January 31, 2010

'Restrepo,' 'Red Chapel' among Doc Winners at Sundance

The Red Chapel and Restrepo won the Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema and US Documentary Competitions, respectively, as the 2010 Sundance Film Festival came to a resounding close. The Red Chapel, directed by Mads Brügger follows  "a journalist with no scruples and two
Danish-Korean comedians as they travel to North Korea under the guise of a cultural exchange visit to challenge one of the world's most notorious regimes." Restropo follows directors Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington's yearlong tour of duty with the Second Platoon in one of Afghanistan's most strategically crucial-and dangerous-valleys. In presenting the award, juror Ondi Timoner  praised the film for being "raw, poetic and so fucking brave." For his part, Junger said, "If our movie can help our country understand how to move forward, we'll be incredibly honored."

From Mads Brugger's The Red Chapel.

The tragic death of editor Karen Schmeer Friday night cast a pall over the proceedings, for, in addition to having edited such films as The Fog of War, Fast, Cheap and Out of Control and The Same River Twice, she had won the Documentary Editing Award last year for Greg Barker's Sergio.  Barker, a juror this year, called her "a great editor and a great friend" and then presented this year's award to Penelope Falk for Joan Rivers-A Piece of Work.

Here's the complete list:

Grand Jury Prize: Documentary-Restropo (Dirs.: Sebatsina Junger, Tim Hetherington)

World Cinema Jury Prize: Documentary-The Red Chapel (Dir.: Mads Brügger)

Audience Award: Documentary-Waiting for Superman (Dir.: Davis Guggenheim)

World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary-Wasteland (Dir.: Lucy Walker)

Directing Award: Documentary-Smash His Camera (Dir.: Leon Gast)

Documentary Editing Award: Joan Rivers-A Piece of Work (Editor: Penelope Falk)

World Cinema Documentary Editing Award: A Film Unfinished (Editor: Joelle Alexis)

Excellence in Cinematography Awards: Documentary-The Oath (Cinematographers: Kirsten Johnson, Laura Poitras)

World Cinema Cinematography Award: Documentary-His & Hers (Cinematographers: Kate McCullough, Michael Lavelle)

World Cinema Special Jury Prize: Documentary-Enemies of the People (Dirs.: Rob Lemkin, Thet Sambath)

Special Jury Prize: Documentary-Gasland (Dir.: Josh Fox)