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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 January 2006, 13:14 GMT
Immigrant films win at Sundance
Jesse Garcia as Carlos. left, and Emily Rios as Magdalena in Quinceaera
Jesse Garcia and Emily Rios star in Quinceaera
Two films about immigrants living in the US have won the top four awards at the Sundance Film Festival.

Quinceanera and the documentary God Grew Tired of Us won both the jury and audience prizes in their categories.

The festival, in the US state of Utah, annually gives out prizes for best dramas, documentaries, directing, writing and other categories.

The Sundance Film Festival, established by actor Robert Redford, draws to a close on Sunday.

Refugee story

In past years, films from one category or the other - drama or documentary - have earned both jury and audience awards, but it is the first time films from both categories have walked away with top honours from both groups.

Quinceanera, which looks at Hispanic family culture through the eyes of teenagers living in Los Angeles, took the jury and audience best dramatic film honours.

"This is a very little film. Sundance is like a microscope. It can take something very small and make it very big, and that's what you've done for us," said co-director Wash Westmoreland as he collected the awards.

God Grew Tired of Us, a chronicle of three Sudanese refugees emigrating to the US, was named best documentary.

Robert Redford
Redford founded the Sundance festival

Director Christopher Quinn, who spent four years making the film, said he hoped it would shed more light on the plight of the Sudanese for US audiences.

Festival director Geoffrey Gilmore said: "This year we've seen a number of films that deal sensitively with the timely and complex issues of cultural assimilation and community.

"Clearly, these compelling stories along with the quality of filmmaking have resonated with audiences and jury members alike."

The documentary Iraq In Fragments picked up three prizes, more than any other film.

American director James Longley, won the awards for documentary directing and cinematography, and Longley, Billy McMillin and Fiona Otway won for best documentary editing.

French thriller 13 Tzameti won the jury prize for best world drama, and Mexico's In the Pit, about workers building a bridge, was picked by the jury for world documentary.

The international audience award for best drama went to New Zealand's No. 2, which tells of a woman's plans to bring her family together for one big celebration.

During its 25-year history, the Sundance Film Festival has showcased successes such as Reservoir Dogs, The Blair Witch Project and The Full Monty.




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