PARK CITY — A Mexican coming-of-age tale and a documentary feature about Gaza Strip conflicts were the big winners at the 2007 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 Dylan Verrechia's "Tijuana Makes Me Happy" and Adam Hootnick's "Unsettled."

Also winning Grand Jury Sparkys, named for the festival's canine mascot, were "The Ballad of Mary Slade," for best animation short; "A Map With Gaps," for best documentary short; "The Cow Thief," for best narrative short; and "Avant Petalos Grillados," best experimental short.

"Murder Party" took home an audience-voted Sparky for best narrative feature, while "Red Without Blue" won the Audience Award for best documentary feature, and the narrative short "The Mallorys Go Black Market" won a special Spirit of Slamdance award.

And "Under the Sun" was the recipient of the Kodak Vision Award for best cinematography, given to director of photography Nikolaus Summerer.

The festival also gave out several screenwriting awards. But the embattled Guerrilla Gamemaker Competition did not give out individual honors, due to the reduced number of entries.

Slamdance co-founder and director Peter Baxter congratulated the winners, saying the 13th edition of the event "had an astonishing array of narrative films, documentaries and shorts, and audiences happily found them."

The festival was created by filmmakers whose movies were snubbed by Sundance, and it runs in Park City concurrently with that higher-profile event. Selected screenings were also held at the Regency Theatres Trolley Square Mall location.

Slamdance's Sparkys and other awards were announced Friday night during ceremonies at the festival headquarters in the Treasure Mountain Inn. The audience and jury award-winning films were screened in Park City on Friday and in Salt Lake City on Saturday.


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