Slamdance festival hands out 'Sparkys'

Published: Friday, Jan. 29 2010 12:20 a.m. MST

PARK CITY — A war thriller and a documentary feature about domestic terrorism were the big winners at the 2010 Slamdance Film Festival, which refers to its awards as "Sparkys."

The Grand Jury Awards for best drama and best documentary features at the festival went, respectively, to Charles-Olivier Michaud's "Snow & Ashes" and Mark Claywell's "American Jihadist."

Also winning Grand Jury Sparkys, named for the festival's beloved canine mascot, were "Seed," for best animation short, and "Prvi Dan Mira (First Day of Peace)," for best narrative short. Another narrative feature, "One Hundred Mornings," got a special jury mention, as did a documentary short, "Bout That Bout."

"The Wild Home" took home an audience-voted Sparky for best narrative feature, while "Mind of the Demon: The Larry Linklogle Story" won the Audience Award for best documentary feature; "Sugar Stick" was named the best Anarchy Online film; and the short "Mosquito" won a special Spirit of Slamdance award.

"General Orders No. 9" was the recipient of the Kodak Vision Award for best cinematography, given to director of photography Robert Persons, who also directed the documentary feature.

The festival gave out several screenwriting awards, as well as a "Most Interesting Film" award, given to Wallace Cotten's "Nothing But Everything."

Slamdance cofounder and president Peter Baxter congratulated the winners and "all of our filmmakers who have come together this week to strengthen our community.

Baxter also said the 16th edition of the event "celebrated, as always, the best in independent film and emerging talent."

The festival was created by filmmakers whose movies were snubbed by the Sundance Film Festival, and it runs in Park City concurrently with that higher-profile event.

Previous Slamdance success stories include early films by directors Christopher Nolan and Jared Hess, as well as last year's horror hit "Paranormal Activity," which was featured in 2008.

As in most years, Slamdance and its various event and activities were headquartered in the Treasure Mountain Inn on Main Street.

Slamdance's Sparkys and other awards were announced Thursday night during ceremonies at Red Banjo Pizza in Park City. The audience and jury award-winning films are to be screened in Park City on Friday.

e-mail: jeff@desnews.com

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