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Sundance 2009: “Push” and “We Live in Public” Take the Top Prizes

Sundance 2009: “Push” and “We Live in Public” Take the Top Prizes (photo)

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“Push,” Lee Daniels’ adaptation of performance poet Sapphire’s novel about an abused, illiterate teenager struggling to break free from her hellish homelife in Harlem, was the big winner at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, picking up both the Dramatic Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award, with star Mo’Nique earning a Special Jury Prize for Acting. Ondi Timoner’s film about dot-com golden boy Josh Harris “We Live in Public” snagged the Documentary Grand Jury Prize, while in the World category, Kim Longinotto’s “Rough Aunties” and Sebastián Silva’s “The Maid” were given awards. The complete list of awards follows:

The Grand Jury Prize: U.S. Documentary was presented to “We Live in Public,” directed by Ondi Timoner.

The Grand Jury Prize: U.S. Dramatic was presented to “Push: Based on the novel by Sapphire,” directed by Lee Daniels and written by Damien Paul.

The World Cinema Jury Prize: Documentary was presented to “Rough Aunties,” directed by Kim Longinotto.

The World Cinema Jury Prize: Dramatic was presented to “The Maid” (La Nana), directed by Sebastián Silva.

The Audience Award presented by Honda: U.S. Documentary was presented to “The Cove,” directed by Louie Psihoyos.

The Audience Award presented by Honda: U.S. Dramatic was presented to “Push: Based on the novel by Sapphire.”

The World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary was presented to “Afghan Star,” directed by Havana Marking.

The World Cinema Audience Award: Dramatic was presented to “An Education,” directed by Lone Scherfig from a screenplay by Nick Hornby.

The Directing Award: U.S. Documentary was presented to “El General” and director Natalia Almada.

The Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic was presented to “Sin Nombre,” written and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga.

The World Cinema Directing Award: Documentary was presented to “Afghan Star.”

The World Cinema Directing Award: Dramatic was presented to “Five Minutes of Heaven,” directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel from a screenplay by Guy Hibbert.

The Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award was presented to Nicholas Jasenovec and Charlyne Yi for “Paper Heart.”

The World Cinema Screenwriting Award was presented to “Five Minutes of Heaven.”

The U.S. Documentary Editing Award was presented to “Sergio,” directed by Greg Barker and edited by Karen Schmeer.

The World Cinema Documentary Editing Award was presented to “Burma VJ,” directed by Anders Østergaard and edited by Janus Billeskov Jansen and Thomas Papapetros.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.