26 January 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

PARK CITY -- A film with a budget "about the price of a used car," according to its director, has stunned the independent film world by winning the top prize at the Sundance Film Festival. In a less-surprising development, HBO Films continued its roll at Sundance -- where, last year, its American Splendor captured the Grand Jury Prize -- by claiming audience awards Saturday in the dramatic and documentary categories. For this year's Dramatic Grand Jury Prize, writer-helmer Shane Carruth's Primer beat out several films that had carved mountain-high profiles during the previous week -- including Zach Braff's Garden State, Nicole Kassell's The Woodsman and John Curran's We Don't Live Here Anymore, all of which star major talent and found homes with indie distributors. Carruth was nearly speechless at his own upset, thanking "the cast, who was also the crew." He remembered when the project "wasn't a Sundance film but was a bunch of guys moving furniture" at his parents' home, which he used as a location. The Dramatic Competition jury consisted of Danny Glover, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ted Hope, Frederick Elmes and Lisa Cholodenko.

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