Alumna Debra Granik Wins Grand Jury Prize & Screenwriting Award for “Winter’s Bone”
The 26th Sundance Film Festival presented the 2010 Jury and Audience Awards on Saturday (Jan. 30) in Park City, Utah. Four alumni for the Tisch School of the Arts-three from the Kanbar Institute of Film & Television and one from the Graduate Acting Program-were big winners when they walked away with awards. In all, there were six winning films that had alumni and students from the Tisch School attached.
The biggest winner this year at Sundance was alumna Debra Granik ‘01 (MFA, Film) who took home two of the top prizes for Winter’s Bone. Described as a gritty drama, it won both the Dramatic Competition Grand Jury prize and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award.
Winter’s Bone offers an unflinching look at an Ozark Mountain girl’s plight as the teen struggles to keep her family together while hunting down her crystal-meth-making father who skipped bail. Unless she finds him, she and her younger siblings and disabled mother will be destitute. Granik’s 2004 Sundance entry Down to the Bone, won her a dramatic directing award.
The other Tisch School of the Arts winners and their films at Sundance 2010 are:
happythankyoumoreplease - Audience Award: Dramatic to Josh Radnor ‘99 (MFA, Acting) director/writer (screenplay)/cast. The film follows six New Yorkers who juggle love, friendship, and the keenly challenging specter of adulthood.
Restrepo - Grand Jury Prize: U.S. Documentary. Nick Quested ‘93 (BFA, F&TV) is executive producer. In 2008, the filmmakers dig in with the men of Second Platoon for a year in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley, a stronghold of al Qaeda and the Taliban. It proved to be one of the U.S. Army’s deadliest challenges.
Contracorriente - World Cinema Audience Award: Dramatic. Rodrigo Guerrero ‘99 (BFA, F&TV) is producer. The film tells the story of a young Peruvian fisherman, his beautiful bride, and a scandalous secret involving a forbidden love.
Waste Land - World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary to Lucy Walker ‘98 (MFA, Film) director. Walker chronicles Brazilian artist Vik Muniz’s journey to Jardim Gramacho, the world’s largest landfill, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, where he collaborates with an eclectic band of self-designated pickers of recyclable materials, and photographs these inspiring characters as they recycle their lives and society’s garbage.
Homewrecker - Best of NEXT Award to Brad Barnes ‘05 (MFA, Film) director/writer. Also attached to the film are: Sophie Goodhart ‘03 (MFA, Film) writer; Danny Vecchione ‘09 (MFA, Film) cinematographer; Marni Zelnick ‘10 (MFA Candidate, Film) 1st asst director. (NEXT, a new category at Sundance, comprises eight American films selected for their innovative and original work in low- and no-budget filmmaking.)
The Tisch School and its Kanbar Institute marked their 17th year at the Sundance Film Festival. Over 150 “Tischies” were associated with some 50 films out of the approximately 200 being screened this year. The alumni and students involved were from Undergraduate Film & TV, Graduate Film, Drama, Graduate Acting, Design for Stage and Film, Dramatic Writing, Cinema Studies, and Performance Studies. On January 23, the School hosted Tisch@Sundance, its annual alumni reception in Park City, Utah.