'Tijuana,' 'Unsettled' top Slamdance fest


Dylan Verrechia's "Tijauna Makes Me Happy" took home the grand jury award for best narrative feature, while Adam Hootnick's "Unsettled" picked up the grand jury award for best documentary feature at the 13th Slamdance Film Festival, which concluded Saturday in Park City, Utah.

Separately, the Slamdunk Film Festival concluded on Friday, awarding its best fictional feature prize to "The Junior Defenders" and its documentary prize to "This African Life."

At the Slamdance awards ceremony, which took place Friday, the top audience award winners were Jeremy Saulnier's "Murder Party," named best narrative feature, and "Red Without Blue," written and directed by Brooke Sebold, Benita Sills and Todd Sills, which took the prize for best documentary.

Jury awards were also given to Robin Fuller's "The Ballad of Mary Slade," best animated short; Alice Nelson's "A Map with Gaps," best documentary short; Cesar Velasco Broca's "Avant Petalos Grillados," best experimental short; and Charles Williams' "The Cow Thief," best narrative short.

Other audience award winners were Danny Bourque's "Commode Creations: The Artwork of Barney Smith," which copped the Global Audience Award for Best Anarchy Film, and JoEllen Martinson and William Scott Rees' "The Mallorys Go Black Market," which scored the Spirit of Slamdance Award.

Winners of the Writer Awards were Nancy Kissam for "Drool," best feature length screenplay; Ken Pisani for "4 Corners," best short screenplay; Marcus Clay Carmouche and Seamus Kevin Fahey for "Ghost Towns," best teleplay; Bobby Darby and Nathan Brookes for "Slaughter," best horror competition screenplay; and Adam Balsam for "Blood-Sucking Leeches and Flesh-Eating Maggots," best creative excellence award for the horror screenplay competition.

Director of photography Nikolaus Summerer earned the Kodak Vision Award for Best Cinematography for "Under the Sun."

The festival reported that attendance at the event, which runs concurrently with but separate from the Sundance Film Festival, hit approximately 20,000, a new record.

Other Slamdunk award winners include "Even Steven," which won best short film, and Brian O'Halloran, winner of best performer for "The Junior Defenders."