Winners of the 1980s and 1990s
The 1980s saw the first list of Sundance Film Festival award winners. In 1982, the film Circle of Power received the Grand Jury Prize, which is the highest honor given. The year 1985 saw an increase in Special Jury Prizes, which included the films Almost You, The Killing Floor, Stranger Than Paradise, America and Lewis Hine, In Heaven There is No Beer and Streetwise.
Blood Simple won the Grand Jury Prize for a Dramatic Film and it was the directorial debut of Joel and Ethan Coen. Joel and Ethan Coen are famous for directing various award winning films, including the Academy Award winner No Country for Old Men. Blood Simple was listed #98 in AFI's 100 Years, 100 Thrills. This film was also listed #73 in Bravo TV's 100 Scariest Movie Moments.
In 1990, Houseparty was awarded the Filmmakers Trophy for a Dramatic Film and Metamorphosis won the Filmmakers Trophy for a Documentary film. Metamorphosis was a story about the transformation from man into woman. Houseparty also received the Excellence in Cinematography Award. Houseparty was popular among young people in the 90's. In the 1990s, audience members also had the opportunity to give awards to their favorite films, such as Longtime Companion and Berkeley in the Sixties.
In 1991, the Grand Jury Prize for a Dramatic Film went to Poison and in 1992 the same award went to In the Soup. Poison was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards; one for Best Director and one for Best First Feature. Seymour Cassel was awarded the Special Jury Recognition for his performance in In The Soup.