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By Film Threat Staff | January 17, 2007

The 2007 Sundance Film Festival announced today the members of the six juries awarding prizes at Festival, which runs January 18-28, 2007 in Park City, Sundance Resort, Salt Lake City, and Ogden, Utah. The juries are made up of twenty-four individuals selected from the global film community, each of whom are bringing a broad range of experience and a unique perspective on film. The award-winners will be announced on the evening of January 27 at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony at the Park City Racquet Club.

The six juries include: U.S. Dramatic Competition— Mos Def, Catherine Hardwicke, Dawn Hudson, Pamela Martin, and Sarah Polley; U.S. Documentary Competition— Alan Berliner, Lewis Erskine, Lauren Greenfield, Julia Reichert, and Carlos Sandoval; World Dramatic Competition — Carlos Bolado, Lynne Ramsay, and U-Wei Bin Haji Saari; World Documentary Competition—Raoul Peck, Juan Carlos Rulfo, and Elizabeth Weatherford; American and International Shorts—Jared Hess, Daniela Michel, and Mark Rosenberg; and the Alfred P. Sloan Prize—Darren Aronofsky, Ann Druyan, Dr. Brian Greene, Howard Suber, and John Underkoffler.

Many of the jurists will be in attendance at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival Opening Press Conference on Wednesday, January 18th at 2:00pm at the Egyptian Theatre in Park City, UT.

“We are blessed to an enormously talented group of jurors this year, who include some of the most exceptional individuals in the independent film community both in here an abroad,” said Geoffrey Gilmore, Director of the Sundance Film Festival. “Ranging from influential directors, innovative editors, last year’s award-winners and industry leaders, these jurists truly bring a variety of experience and perspective to the table.”

The Independent Film Competition is the heart and soul of the Sundance Film Festival program. It has introduced audiences to many of the best American independent films and filmmakers of the past 23 years. American films selected to screen in the Dramatic and Documentary Competitions are eligible for a number of jury awards including: Grand Jury Prizes, Directing Awards, and Excellence in Cinematography Awards. The Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award will be presented by the Dramatic Competition Jury and the Documentary Editing Award, now in its third year, will be presented to the editor of an exceptional documentary film by the Documentary Competition Jury.

Launched in 2005, the World Cinema Competition reflects the Festival’s commitment to international film and to stimulating creative dialogue among and within cultures. The dramatic and documentary sections of the U.S. and World Cinema Competitions each present sixteen films, for a total of sixty-four films that screening in competition. The World Dramatic and Documentary Competition Juries will present a Jury Prizes in World Cinema.

The Shorts Jury will present the Jury Prizes in Short Filmmaking to American and international filmmakers as well as Honorable Mentions. Additionally, The Alfred P. Sloan Prize will be presented by its jury to acknowledge an outstanding film for the quality of its thematic presentation of science and technology. Films in both Independent and World Competitions are eligible for the Dramatic and Documentary Audience Awards.

U.S. Dramatic Competition Jury Members:
Mos Def — Regarded as one of hip-hop’s most introspective and insightful artists, Mos Def has shaped a career that transcends musical genres and artistic media. As an actor, Def has appeared in Spike Lee’s BAMBOOZLED, MONSTER’S BALL, and BROWN SUGAR, for which he received an NAACP Image Award nomination. Other films include THE ITALIAN JOB, THE WOODSMAN, JOURNEY TO THE END OF THE NIGHT, and his award-winning performance in SOMETHING THE LORD MADE.

Catherine Hardwicke — By choosing thought-provoking and controversial material, Catherine Hardwicke has secured her place as an auteur and a member of an all-too-diminutive group of female directors. Her most recent directorial efforts are the historical drama THE NATIVITY STORY and the skateboarding biopic LORDS OF DOGTOWN. Hardwicke’s feature-film directorial and screenwriting debut was the critically acclaimed film THIRTEEN, which won the Directing Award at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.

Dawn Hudson — Dawn Hudson has been the Executive Director of Film Independent (formerly IFP/Los Angeles) since 1991. Under her leadership, Film Independent has grown seven-fold, from a 900-member organization to its current membership of 6,000. In 2001, Film Independent acquired the Los Angeles Film Festival. The Los Angeles Film Festival and the 20-year-old Independent Spirit Awards remain Film Independent’s two signature events.

Pamela Martin — Pamela Martin is a feature-film editor who has many credits to her name, including LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, SAVED!, HOW TO KILL YOUR NEIGHBOR’S DOG, SLUMS OF BEVERLY HILLS, THE HOUSE OF YES, THE SUBSTANCE OF FIRE, ED’S NEXT MOVE, and SPANKING THE MONKEY, which won the Audience Award at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival.

Sarah Polley — Sarah Polley has been writing and directing in Canada for the last several years. She directed the short films THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE, DON’T THINK TWICE, and I SHOUT LOVE, which won a 2003 Genie Award for best live-action short. AWAY FROM HER, this year’s Salt Lake Opening Night Film, is her first full-length directorial effort.

U.S. Documentary Competition Jury Members:
Alan Berliner — Alan Berliner’s uncanny ability to combine experimental cinema, artistic purpose, and popular appeal in compelling film essays has made him one of America’s most acclaimed independent filmmakers. His films include WIDE AWAKE, which screened at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, THE SWEETEST SOUND, NOBODY’S BUSINESS, INTIMATE STRANGER, and THE FAMILY ALBUM.

Lewis Erskine — Lewis Erskine’s editing ear was honed by mixing sound for records and listening to 1970s Black radio, while his eye was trained by watching the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater grow. His work includes TOOTS, JONESTOWN: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF PEOPLES TEMPLE, and the TV series The American Experience.

