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Last Sunday, as snow was falling in the Triangle, Jim Haverkamp and Brett Ingram sent an e-mail to their friends and fans with some delightful news from Park City, Utah. On Friday, Jan. 23, Monster Road, their documentary about underground animator Bruce Bickford, took the jury prize at the Slamdance Film Festival for best documentary.

"We were completely stunned," co-producer Haverkamp said Monday night in a telephone interview. "Neither of us had even taken our coats off. We didn't think we had a chance." And, no, Haverkamp said, neither he nor the film's director, Ingram, had a speech prepared.

It was a particularly propitious year to make a splash at Park City--where the more famous Sundance film festival was running concurrently--for the headlines throughout the ten-day extravaganza concerned the hotness of documentaries. Everyone, it seemed, was looking for the next Capturing the Friedmans or Spellbound. A couple of international distributors approached Haverkamp and Ingram, and representatives from other film festivals recruited the film, as well.

Next week, we'll have a full, first-hand report from the co-producers in the Independent.

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