One of the most talked about films of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival is Push: Based on the novel by Sapphire, from out director Lee Daniels. And now both the jury and audience have spoken: The film has been given three top honors at the Festival's closing awards ceremony.
The Grand Jury Prize: U.S. Dramatic was presented to Push, as was the Audience Award presented by Honda: U.S. Dramatic.
Both the jury and audience award-winners were announced at a ceremony hosted by out actor Jane Lynch in Park City, Utah. Highlights from the Awards Ceremony can be seen on the Sundance Channel, the Official Television Network of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, beginning Sunday, January 25, as well as on the official Festival website, www.sundance.org/festival
Push: Based on the novel by Sapphire tells the redemptive story of Precious Jones, a young girl in Harlem struggling to overcome tremendous obstacles and discover her own voice. The film also features Mariah Carey. A Special Jury Prize for Acting was presented to Mo'Nique for her portrayal of a mentally ill mother who both emotionally and physically imprisons her daughter in Push.
Other awards for LGBT-inclusive films include:
The Excellence in Cinematography Award: U.S. Documentary was presented to The September Issue. With unprecedented access, director R.J. Cutler, cinematographer Bob Richman and their crew shot for nine months to capture editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and her team preparing the 2007 Vogue September issue, widely accepted as the "fashion bible" for the year's trends.
A Special Jury Prize: U.S. Documentary was presented to Good Hair, directed by Jeff Stilson, in which comedian Chris Rock travels the world to examine the culture of African-American hair and hairstyles.
A Special Jury Prize for Spirit of Independence was presented to Humpday, Lynn Shelton's farcical comedy about straight male bonding gone a little too far.
"We knew this would be an historic year, given our anniversary and the inauguration," said John Cooper, Director of Programming, Sundance Film Festival. "But I have to say that adding to the excitement and experience was the selection of truly high quality films in this year's competition. We were blown away and so were audiences."
Director Lee Daniels and Push star Gabourey Sidibe appeared on a panel at the GLAAD Queer Lounge to discuss the making of the film. Check it out here: