After nine days, 84 feature films, and 59 short films, the Sundance juries have announced their winners, with all films screenings over Saturday and Sunday and tickets now on sale. One can check out the full list below, with Nanny, The Exiles, Cha Cha Real Smooth, and Navalny bringing home the major prizes, and see our complete coverage here.
GRAND JURY PRIZES
The U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic was presented to Nikyatu Jusu for Nanny / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Nikyatu Jusu, Producers: Nikkia Moulterie, Daniela Taplin Lundberg) — Aisha is an undocumented nanny working for a privileged couple in New York City. As she prepares for the arrival of the son she left behind in Senegal, a violent supernatural presence invades her reality, threatening the American dream she is painstakingly piecing together. Cast: Anna Diop, Michelle Monaghan, Sinqua Walls, Morgan Spector, Rose Decker, Leslie Uggams. A Stay Gold Features, Topic Studios presentation, in association with Linlay Productions of a Stay Gold Features production.
Juror Chelsea Bernard said: “For this Grand Jury Prize we celebrate a movie that flooded us with its compassionate and horrifying portrayal of a mother being separated from her child. This film cannot be contained by any one genre —it’s visually stunning, masterfully acted, impeccably designed from sound to visual effects, and the overall vision, expertly guided by Nikyatu Jusu comes together offering its audience an electrifying experience.”
The U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary was presented to Ben Klein and Violet Columbus for The Exiles / U.S.A. (Directors: Ben Klein, Violet Columbus, Producers: Maria Chiu, Ben Klein, Violet Columbus) — Documentarian Christine Choy tracks down three exiled dissidents from the Tiananmen Square massacre, in order to find closure on an abandoned film she began shooting with Renee Tajima-Peña in 1989.
Juror Joan Churchill said: “For the Grand Jury Prize, we recognize a film which is totally original, layered, philosophical and non-linear — challenging our understanding of history. For celebrating the power of documentary filmmaking and the responsibility of the filmmaker to examine the truth.”
The World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic was presented to Alejandro Loayza Grisi for Utama / Bolivia/Uruguay/France (Director and Screenwriter: Alejandro Loayza Grisi, Producers: Santiago Loayza Grisi, Federico Moreira, Marcos Loayza, Jean-Baptiste Bailly-Maitre) — In the Bolivian highlands, an elderly Quechua couple has been living the same daily life for years. When an uncommon long drought threatens their entire way of life, Virginio and his wife Sisa face the dilemma of resisting or being defeated by the environment and time itself. Cast: Jose Calcina, Luisa Quispe, Santos Choque.
Juror Mohamed Hefzy said: “An intimate and tender portrayal of a family struggling to uphold their traditional way of life and finding resilience in the face of loss, this beautifully shot first feature film brings into focus the effect of climate change on the indigenous populations of South America.”
The World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary was presented to Shaunak Sen for All That Breathes / India/U.K. (Director and Producer: Shaunak Sen, Producers: Aman Mann, Teddy Leifer) — Against the darkening backdrop of Delhi’s apocalyptic air and escalating violence, two brothers devote their lives to protect one casualty of the turbulent times: the bird known as the Black Kite.
Juror Emilie Bujès said: “This poetic film delivers an urgent political story while constructing a singular and loving portrait of protagonists resisting seemingly inevitable ecological disaster – with humorous touches punctuated by unsentimental depiction of the animal kingdom. For maintaining its suspenseful tension when portraying the interior struggles of its characters and the contradictions in spirituality and materialism they confront, we present the [World Cinema] Grand Jury Prize to All That Breathes.”
The Audience Award: U.S. Documentary, Presented by Acura was awarded to Navalny / U.S.A. (Director: Daniel Roher, Producers: Odessa Rae, Diane Becker, Melanie Miller, Shane Boris) — Shot as the story unfolded, a fly-on-the-wall documentary thriller about anti-authoritarian Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Recovering in Berlin after nearly being poisoned to death with the nerve agent Novichok, Navalny makes shocking discoveries about his assassination attempt and bravely decides to return home – whatever the consequences.
The Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic, Presented by Acura was awarded to Cha Cha Real Smooth / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Cooper Raiff, Producers: Dakota Johnson, Ro Donnelly, Erik Feig, Jessica Switch, Cooper Raiff) — A directionless college graduate embarks on a relationship with a young mom and her teenage daughter while learning the boundaries of his new bar mitzvah party-starting gig. Cast: Dakota Johnson, Cooper Raiff, Vanessa Burghardt, Evan Assante, Brad Garrett, Leslie Mann.
The Audience Award: World Cinema Dramatic was awarded to Girl Picture / Finland (Director: Alli Haapasalo, Screenwriters: Ilona Ahti, Daniela Hakulinen, Producers: Leila Lyytikäinen, Elina Pohjola) — Mimmi, Emma and Rönkkö are girls at the cusp of womanhood, trying to draw their own contours. In three consecutive Fridays two of them experience the earth moving effects of falling in love, while the third goes on a quest to find something she’s never experienced before: pleasure. Cast: Aamu Milonoff, Eleonoora Kauhanen, Linnea Leino.
The Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary was awarded to The Territory / Brazil/Denmark/United States (Director: Alex Pritz, Producers: Will N. Miller, Sigrid Dyekjær, Lizzie Gillett, Anonymous) — When a network of Brazilian farmers seizes a protected area of the Amazon rainforest, a young Indigenous leader and his mentor must fight back in defense of the land and an uncontacted group living deep within the forest.
The Audience Award: NEXT, Presented by Adobe was awarded to Framing Agnes / Canada/U.S.A. (Director: Chase Joynt, Producers: Samantha Curley, Shant Joshi, Chase Joynt) — After discovering case files from a 1950s gender clinic, a cast of transgender actors turn a talk show inside out to confront the legacy of a young trans woman forced to choose between honesty and access.
FESTIVAL FAVORITE AWARD
Selected by audience votes from the 84 features screened at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, the Festival Favorite Award was presented to Navalny / U.S.A. (Director: Daniel Roher, Producers: Odessa Rae, Diane Becker, Melanie Miller, Shane Boris) — Shot as the story unfolded, a fly-on-the-wall documentary thriller about anti-authoritarian Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Recovering in Berlin after nearly being poisoned to death with the nerve agent Novichok, Navalny makes shocking discoveries about his assassination attempt and bravely decides to return home – whatever the consequences.
JURY AWARDS FOR DIRECTING, SCREENWRITING & EDITING
The Directing Award: U.S. Documentary was presented to Reid Davenport for I Didn’t See You There / U.S.A. (Director: Reid Davenport, Producer: Keith Wilson) — Spurred by the spectacle of a circus tent that goes up outside his Oakland apartment, a disabled filmmaker launches into an unflinching meditation on freakdom, (in)visibility, and the pursuit of individual agency.
Juror Peter Nicks said, “In moments ranging from whimsical to hypnotic, this remarkable film demonstrates a singular command of cinematic form to create an immerse and authentic experience. For this captivating tableau that reminds us of the beauty of the unseen, the Directing Award goes to Reid Davenport for I Didn’t See You There.”
The Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic was presented to Jamie Dack for Palm Trees and Power Lines / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Jamie Dack, Screenwriter: Audrey Findlay, Producers: Leah Chen Baker, Jamie Dack) — Seventeen-year-old Lea spends her summer aimlessly tanning with her best friend, tiptoeing around her fragile mother, and getting stoned with a group of boys from school. This monotony is disrupted by an encounter with Tom, a man twice her age, who promises an alternative to Lea’s unsatisfying adolescent life. Cast: Lily McInerny, Jonathan Tucker, Gretchen Mol.
Juror Marielle Heller said, “Jamie Dack …directs a brave and subtle film that forces us to face something that is happening just under the surface all over the world. She expertly guided two extraordinary lead performances that ground us so deeply in the circumstances that we can’t look away. This is a situation we like to keep at arm’s length but it’s closer and more invasive than we all wish, and this film delicately walks us through how anyone’s desire for love and attention can lead you down a rabbit hole that’s impossible to escape from.”
