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Sundance 2011: Romantic drama, physician-assisted suicide doc win top U.S. jury prizes

January 29, 2011 |  8:05 pm

The jury at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival has given its grand jury U.S. dramatic prize to Drake Doremus' "Like Crazy," a story of a long-distance romance starring Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones.

The prize, the festival's highest honor, is the second for the film this evening; it previously won a special jury prize for Jones.

The jury also handed the grand jury U.S. documentary prize to Peter D. Richardson's "How to Die in Oregon," a story of the first state to legalize physician-assisted suicide.

In accepting the dramatic prize, Doremus said, "This movie is about love, and love never dying and being with you for the rest of your life." Then he thanked his agent. "Oh, and Paramount Pictures -- thanks for buying the movie." (The studio  acquired rights to the film a week ago and will release it later this year.)

Matt Groening presented the grand jury documentary prize and thanked the festival for inviting him,  despite a "Simpsons" episode mocking the festival for its abundance of "Parker Posey" and "Parka poseurs."

Several minutes before, the jury handed the U.S. dramatic directing prize to Sean Durkin's cult drama "Martha Marcy May Marlene" and the U.S. documentary directing prize to Jon Foy's "Ressurrect Dead," about a series of mysterious tiles laid out in cities across the world in the 1980s.

The Ellen Barkin wedding-day comedy "Another Happy Day," won the Waldo Salt screenplay award. Writer-director Sam Levinson, in winning the prize, gave a choked-up speech that included the line, "When I introduced my film I cried, so I don't know what the ... is going to happen now." He then proceeded to cry.

--Steven Zeitchik and Mark Olsen in Park City, Utah

Photo: Drake Doremus reacts after his film "Like Crazy" wins at Sundance.  Credit: George Frey / EPA