Winter's Bone gets Sundance honour
Winter's Bone and Restrepo have won top honours at the Sundance Film Festival.
Director Debra Granik's Winter's Bone, the story of a 17-year-old trying to uncover the fate of her father among the criminal clans of the Ozarks, earned the grand jury prize for American dramas at Sundance, Robert Redford's showcase for independent cinema.
Granik and co-writer Anne Rosellini also won the festival's Waldo Salt screenwriting award for their script, based on the novel by Daniel Woodrell.
Granik said in an interview after the awards ceremony: "I think there's something to understand that in any county, there's a story that is somewhat universal, but that it's also worthy just to note the differences and appreciate the differences among the counties that make up the 50 states, that make up, then, the larger picture."
The US documentary prize went to Restrepo, which chronicles the lives of an American platoon fighting in Afghanistan. The film was directed by journalist Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm, and photographer Tim Hetherington.
"We're in the middle of two wars," Junger said. "If our movie can help this country understand how to go forward, we would be incredibly honoured by that."
Waiting for Superman - a study of the problems at US public schools that was directed by Davis Guggenheim - earned the audience award for US documentaries.
A special jury prize was given to Sympathy for Delicious, Mark Ruffalo's directing debut, in which he co-stars with friend and screenwriter Christopher Thornton, who plays a paralyzed deejay with the power to heal others but not himself.
The US drama directing award went to Eric Mendelsohn for 3 Backyards.