The Directing Award: World Cinema Documentary was presented to Simon Lereng Wilmont for A House Made Of Splinters / Denmark (Director: Simon Lereng Wilmont, Producer: Monica Hellström) — In Eastern Ukraine, follow the daily life of children and staff in a special kind of home: an institution for children who have been removed from their homes while awaiting court custody decisions. Staff do their best to make the time children have there safe and supportive.
Juror Dawn Porter said, “An astonishing achievement in documentary storytelling. With sensitivity, this filmmaker immerses us in an intimate story obscured by a broad political conflict tearing at the fabric of a country. This pristine and highly emotional film embraces the children’s universe within a harsh reality.”
The Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic was presented to Maryna Er Gorbach for KLONDIKE / Ukraine/Turkey (Director and Screenwriter: Maryna Er Gorbach, Producers: Maryna Er Gorbach, Mehmet Bahadir Er, Sviatoslav BulakovskyI) — The story of a Ukrainian family living on the border of Russia – Ukraine during the start of war. Irka refuses to leave her house even as the village gets captured by armed forces. Shortly after they find themselves at the center of an air crash catastrophe on July 17, 2014. Cast: Oxana Cherkashyna, Sergey Shadrin, Oleg Scherbina, Oleg Shevchuk, Artur Aramyan, Evgenij Efremov.
Juror Andrew Haigh said: “An exhilarating piece of cinema, meticulously framed, exquisitely blocked, and beautifully performed, this is a film about the choices we make as the world is torn apart.”
The Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: U.S. Dramatic was presented to K.D. Dávila for Emergency / U.S.A. (Director: Carey Williams, Screenwriter: KD Davila, Producers: Marty Bowen, Isaac Klausner, John Fischer) — Ready for a night of partying, a group of Black and Latino college students must weigh the pros and cons of calling the police when faced with an unusual emergency. Cast: RJ Cyler, Donald Watkins, Sebastian Chacon, Sabrina Carpenter.
Juror Marielle Heller said, “We celebrate KD Davila’s wildly inventive and instantly compelling script for Emergency. From the beginning premise, we are instantly hooked and on the side of our lead characters as they try to navigate an impossible situation with hilarious and gut-wrenching results. By the end of the film, we are entirely invested in the friendship of these young men and have gone along on this funny and witty ride and come out on the other side feeling more connected to each other as human beings. Davila’s script, in Carey Williams’ extremely capable hands, takes us on a wild ride that we will never forget.”
The Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award: U.S. Documentary was presented to Erin Casper and Jocelyne Chaput for Fire Of Love / U.S.A. (Director: Sara Dosa, Producers: Shane Boris, Ina Fichman, Sara Dosa) — Intrepid scientists and lovers Katia & Maurice Krafft died in a volcanic explosion doing the very thing that brought them together: unraveling the mysteries of volcanoes by capturing the most explosive imagery ever recorded. A doomed love triangle between Katia, Maurice and volcanoes, told through their archival footage.
Juror Peter Nicks said, “For its ability to distill a wealth of immersive archival material into a powerful story of human endeavor and love, the Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award goes to Fire of Love.”
SPECIAL JURY AWARDS
A U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award: Uncompromising Artistic Vision was presented to Bradley Rust Gray for blood / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Bradley Rust Gray, Producers: David Urrutia, Bradley Rust Gray, So Yong Kim, Elika Portnoy, Alex Orlovsky, Jonathon Komack Martin) — After the death of her husband, a young woman travels to Japan where she finds solace in an old friend. But when comforting turns to affection, she realizes she must give herself permission before she can fall in love again. Cast: Carla Juri, Takashi Ueno, Gustaf Skarsgård, Futaba Okazaki, Issey Ogata.
