fest — Paramount and Indian Paintbrush paid $4 million to release the film worldwide. Doremus wrote the script with Ben York Jones. Thank You for Smoking writer-director and jury member Jason Reitman presented the award.
The grand jury prize for U.S. documentary film was awarded to How to Die in Oregon, directed by Peter D. Richardson. Matt Groening presented the award.
Jury member Kimberly Peirce presented the U.S. dramatic directing award to Sean Durkin for Martha Marcy May Marlene, which Fox Searchlight picked up for distribution earlier that week. The directing award for U.S. documentary was awarded to Jon Foy, who made Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles.
“A few weeks ago I was just a house cleaner making his first film,” said Foy. “Who knows what can happen in life.”
Sam Levinson, the writer and director of U.S. dramatic competition film Another Happy Day, was awarded the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award by THR chief film critic Todd McCarthy. “When I introduce my film I cry, so I don’t know what the fuck’s going to happen now,” Levinson first said with a shaking voice. “Fucking Waldo Salt — Jesus Christ!”
Editors Matthew Hamachek and Marshall Curry were awarded the U.S. documentary editing prize for If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front.
McCarthy, a dramatic competition jury member, presented another special jury prize to Mike Cahill and Brit Marling for Another Earth, which Fox Searchlight had also picked up.
The excellence in cinematography award for U.S. documentary was given to Eric Strauss, Ryan Hill and Peter Hutchens of The Redemption of General Butt Naked. Jury member Tim Orr presented the U.S. dramatic cinematography award to Bradford Young, who shot Dee Rees’ Pariah. Rees called Young from the stage to break the news.
Ugly Betty star and jury member America Ferrera presented a special jury award for acting — for a performance that “crackled” — to Felicity Jones of Like Crazy. Producer Jonathan Schwartz and writer-director Drake Doremus accepted the award for the British actress, who was working in England.
Jury member Jess Search presented a special jury prize “for creating a documentary for all ages,” to BEING ELMO: A Puppeteer’s Journey from Constance Marks and co-director Philip Shane.
Ray Liotta, who starred in 2011 fest entries The Details and The Son of No One, presented the U.S. audience awards: for documentary, Buck, from Cindy Meehl took the prize, and for dramatic, Circumstance, from writer-director Maryam Keshavarz won.
The Lie writer-director Joshua Leonard presented the world cinema documentary audience award to Senna from director Asif Kapadia, while the world cinema dramatic audience award went to Alrick Brown‘s Kinyarwanda. “Thank you for helping us change the world,” Brown said of the film’s Rwandan subjects and backers.
Vera Farmiga presented the Best of NEXT audience award to to.get.her, from filmmaker Erica Dunton.
The world cinema dramatic grand jury prize was awarded to the Norwegian film Happy, Happy, from director Anne Sewitsky and screenwriter Ragnhild Tronvoll.
The world cinema dramatic directing award went to Paddy Considine for Tyrannosaur, who was also given a special jury prize along with co-star Olivia Colman. The world cinema dramatic screenwriting award went to Erez Kav-El of Restoration. “Thank you to the shuttles in Sundance,” Kav-El joked.
The world cinematography award went to Hell and Back Again director Danfung Dennis, whose picture also won the grand jury prize for world cinema documentary. “This is for the ones who didn’t come back,” Dennis said from the stage.
The world editing award was awarded to Goran Hugo Olsson and Hanna Lejonqvist from The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975, and James Marsh was given the world cinema directing award for Project Nim.
A special world cinema jury prize for documentary was awarded to the Netherlands doc Position Among the Stars, directed by Leonard Retel Helmrich, who co-wrote the movie with Hetty Naaijkens-Retel Helmrich.
After introductory remarks by host Tim Blake Nelson and festival director John Cooper — both dressed as “beautiful fuckin’ crystalline” snowflakes, in Nelson’s words — Choke writer-director Clark Gregg presented the Alfred P. Sloan award to Another Earth filmmakers Cahill and Marling.
The annual awards ceremony, traditionally taking place on the second Saturday of the fest, kicked off at 7 p.m. Park City time from the Basin Recreation Fieldhouse in Kimball Junction. Nelson — who has appeared in past Sundance films Come Early Morning, Cherish, The Good Girl and this year’s Premieres selection Flypaper — hosted the event.
Last year’s dramatic competition grand jury prize winner, Debra Granik‘s Winter’s Bone, was released by Roadside Attractions and went on to gross more than $6 million and draw four Oscar nominations, including best picture. It also won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for Granik and Anne Rosellini’s screenplay.
Also in 2010, Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington‘s Oscar-nominated Restrepo took home the U.S. documentary grand jury prize, while David Michod’s Animal Kingdom — whose Jacki Weaver is up for a supporting actress Oscar— won the world cinema dramatic prize. Audience awards went to HappyThankYouMorePlease and Waiting for “Superman.” The 2009 dramatic grand jury prize went to Precious, which won two Oscars.
Sunday marks the end of the festival’s 27th edition.