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2022 Sundance Film Festival Awards Announced

Sundance Film Festival 2022 banner

The Sundance Film Festival begins the year with new undiscovered films with unique storytelling without the blockbuster budget. Despite the pandemic, the all-virtual festival managed in attracting some of the top films and upcoming directors to showcase their movies.

Here are the films in recognition:

  • S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic was given to Nikyatu Jusu for Nanny. The film is about Aisha as an undocumented nanny working for a privileged couple in New York City. As she prepares for the arrival of her son from Senegal, a violent supernatural presence invades her reality, threatening the American dream she is painstakingly piecing together.
  • S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary was awarded to Ben Klein and Violet Columbus for The Exiles. The 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-Pena in 1989.
  • World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic was given to Alejandro Loayza Grisi for Utama. 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.
  • World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary was presented to Shaunak Sen for All That Breathes. 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.

ALSO CHECK OUT: God’s Country | Julian Higgins and Shaye Ogbonna Sundance 2022 Interview [Exclusive]

  • Audience Award: U.S. Documentary was given to Navalny. The documentary unfolded as a fly-on-the-wall 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.
  • Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic was presented to Cha Cha Real Smooth. The film is about a directionless college graduate who embarked on a relationship with a young mom and her teenage daughter while learning the boundaries of his new bar mitzvah party-starting gig.
  • Audience Award: World Cinema Dramatic was awarded to Girl Picture. Mimmi, Emma, and Ronkko are girls at the cusp of womanhood, trying to draw their own contours. On 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.
  • Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary was awarded to The Territory. 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.
  • Audience Award: NEXT was given to Framing Agnes. 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.

Overall, the Festival Favorite Award was given to Navalny, which was voted by the audiences from 84 feature films.

Here are the rest of the recognitions:

  • Directing Award: U.S. Documentary: Reid Davenport for I Didn’t See You There
  • Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic: Jamie Dack for Palm Trees and Power Lines
  • World Cinema Documentary: Simon Lereng Wilmont for A House Made of Splinters
  • Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic: Maryna Er Gorback for Klondike
  • Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: U.S. Dramatic: K.D. Davila for Emergency
  • Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award: U.S. Documentary: Erin Casper and Jocelyn Chaput for Fire of Love
  • S. Dramatic Special Jury Award: Upcompromising Artistic Vision: Bradley Rust for blood
  • S. Dramatic Special Jury Award: Ensemble Cast: John Boyega, Nicole Beharie, Selenis Leyva, Connie Britton, Olivia Washington, London Covington, and Michael K. Williams for 892
  • S. Documentary Special Jury Award: Impact for Change: Aftershock
  • S. Documentary Special Jury Award: Creative Vision: Descendant
  • World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award: Documentary Craft: The Territory
  • World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award: Excellence in Verite Filmmaking: Midwives
  • World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award: Innovative Spirit: Leonor Will Never Die
  • World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award: Acting: Teresa Sanchez for Dos Estaciones
  • NEXT Innovator Award presented by Adobe: Framing Agnes
  • Short Film Grand Jury Prize: The Headhunter’s Daughter
  • Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction: If I Go Will They Miss Me
  • Short Film Jury Award: Notification: Samir Karahoda for Displaced
  • Short Film Jury Award: Animation: Joe Hsieh for Night Bus
  • Short Film Special Jury Award: Ensemble Cast: Zelia Duncan, Bruna Linzmeyer, Camila Rocha, Clarissa Ribeiro, and Lorre Motta for A wild patience has taken me here
  • Short Film Special Jury Award: Screenwriting: Sara Driver for Stranger Than Rotterdam with Sara Driver

Source: Sundance 2022

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