PADRE NUESTRO, an immigrant saga about a Mexican teen's heartbreaking search for his father in America, received the grand-jury prize for best U.S. drama at the Sundance Film Festival. Jorge Adrian Espindola portrays the youth who sneaks into the U. S., Jesus Ochoa the father, and Armando Hernandez a conniving fellow illegal immigrant.
PADRE NUESTRO (Our Father, U.S.) is Christopher Zalla's debut film, and it follows last year's QUINCEAÑERA (Fifteenth Birthday, Brazil/ U.S., 06 - also known as Echo Park), which qualified for this year's Oscars but received no nominations. This makes two years in a row that a Mexican-immigrant tale with U.S. producing credits have won top dramatic honors.
For more about PADRE NUESTRO, see the previous post, "Banderas Film Premieres at Sundance." For more of my notes about the winners, click my Film Festival Page's link on the right sidebar.
The grand-jury award in the U.S. documentary competition went to another Latin Amercian story recounting government corruption and kidnapping in Brazil, MANDA BALA (Send a Bullet, Brazil / U.S.), directed by Jason Kohn, MANDA BALA also won the documentary cinematography prize for Heloisa Passos.
From the U.S., GRACE IS GONE, a tear-jerker movie about a father (John Cusack) who takes his young daughters on a road trip to postpone breaking the news that their Army sergeant mother has been killed in Iraq, won the audience award for favorite U.S. drama. The award is chosen by balloting among Sundance movie-goers. Writer-director James C. Strouse won the Waldo Salt screenwriting award for the movie.
For a full list of winners, click (.pdf).