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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 January 2007, 10:33 GMT
Latin American films top Sundance
Director and screenwriter of 'Padre Nuestro', Christopher Zalla
Christopher Zalla directed the award-winning film 'Padre Nuestro'
Two Latin American dramas have scooped awards at this year's Sundance independent film festival.

Padre Nuestro (Our Father) tells the story of an illegal immigrant from Mexico seeking his father in New York and was given the Grand Jury Prize.

Manda Bala (Send A Bullet), a film portraying the violence of modern Brazilian society, also won an award.

More than 120 films have been screened during the 10-day festival which takes place in Park City, Utah.

The director of the 2007 edition of the competition, Geoffrey Gilmore, said it has been a "landmark year" for the festival.

"For so many different reasons, this work is exceptional in terms of how much of it will get into the marketplace, and the range of issues and maturity of the film-makers," he said.

Iraq focus

The director of Padre Nuestro, which won the award for best drama by a US film-maker, said the film wanted to highlight New York as a city of immigrants.

"When we filmed the movie we talked to a lot of people crossing the borders, and they were just families - families coming to feed themselves and reunite with their family," Christopher Zalla said.

Manda Bala, which examines corruption and crime in Brazil, was given the documentary jury's top honour.

An Israeli film entitled Sweet Mud which explores the relationship between a young boy and his mentally ill mother won the World Cinema prize.

The Audience Award for best drama was given to a film which portrays a father who must tell his children that their mother has been killed in Iraq.

The director of Grace is Gone, starring John Cusak, said he wanted to "show what really happened to bring us to this horrific state".

Charles Ferguson's film is one of which several influenced by the Iraq conflict at this year's Sundance festival.




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