TOP PRIZES FOR DRAMAS, DOCUMENTARIES AT SUNDANCE
PARK CITY, UTAH — "Welcome to the Dollhouse," writer-director Todd Solondz's film about an unpopular young girl, won the top award Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival.
"Welcome to the Dollhouse" took the Grand Jury Prize, voted the best work of the 18 dramatic films in competition at the leading film festival for movies made without studio money. It's set to be released later this year by Sony Pictures Classics.
"Care of the Spitfire Grill," a movie by Lee David Zlotoff focusing on a woman trying to make a new start after prison, won the Sundance audience award. Alison Elliot plays the ex-con and Ellen Burstyn runs the grill.
In the documentary competition, "Troublesome Creek: A Midwestern" won both the Grand Jury Prize and the audience award. The movie follows an Iowa farm family (and parents of one of the filmmakers) as they try to prevent foreclosure. There were 16 documentaries in competition at the festival, which opened Jan. 18 and concluded Jan. 28.
The jury award, which includes a cash prize and is judged by five-member festival juries, has been awarded to some of the top independent films in the last decade. Last year's winners were the drama "The Brothers McMullen" and the documentary "Crumb." The audience award is voted on by festival moviegoers.
The festival's screenwriting award went to the writers of "Big Night," a story of two brothers and their failing Italian restaurant.
Sundance filmmakers selected "Girls Town," a profile of high school friends, and "Cutting Loose," a look at Mardi Gras, as the festival's top movies. "Color of a Brisk and Leaping Day" took the dramatic cinematography award, while "Cutting Loose" was the documentary cinematography winner.
"The Celluloid Closet," a documentary on the depiction of homosexuals in movies, won the freedom of expression award.
The jury also gave special recognition awards to the Muhammad Ali documentary "When We Were Kings," "Girls Town," and Lili Taylor for her performance in the drama "I Shot Andy Warhol."