Sundance Film Festival Doles Out Awards

`WHAT Happened Was'' and ``Freedom on My Mind'' won the Grand Jury Prizes at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, on Jan. 29.

Tom Noonan's ``What Happened Was'' was the winner in the dramatic feature category, while ``Freedom on My Mind,'' produced and directed by Connie Field and Marilyn Mulford, was judged best documentary. The competition is this country's foremost showcase for independent filmmakers.

In its 16th year, the Sundance Film Festival is conducted by the Sundance Institute.

The 17 dramatic films and 17 documentaries selected for this year's festival were chosen from more than 350 submissions.

For many filmmakers, participation at Sundance is enough to bring worldwide recognition, but the Grand Jury Prizes carry special prestige. Previous winners include ``sex, lies and videotape,'' ``Silver Lake Life,'' and ``Children of Fate.''

``What Happened Was,'' starring filmmaker Noonan and Karen Sillas, examines dating between two coworkers. ``Freedom on My Mind'' is a powerful documentary of civil rights struggles in Mississippi in the 1960s.

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