Lauren Greenfield — Award-winning photographer Lauren Greenfield is considered a preeminent chronicler of youth culture as a result of her groundbreaking projects Girl Culture and Fast Forward. Greenfield’s first documentary film, THIN, premiered in the documentary competition at Sundance last year. Her photographs have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Time, ELLE, and American Photo.

Julia Reichert — Named by Filmmaker magazine as one of the “godmothers of American independent film”, two-time Academy Award nominee Julia Reichert is no stranger to documentaries. After an appearance at the 1984 Sundance Film Festival with SEEING RED: STORIES OF AMERICAN COMMUNISTS and several screenings on PBS, her films have made an impact throughout the independent film community.

Carlos Sandoval — Carlos Sandoval is the co-producer/director of FARMINGVILLE, which won the Special Jury Prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. His play, The Wolfman and His Wife, was part of the reading series at the Jungle Theatre in Minneapolis. He also worked on immigration and refugee affairs as a member of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations and as a program officer for the Century Foundation.

Films screening in the World Cinema Dramatic and Documentary Competition are eligible for the World Cinema Jury Prizes, as well as the World Cinema Audience Awards.

World Dramatic Competition Jury Members:
Carlos Bolado — Mexico native Carlos Bolado’s first film, BAJO CALIFORNIA EL LIMITE DEL TIEMPO, screened at 1999 Sundance Film Festival and won seven Ariels, Mexico’s highest cinematic award. He co-directed and edited the 2002 Academy nominated PROMISES, which also acquired two Emmys. His recent dramatic feature, SÓLO DIOS SABE, screened at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.

Lynne Ramsay — Glasgow native Lynne Ramsay’s short film, SMALL DEATHS, won the Jury Prize at the Cannes International Film Festival in 1996. Her other short films, KILL THE DAY and GASMAN, garnered numerous awards. Ramsay’s acclaimed debut feature, RATCATCHER, opened the Edinburgh Film Festival and won its director the 2000 BAFTA Carl Foreman Award for a newcomer in British film.

U-Wei Bin Haji Saari — Malaysia native U-Wei Bin Haji Saari’s first feature film, WOMAN, WIFE AND W***E, won five awards at the Malaysian Film Festival, including best film, director, and screenplay. His latest film, MY BEAUTIFUL RAMBUTAN TREE IN TANJUNG RAMBUTAN, was selected for the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes last year and opened the Singapore Film Festival.

World Documentary Competition Jury Members:
Raoul Peck — Raoul Peck has developed experimental works, sociopolitical documentaries, and features such as SOMETIMES IN APRIL, LUMUMBA, THE MAN ON THE SHORE, and LUMUMBA—DEATH OF A PROPHET. When democracy returned briefly to Haiti in 1995, he served as Minister of Culture for 18 months. In 2003, the Human Rights Watch awarded Peck with the Irene Diamond Lifetime Achievement Award.

Juan Carlos Rulfo — After three appearances at the Sundance Film Festival (1996, 2000 and 2006) Juan Carlos Rulfo has established himself as a cutting-edge documentarian. His most recent film, IN THE PIT, won the World Documentary Jury Prize at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.

Elizabeth Weatherford — Elizabeth Weatherford is the founding director of the Film and Video Center of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and its international Native American Film and Video Festival. She is on the advisory board of numerous film festivals and has taught classes at New York University.

The Short Film Jury will award prizes based on outstanding achievement and merit in filmmaking. These will go to American and an International Short Filmmakers for qualifying films under thirty minutes in length. The awards will be presented by Adobe Systems Incorporated.

Short Film Jury Members:
Jared Hess — Jared Hess’s first feature film, NAPOLEON DYNAMITE, debuted at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival and went on to become one of the most successful films of the year. His second feature, NACHO LIBRE, was released in 2006. He currently resides in Salt Lake City with his screenwriter and wife, Jerusha, and their two children.

Daniela Michel — In 2003, Daniela Michel became founding director of the Morelia International Film Festival. Michel has also been organizing film festivals since 1994, when she began co-directing the Mexican Short Film Forum. She has served as a juror for the Rockefeller Media Arts fellowships and the Fulbright Institute.

Mark Rosenberg — Mark Rosenberg is the founder and artistic director of Rooftop Films in Brooklyn, New York. Rooftop has shown more than 1,000 films to more than 30,000 audience members and has supported 50 emerging filmmakers through the Rooftop Filmmakers Fund and Production Collective.

The Alfred P. Sloan Prize carries a $20,000 cash award and is designed to increase the visibility of outstanding independent films on science and technology as well as to showcase the work of emerging filmmakers tackling compelling topics within these fields.

Alfred P. Sloan Prize Jury Members:
Darren Aronofsky — Darren Aronofsky won several film awards after completing his senior thesis film, SUPERMARKET SWEEP, starring Sean Gullette. He then went on to write and direct the groundbreaking films PI, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, and THE FOUNTAIN.

Ann Druyan — Amy Druyan is a writer and producer who co-created CONTACT, co-wrote the Cosmos television series, and served as creative director for NASA’s Voyager interstellar message system.

Dr. Brian Greene — Dr. Brian Greene is a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University and author of The Elegant Universe and The Fabric of the Cosmos.

Howard Suber — Howard Suber is a longtime faculty member at the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television, and one of the founders of the UCLA Film and Television Archive. He is the author of The Power of Film, where he examines the patterns and principles that make films popular and memorable.

John Underkoffler — John Underkoffler has worked as a science consultant on MINORITY REPORT, THE HULK, and AEON FLUX, and is the founder of Oblong Industries.

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