The Sundance Film Festival was in full force between the 17th and 27th of January this year. Apart from hosting the world premiere of the new Ashton Kutcher led vehicle jOBS, the festival also had the small matter of a few awards to hand out.
Sundance has showcased some classics in the years since its birth in 1978. This year was no exception, and with jOBS taking the stage on its maiden voyage, all eyes were directed towards the much anticipated biopic. Kutcher himself has said that portraying Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs “was honestly one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever tried to do in my life.” The reception has been mixed, and with The Social Network writer Adam Sorkin announcing that he is planning his own homage to Jobs, it seems that jOBS has its work cut out for it.
Although the headlines have been monopolised by jOBS, there were also more than a few awards dished out at the ten day festival. The World Cinema Grand Jury Prize in the Dramatic category was bestowed upon Jiseul. Set against the backdrop of the 1948 Jeju massacre, the story follows the plight of 120 survivors who hid in a cave to escape the atrocities. The Documentary category winner was A River Changes Course. A subject that is close to home for first time director Kalyanee Mam, the film focuses on the effects that developmental change is having on the rural areas of her native Cambodia.
Fruitvale took the honours in the U.S Grand Jury prize for the Dramatic, with Blood Brother leading the way on the Documentary side of things. A list of all winners can be found on the official website, but this year’s festival passed rather unnoticed by many – as the largest of the independent film festivals, it has previously been the place to see such film as Reservoir Dogs, Little Miss Sunshine, Clerks and The Blair Witch Project, but this year has been a more muted affair.
The biggest piece of news to come out of the festival was the rumoured banishment of Paris Hilton by festival founder Robert Redford, with him branding her a ‘freeloader’. Now we all know that Paris will turn up to the opening of an envelope, but that’s her thing. That is, in essence, her job. If the story is to be believed, it looks as though it’s just another setback for the heiress. At least she hasn’t gone all Lohan on us. Yet.