While films like The Birth of a Nation and Swiss Army Man have been rightfully drawing attention at Sundance Film Festival, the movie mainstay’s less foofy cousin, Slamdance, has been going on next door. The festival, which has been around since 1995, is noted for its openness to independent, low-budget films and genre pieces; among the directors who first garnered attention at Slamdance are Christopher Nolan, Marc Forster, and Jared Hess.
Today, Slamdance announced the winners of its audience and jury prizes. Some of the notable results:
- The Million Dollar Duck was the big winner of the festival, taking both the audience and jury awards for Best Documentary Feature. The Brian Golden Davis-directed film focuses on wildlife artists who compete in the Federal Duck Stamp Contest, discussing their quest to make the best duck painting and touching on the impact the contest has on nature conservation efforts. According to Deadline, Animal Planet and Lionsgate have already shelled out for the distribution rights to the film.
- Honey Buddies won the audience award for Best Narrative Feature. Alex Simmons’ film tells the story of a man dumped days before his wedding who doesn’t cancel his backpacking honeymoon: he just does the trip with his German best man. Naturally, crazy and intense things happen.
- Driftwood claimed the jury award for Best Narrative Feature. Written, directed, and shot by Paul Taylor, the dialogue-free film depicts a woman who washes up on a beach, is taken in by an older man who conditions her to be his wife, and subsequently rebels against the man.
Check out the full list of award winners at Slamdance’s website.