Docs

Sundance 2012: “House I Live In,” “Versailles” scoop prizes

Eugene Jarecki's The House I Live In (pictured) has won the Sundance 2012 Grand Jury Prize for Documentary, with Lauren Greenfield's The Queen of Versailles picking up the U.S. Directing Award for Documentary, and two docs about the ongoing Israel/Palestine conflict also winning accolades.
January 29, 2012

Eugene Jarecki’s The House I Live In (pictured) has won the Sundance 2012 Grand Jury Prize for Documentary, with Lauren Greenfield’s The Queen of Versailles picking up the U.S. Directing Award for Documentary, and two docs about the ongoing Israel/Palestine conflict also winning accolades.

The win for Jarecki constitutes his second major Sundance award, following his win in the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary category in 2005 for Why We Fight.

The World Cinema Jury Prize for Documentary went to Ra’anan Alexandrowicz’s The Law In These Parts, which looks at Israel’s military legal system.

On a related note, the World Cinema Directing Award for Documentary went to 5 Broken Cameras, an Israel/Palestine doc from Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi that looks at settlement building in the disputed territory. The win continues an awards streak that saw the film picking up two prizes at IDFA in Amsterdam last November.

The House I Live In, The Queen of Versailles and 5 Broken Cameras were all tipped back in November by realscreen as Sundance titles to watch, while House and Versailles were also tipped as hot titles by Sundance Film Festival senior programmer David Courier earlier this month.

Elsewhere, the Audience Award for U.S. Documentary went to Kirby Dick’s The Invisible War, which looks at rape in the U.S. military system. The World Cinema Award for Documentary, meanwhile, went to Malik Bendjelloul’s Searching for Sugar Man, which has been acquired by Sony Pictures Classics since its Sundance premiere.

On the editing front, the U.S. Documentary Editing Award went to Detropia, a film looking at the economic downturn in Detroit; while the World Cinema Documentary Editing Award went to Canadian doc Indie Game: The Movie, which HBO has acquired the remake rights to.

The Excellence in Cinematography Award for U.S. Documentary went to Jeff Orlowski’s Chasing Ice, which was recently picked up by Nat Geo, and the World Cinema Cinematography Award for Documentary went to Lisa Birk Pedersen’s Russia-focused doc Putin’s Kiss.

Finally, the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Prize for an Agent of Change was presented to Macky Alston’s Love Free or Die, which looks at the plight of an openly gay bishop; while the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Prize for Spirit of Defiance went to Alison Klayman’s Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, which looks at the titular Chinese artist and activist.

The World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Prize for its Celebration of the Artistic Spirit was also awarded, to Searching for Sugar Man.

Earlier in the festival, The Island President and The Tsunami and The Cherry Blossom also won awards, as previously reported.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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