Country star Martina McBride named Kansan of the Year
Topeka - Country music star Martina McBride racked up another award this week, this time honoring her small-town Kansas roots.
McBride, who was born in Medicine Lodge and raised on a dairy farm, received the Kansan of the Year on Friday from the Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas.
McBride said she remembered her teenage scorn for the Sunflower State, where she started her first band. But growing up in Kansas, she said, "shaped the person who I am today."
After she and her husband moved to Nashville, Tenn., McBride's career in country took off. In the past 15 years, her 10 albums have sold more than 15 million copies and scored dozens of hit singles.
"We've traveled to every state in our land. Now as a 39-year-old with a much deeper and wiser attitude, I say, 'Kansas is a great place to be from,"' she said.
Films examining immigrant life honored at Sundance
Park City, Utah - Two films examining immigrant life in America, the Hispanic teen drama "Quinceanera" and the Sudanese refugee documentary "God Grew Tired of Us," won top honors Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival.
"Quinceanera," written and directed by Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer and featuring a cast loaded with newcomers and unknowns, won the festival's jury prize and the audience award for U.S. dramatic films, the latter chosen in voting by Sundance movie-goers.
Starring Emily Rios in a striking film debut as a girl ostracized by her family after she becomes pregnant shortly before her 15th birthday, "Quinceanera" offers a culture-clash portrait of Los Angeles' Echo Park area, traditionally a Hispanic neighborhood that has become a trendy enclave.
Christopher Quinn's "God Grew Tired of Us," which follows three Sudanese boys adjusting to life in the United States after the bloody civil war in their homeland, received both the jury prize and audience award for U.S. documentaries.