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Brick & Deeper: 2011 Sundance Shorts Awards

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With such wonderfully eclectic, innovative, moving, funny, disturbing and beautifully crafted shorts to choose from, Sundance jury duty was not an easy task.

But it was an exciting and thought-provoking task, and one that I, along with fellow jurors Sara Bernstein (Vice President of HBO Documentary films) and Barry Jenkins (Director/Writer, Medicine for Melancholy) were honored to be a part of. And we had a lot of fun too. Many thanks to everyone at Sundance for allowing us to judge -- we were mesmerized by so many pictures.

So last night, with much anticipation and happiness, we took to Park City's Jupiter Bowl (and it really is a bowling alley) and ambled on stage (me, nervously so) to hand out the awards. First came the honorable mentions. The impressive, diverse group of shorts included Choke, by Michelle Latimer (Canada), Diarchy, by Ferdinand Cito Filmomarino (Italy), The External World, by David O'Reilly (Germany/Ireland), The Legend of Beaver Dam, by Jerome Sable and Eli Batalion (Canada), Out of Reach, by Jakub Stozek (Poland) and Protoparticles (shown above), by Chema Garcia Ibarra (Spain).

The Jury Prize in International Short Filmmaking went to Ariel Kleiman's Deeper Than Yesterday (Australia, in Russian), a haunting, gritty, mysterious, gorgeously crafted depiction of a lonely Russian submarine crew that was both horrifying and touching and then, something like a fairy tale. It was a film that left us in awe -- the acting, the actor's faces, the story and the absolute assuredness of big screen filmmaking. It's an unforgettable picture.

Matt Piedmont's irreverent, inventive, charmingly Mandom-esque, animated (with dolls) short, Brick Novax parts 1 and 2 nabbed the U.S. Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking, a short that we hope to see extended into a series. We yearned to know more of Brick's past adventures (from folk singer to slacks designer) and we hope Piedmont gives everyone the chance to experience one of the coolest men in the world. Never mind he's a doll.

Below is the video of the event. Congratulations to all of the filmmakers!

Read more Kim Morgan at Sunset Gun.