Many notable independent filmmakers received their big break at Sundance, including Kevin Smith, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino, Todd Field, David O. Russell, Steve James, Paul Thomas Anderson, Steven Soderbergh, Darren Aronofsky, James Wan, Edward Burns, and Jim Jarmusch. The festival is also responsible for bringing wider attention to such films as Saw, Garden State, Super Troopers, The Blair Witch Project, Spanking the Monkey, Reservoir Dogs, Primer, In the Bedroom, Better Luck Tomorrow, Little Miss Sunshine, Donnie Darko, El Mariachi, Moon, Clerks, Thank You for Smoking, Sex, Lies, and Videotape, The Brothers McMullen, (500) Days of Summer, Napoleon Dynamite, Whiplash, Boyhood, and Get Out.
Three Seasons was the first in festival history to ever receive both the Grand Jury Award and Audience Award, in 1999. Later films that won both awards are: God Grew Tired of Us in 2006 (documentary category), Quinceañera in 2006 (dramatic category), Precious in 2009, Fruitvale (later retitled Fruitvale Station) in 2013, Whiplash in 2014, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl in 2015, and The Birth of a Nation in 2016.
At the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, three films went on to garner eight Oscar nominations. Manchester by the Sea took the lead in Sundance-supported films with six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. The next year, about 40 films were acquired by distributors, among them including Amazon, Netflix, Lionsgate, and Universal.
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‘A Futile and Stupid Gesture’ director David Wain and stars Thomas Lennon, Emmy Rossum, Domhnall Gleeson, and Joel McHale join The Hollywood Reporter at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival to talk about portraying Doug Kenney, Chevy Chase, and the overall story behind the creators of such iconic comedies as National Lampoon, Caddyshack, and Animal House.
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