Juror Payman Maadi said, “For a special jury award for an uncompromising artistic vision we celebrate Bradley Rust Gray for his film blood. Rust gently walks us through an authentic journey of grief that invites us to observe intimate moments of human connection. It is sometimes the small changes that leave a lasting effect on your life. Sometimes to ease your pain and find yourself, you have to leave your comfortable surroundings to find a world that will help you know yourself better.”
A U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award: Ensemble Cast was presented to John Boyega, Nicole Beharie, Selenis Leyva, Connie Britton, Olivia Washington, London Covington, and Michael K Williams for 892 / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Abi Damaris Corbin, Screenwriter: Kwame Kwei-Armah, Producers: Ashley Levinson, Salman Al-Rashid, Sam Frohman, Kevin Turen, Mackenzie Fargo) — When Brian Brown-Easley’s disability check fails to materialize from Veterans Affairs, he finds himself on the brink of homelessness and breaking his daughter’s heart. No other options, he walks into a Wells Fargo Bank and says “I’ve got a bomb.“ Cast: John Boyega, Michael Kenneth Williams, Nicole Beharie, Connie Britton, Olivia Washington, Selenis Leyva.
Juror Payman Maadi said, “For a special jury prize for an incredible ensemble of actors we celebrate 892: John Boyega, Nicole Beharie, Selenis Leyva, Connie Britton, Olivia Washington, London Covington and the legendary Michael K Williams. These actors represent the best of their craft, bringing their humanity required to tell Lance Corporal Brian Brown-Easley’s heartbreaking story to the screen.”
A U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award: Impact for Change was presented to Aftershock / / U.S.A. (Directors and Producers: Paula Eiselt, Tonya Lewis Lee) — Following the preventable deaths of their partners due to childbirth complications, two bereaved fathers galvanize activists, birth-workers and physicians to reckon with one of the most pressing American crises of our time – the U.S. maternal health crisis.
Juror Garrett Bradley said, “We would like to recognize a film which brings to light an issue both historical and ever present — which weaves together a critical and lesser known history alongside the urgency of today.”
A U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award: Creative Vision was presented to Descendant / U.S.A. (Director: Margaret Brown, Producers: Essie Chambers, Kyle Martin) — Clotilda, the last known ship carrying enslaved Africans to the United States, arrived in Alabama 40 years after African slave trading became a capital offense. It was promptly burned, and its existence denied. After a century shrouded in secrecy and speculation, descendants of the Clotilda’s survivors are reclaiming their story.
Juror Peter Nicks said, “For the Creative Vision – Special Jury Award, we would like to recognize a film which evokes, un-surfaces and reveals, in a profound direction forward. A character-driven film in pursuit of historical reconciliation, the award goes to “Descendant,” directed by Margret Brown.”
A World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award: Documentary Craft was presented to The Territory / Brazil/Denmark/United States (Director: Alex Pritz, Producers: Will N. Miller, Sigrid Dyekjær, Lizzie Gillett, Anonymous) — When a network of Brazilian farmers seizes a protected area of the Amazon rainforest, a young Indigenous leader and his mentor must fight back in defense of the land and an uncontacted group living deep within the forest.
Juror Patrick Gaspard said, “A singular achievement of cinematic craft, the film thrills with a soaring score, sound design, skillful editing and cinematography, all in support of a story that is both intimate and epic. It allows contemplation of this existential crisis from multiple perspectives.”
A World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award: Excellence In Verité Filmmaking was presented to Midwives / Myanmar (Director: Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing, Producers: Bob Moore, Ulla Lehman, Mila Aung-Thwin, Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing) — Two midwives work side-by-side in a makeshift clinic in Myanmar.
Juror Dawn Porter said, “This revealing film is a reminder of the exquisite power of cinema verité filmmaking. A surprising story of female self-determination in the face of militaristic oppression, directed with a rigor that demonstrates the resilience of filmmaker and subjects alike.”
