”American Splendor,” a biopic about comic book writer Harvey Pekar, and ”Capturing the Friedmans,” a documentary about a family unraveled by child molestation charges, didn’t find distributors at Sundance, but they walked away with the top prizes, the Grand Jury awards. The festival’s other big winners, taking home two prizes apiece, were the feature ”The Station Agent” and the documentary ”My Flesh and Blood.”
”Station Agent,” the story of a dwarf who befriends two misfits, has already earned strong buzz and a $1.5 million distribution deal from Miramax. Saturday, it won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for writer/director Tom McCarthy and the Audience Award. ”Flesh and Blood,” about a woman who cares for 11 special-needs kids, won the Audience Award and the Directing Award for Jonathan Karsh.
Patricia Clarkson, the ”Far From Heaven” actress who has an outside shot at a Best Supporting Actress Oscar, appeared in four Sundance movies and earned the Special Jury Prize for her work in the three that played in competition: ”Station Agent,” ”Pieces of April,” and ”All the Real Girls.” The other Special Jury Prize for performance went to drag actor Charles Busch in ”Die Mommie Die.” ”Real Girls” also earned a Special Jury Prize for Emotional Truth, as did ”What Alice Found.”
Other dramatic prizes went to director Catherine Hardwicke of ”Thirteen” (which Fox Searchlight picked up for $2 million) and cinematographer Derek Cianfrance of ”Quattro Noza.” On the documentary side, the Cinematography Award went to ”Stevie”’s Dana Kupper, Gordon Quinn, and Peter Gilbert. The Freedom of Expression Award went to ”What I Want My Words to Do to You.” Special Jury documentary prize winners were ”The Murder of Emmett Till” and ”A Certain Kind of Death.”
Presenting the awards were hosts Steve Zahn and Maggie Gyllenhaal. The ceremony aired live on cable’s Sundance channel.