‘Fruitvale,’ ‘Blood Brother’ Win Big At Sundance Awards

While most were tuned into last night’s Screen Actor Guild awards, indie fans were all atwitter over the Sundance Film Festival awards.

The dramatic film Fruitvale and the documentary Blood Brother won over audiences and Sundance Film Festival judges. Both films won Audience Awards and Grand Jury prizes Saturday at the Sundance Awards.

Fruitvale is based on the true story of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old Oakland native who was shot and killed in a public transit station in his hometown. First-time filmmaker Ryan Coogler wrote and directed the dramatic narrative, which stars Chronicle star Michael B. Jordan in the lead role.

“This project was about humanity, about human beings and how we treat each other,” the 26-year-old director said as he accepted the final prize of the night. “To get this award means that it had a profound impact on the audience that saw it, on the people that were responsible for picking it up. And this goes back to my home, to the Bay Area, where Oscar Grant lived, breathed, slept, loved, fought, had fun, and survived for 22 years.”

Blood Brother, which won Best U.S. Documentary, and follows a young American named Rocky Braat who moved to India to work with orphans infected with HIV. “This means so much to so many kids,” director Steve Hoover said as he accepted the award.

Other winners at the ceremony hosted by actor-director Joseph Gordon-Levitt included Lake Bell, who accepted the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for her directorial debut, In A World, and Jill Soloway, who won the directing award for her feature debut, Afternoon Delight.

Props: Yahoo!