A World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award: Innovative Spirit was presented for Leonor Will Never Die / Philippines (Director and Screenwriter: Martika Ramirez Escobar, Producers: Monster Jimenez, Mario Cornejo) — Fiction and reality blur when Leonor, a retired filmmaker, falls into a coma after a television lands on her head, compelling her to become the action hero of her unfinished screenplay. Cast: Sheila Francisco, Bong Cabrera, Rocky Salumbides, Anthony Falcon.
Juror La Frances Hui said, “Switching in-between genres, this film within a film follows an ailing screenwriter who enters her unfinished screenplay of a gangster film to experience and edit her own creation. Constantly shifting in tone, the film is a playful display of the love of cinema. Its innovative and risk-taking spirit is especially commendable.”
A World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award: Acting was presented to Teresa Sánchez for Dos Estaciones / Mexico (Director and Screenwriter: Juan Pablo González, Screenwriters: Ana Isabel Fernández, Ilana Coleman, Producers: Jamie Gonçalves, Ilana Coleman, Bruna Haddad, Makena Buchanan) — In the bucolic hills of Mexico’s Jalisco highlands, iron-willed businesswoman Maria Garcia fights the impending collapse of her tequila factory. Cast: Teresa Sánchez, Tatín Vera, Rafaela Fuentes, Manuel García-Rulfo.
Juror La Frances Hui said: “This performance is a total standout. This actress delivers the complexity of a factory owner bearing the weight of a family business under threat. Her nuanced performance embodies toughness, loneliness, a yearning for love, and an ignitable rage that brings the character fully alive and infinitely fascinating to follow.”
NEXT INNOVATOR AWARD PRESENTED BY ADOBE
The NEXT Innovator Award presented by Adobe was presented to Chase Joynt for Framing Agnes / Canada, U.S.A. (Director: Chase Joynt, Producers: Samantha Curley, Shant Joshi, Chase Joynt) — After discovering case files from a 1950s gender clinic, a cast of transgender actors turn a talk show inside out to confront the legacy of a young trans woman forced to choose between honesty and access.
Juror Joey Soloway said, “This film simply grabbed me, taking me on a ride, questioning and re-questioning what was “real”. What an inspiring, alive structure this filmmaker pulled off — holding space for his own subjective presence, compelling and brilliant performances, an actual de-centering of cisness, but mostly — reclaiming history and pumping new breath into the outlines of those we never knew.”
SHORT FILM AWARDS PRESENTED BY XRM Media
Jury prizes for short filmmaking were awarded to:
The Short Film Grand Jury Prize was awarded to The Headhunter’s Daughter / Philippines (Director and Screenwriter: Don Josephus Raphael Eblahan, Producer: Hannah Schierbeek) — Leaving her family behind, Lynn traverses the harrowing roads of the Cordilleran highlands to try her luck in the city as a country singer. Cast: Ammin Acha-ur.
Juror Blackhorse Lowe said, “We were entranced by this poetic and dream-like film, which follows its character’s intimate journey with gorgeous cinematography and direction and acting, capturing a unique sense of place.”
The Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction was awarded to Walter Thompson-Hernández for IF I GO WILL THEY MISS ME / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Walter Thompson-Hernández, Producer: Stuart McIntyre) — Lil’ Ant is obsessed with Pegasus, the Greek mythological character, since first learning about him at school in Watts, California. He begins to notice imaginary airplane people around his home, and yearns to fly with them. Cast: Anthony Harris Jr.
Juror Blackhorse Lowe said, “We were impressed by the personal vision of this drama, a meditation on the filmmaker’s neighborhood, the need to fly and mythology, with vibrant writing and performances to show us all how to take control of our own world.”
The Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction was awarded to Dania Bdeir for Warsha / France/Lebanon (Director and Screenwriter: Dania Bdeir, Producer: Coralie Dias) — A Syrian migrant working as a crane operator in Beirut volunteers to cover a shift on one of the most dangerous cranes, where he is able to find his freedom. Cast: Khansa.
