As is the case every year, the second Saturday of the Sundance Film Festival ended in a highly anticipated awards ceremony. With acquisitions and career futures on the line, the stakes don’t get much higher. Yet, in the spirit of the Sundance Institute, the atmosphere of the festivities is far from competitive. Undoubtedly, many leave disappointed, but getting into Sundance is in itself an achievement, which sources a current of deep and mutual respect among the filmmakers. Whether an audience, or a jury for that matter, responds to a film is entirely subjective and out of the filmmaker’s control, so why not support one another? Therefore in that same spirit of Sundance, we invite you to celebrate those that took home awards for their work…and those who didn’t.
The only true guarantee in the awards for each category are the Audience Award, the Grand Jury Prize (essentially Best Picture), and the Best Direction Prize, (or in the case of NEXT, the Innovator Award). The audiences at Sundance are given ballots as they enter a theatre to rank a film “Fair, Good, Better, or Best” upon leaving. Any other “Special Grand Jury” awards are at the discretion of the jury. If they find a film has a quality worth celebrating, they create an award to honor the filmmaker responsible. Here’s how the night panned out.
WORLD CINEMA DRAMATIC COMPETITION
World Cinema Dramatic Grand Jury Prize: The Souvenir, directed by Joanna Hogg. (Acquired by 1091 Media formerly The Orchard)
World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award: Queen of Hearts, directed by May El-Toukh
World Cinema Dramatic Directing Award: The Sharks, directed by Lucia Garibaldi
World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award: Monos, directed by Alejandro Landes (Acquired by Neon)
World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Originality: We Are Little Zombies, directed by Makoto Nagahisa
World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting: Krystyna Janda, Dolce Fine Giornata
WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
World Cinema Documentary Grand Jury Prize: Honeyland, directed by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov
World Cinema Documentary Audience Award: Sea of Shadows, directed by Richard Ladkani
World Cinema Documentary Directing Award: Cold Case Hammarskjold, directed by Mads Brugger
World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for No Borders: Midnight Traveler, directed by Hassan Fazzili
World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Impact for Change: Honeyland, directed by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov
World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Cinematography: Honeyland, cinematographers Fejmi Daut and Samir Ljuma
U.S. DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
U.S. Documentary Grand Jury Prize Award: One Child Nation, directed by Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang. (Acquired by Amazon)
U.S. Documentary Audience Award: Knock Down the House, directed by Rachel Lears (Acquired by Netflix)
U.S. Documentary Directing Award: American Factory, directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert. (Acquired by Netflix)
U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Moral Urgency: Always in Season, directed by Jacqueline Olive
U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for an Emerging Filmmaker: Jawline, directed by Liza Mandelup
U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Editing: Apollo 11, edited by Todd Douglas Miller (Acquired by Neon)
U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Cinematography: Midnight Family, cinematographer Luke Lorentzen.
NEXT: The Infiltrators swept both the Innovator and the Audience Award.
U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION
U.S. Dramatic Audience Award: Brittany Runs a Marathon, directed by Paul Downs Colaizzo
U.S. Dramatic Directing Award: The Last Black Man in San Francisco, directed by Joe Talbot
U.S. Dramatic Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: Share, screenplay by Pippa Bianco
U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Vision and Craft: Honeyboy, directed by Alma Har’el
U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Creative Collaboration: The Last Black Man in San Francisco, directed by Joe Talbot.
U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Achievement in Acting: Rhianne Barreto, Share. (Acquired by HBO Films in association with A24.)
U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize Award: Clemency, directed by Chinonye Chukwu (presented by Damien Chazelle)
Curious about who decides the winners? This year’s jurors were Desiree Akhavan, Damien Chazelle, Dennis Lim, Phyllis Nagy, Tessa Thompson, Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Yance Ford, Rachel Grady, Jeff Orlowski, Alissa Wilkinson, Jane Campion, Charles Gillibert, Ciro Guerra, Maite Alberdi, Nico Marzano, Véréna Paravel, Young Jean Lee, Carter Smith, Sheila Vand, and Laurie Anderson…and of course, the over 125,000 film fanatics who attended the festival.