Fruitvale, a story about a young black man shot by police in a gritty California neighbourhood, won the top prize on Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival. The movie by the first-time writer and director Ryan Coogler won the US drama Grand Jury award and the US Drama Audience award at the end of the 11-day festival in Utah.
In the non-US categories, the winners included Pussy Riot: a Punk Prayer, a film about a feminist group in Russia whose makers used their acceptance speech to hail the group’s cause, as well as the South Korean director O Meul’s Jiseul.
Fruitvale, named after the San Francisco Bay-area neighbourhood where the action takes place, tells the real-life story of Oscar Grant, shot dead by police in the early hours of New Year’s Day 2009. The film co-stars Octavia Spencer.
The Grand Jury Prize for a US documentary went to Blood Brother, about a young American who moves to India to work with orphans infected with HIV. It also took the audience award for US documentary. Best US Drama Director went to Jill Soloway for Afternoon Delight. Zachary Heinzerling won Best Documentary Director for Cutie and the Boxer.
In the World Cinema categories, Pussy Riot: a Punk Prayer won the Special Jury Prize for a documentary. “This is an incredible honour and a great prize. Masha, Nadia and Katya started a feminist revolution that we hope continues throughout the world. Let’s make it happen,” said co-director Mike Lerner. – AFP