Juror Penelope Barlett said, “What first appears to be an everyday story about man’s quotidian existence set against the drudgery of a hazardous workplace transforms into a stunning, joyful journey of self discovery and self expression. For its combination of jaw dropping aerial cinematography with an intense performance by the lead actor, The Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction goes to Warsha by Dania Bdeir.”
The Short Film Jury Award: Nonfiction was awarded to Samir Karahoda for Displaced / Kosovo (Director and Screenwriter: Samir Karahoda, Producer: Eroll Bilibani) — In postwar Kosovo, driven to keep their beloved sport table tennis alive, two local players wander from one obscure location to another carrying with them their club’s only possession: their tables.
Juror Penelope Barlett said, “Artfully framed and edited, with a droll sensibility that makes it almost feel like a narrative, this subtle, precise observation of a community determined to succeed and excel at their beloved sport, despite a lack of resources, or even a place to gather to play it, speaks powerfully to human resilience.”
The Short Film Jury Award: Animation was awarded to Joe Hsieh for Night Bus / Taiwan (Director and Screenwriter: Joe Hsieh, Producers: Wan Lin Lee, Joe Hsieh, Joe Chan) — On a late-night bus, a panicked scream shatters the night’s calm. A necklace is stolen, followed by a tragic and fatal road accident. The series of intriguing events that follows reveal love, hatred, and vengeance. Cast: Shu Fang Chen, Ming Hsiu Tsai, Yu Fang Lee, Shing Ming Wang, Shang Sing Guo, Pi Li Yeh.
Juror Kevin Jerome Everson said, “With its deft handling of film noir sensibilities, well rounded storytelling, suspense and deeply crafted characters this film takes us on a ride figuratively and literally.”
A Short Film Special Jury Award:Ensemble Cast was presented to Zélia Duncan, Bruna Linzmeyer, Camila Rocha, Clarissa Ribeiro, and Lorre Motta for A wild patience has taken me here / Brazil (Director and Screenwriter: Érica Sarmet, Producers: Lívia Perez, Silvia Sobral, Érica Sarmet) — Tired of loneliness, a middle aged motorcyclist goes to a lesbian party for the first time. There she meets four young queers who share their home and affections. An encounter of generations, a tribute to those who brought us here. Cast: Zélia Duncan, Bruna Linzmeyer, Camila Rocha, Clarissa Ribeiro, Lorre Motta.
Juror Kevin Jerome Everson said, “A film that exercised extreme confidence with its generational group dynamics and an amazing cast that made the story and characters feel natural, exciting and inspirational to live and learn from.”
A Short Film Special Jury Award:Screenwriting was awarded to Sara Driver for Stranger Than Rotterdam with Sara Driver / United States (Directors: Lewie Kloster, Noah Kloster, Screenwriter: Sara Driver) — In 1982, the completion of Jim Jarmusch’s sophomore film, Stranger Than Paradise, hinged on producer Sara Driver’s willingness and ability to smuggle one of the world’s rarest and most controversial films across the Atlantic Ocean.
Juror Kevin Jerome Everson said, “With its unique storytelling approach, this historical documentary tells an all-too-familiar story of fighting for independent cinema. For her screenplay and narration, The Short Film Special Jury Award for screenwriting goes to Sara Driver for Stranger Than Rotterdam with Sara Driver by Lewie and Noah Kloster.”
EARLIER SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL AWARDS
The 2022 Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize, presented to an outstanding feature film about science or technology, was presented to After Yang. The filmmakers received a $20,000 cash award from Sundance Institute with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
The Sundance Institute | Amazon Studios Producers Award for Nonfiction went to Su Kim for Free Chol Soo Lee (U.S. Documentary Competition).
The Sundance Institute | Amazon Studios Producers Award for Fiction went to Amanda MarshallGod’s Country (Premieres).
The Sundance Institute | Adobe Mentorship Award for Editing Nonfiction went to Toby Shimin, and the Sundance Institute | Adobe Mentorship Award for Editing Fiction went to Dody Dorn.
The Sundance Institute | NHK Award went to Hasan Hadi for his film The President’s Cake.