Associated Press
Arizona Daily Wildcat
January 26, 1998

Film Festival recognizes independent film

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) - "Slam," a gritty story of an imprisoned poet, won the top prize Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival, the nation's top showcase for movies made without studio money.

The film by director Marc Levin won the Grand Jury Prize in the festival's dramatic competition. One of the film's four screenwriters is Richard Stratton, the editor and publisher of Prison Life magazine.

Two documentaries, "The Farm" and "Frat House," shared the Grand Jury Prize in the nonfiction contest. "The Farm" examines maximum-security inmates while "Frat House" investigates hazing at college fraternities.

In voting by the festival audience, awards went to the Native American drama "Smoke Signals" and the documentary "Out of the Past," a profile of a 17-year-old student's attempt to form a gay club at a Salt Lake City high school.

Filmmakers Trophies, selected by the movie makers at the festival, honored "Smoke Signals" and the documentary "Divine Trash," a look at the making of the movie "Pink Flamingos." Directing awards went to the filmmakers of "Moment of Impact," a documentary , and the drama "Pi."

The documentary "Wild Man Blues" and the drama "2by4" took cinematography prizes.

The festival has launched some of the best-known independent movies in recent years, including "Shine," "The Full Monty," "In the Company of Men," "Hoop Dreams," "The Brothers McMullen" and "House Party." A total of 32 films competed for jury prizes in th e dramatic and documentary categories.

Other awards presented Saturday:

Freedom of Expression award: "The Decline of Western Civilization, Part III"

Waldo Salt screenwriting award: "High Art"

Special jury prize for acting: Andrea Hart, "Miss Monday"

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