Dear White People Wins Breakthrough Talent Award at Sundance Film Festival

Difret, Imperial Dreams and Fishing Without Nets also win.

Posted: 01/27/2014 10:15 AM EST

It was another big year for Black independent cinema at the Sundance Film Festival. One year after Fruitvale Station made its debut, Justin Simien's dramedy, Dear White People, about riots that break out at an Ivy League college after a fraternity throws an inappropriate "African-American" themed party, is poised for similar success. The film was awarded the Breakthrough Talent Award by the festival jury and was one of the most talked about films at the fest.

Difret, Imperial Dreams and Fishing Without Nets also took home prizes at this year's festival. Ethiopian film Difret, about a lawyer whose attempts to help the women and children of her country put her career at risk, won the Audience Award for World Dramatic Cinema. The film got a boost from Angelina Jolie, who came aboard as executive producer just before opening night.

Imperial Dreams, starring John Boyega and Keke Palmer, also won an Audience Award in the NEXT category, while Somalian drama Fishing Without Nets won the directing prize.

The festival's top honors, the Grand Jury prizes for Best Dramatic Feature and Best Documentary, went to Whiplash and Rich Hill, respectively.

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 (Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

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