This weekend marks the conclusion of the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, the fest’s second consecutive virtual offering in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. And since you can’t have a film festival without all those juicy film festival awards to pop onto posters and into the opening text of movie trailers, the (technically, still) Park City-set event also held its annual prize ceremony today.
(Reminder that, if any of the following movies sound interesting, odd, or unfamiliar, the inestimable A.A. Dowd and Katie Rife have been issuing daily dispatches from the Festival, covering many of its most interesting virtual offerings. You can catch up on their coverage of The Princess, When You Finish Saving The World, Lena Dunham’s Sharp Stick, 892, Palm Trees And Power Lines, Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul, Call Jane, After Yang, Something In The Dirt, and many more by following those links to their logical conclusions.)
Like the Golden Globes earlier this month, Sundance announced its winners via Twitter today. The roll-out began with the Festival’s short film awards, with the Short Film Grand Jury Prize going to Don Josephus Raphael Eblahan’s The Headhunter’s Daughter. Other winners in the category included If I Go Will They Miss Me (Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction) and WARSHA (Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction).
Next up: The World Cinema categories for Documentary and Drama, with Grand Jury Prizes in their respective sections going to Shaunak Sen’s All That Breathes (about two brothers who are attempting to save the Indian Black Kite from pollution and possible extinction) and Alejandro Loayza Grisi’s Utama.
Meanwhile, over in the U.S. awards, the Audience Award for Drama went to Cha Cha Real Smooth (which has already been picked up by Apple), while its Documentary counterpart went to the Russia-focused Navalny. Special Jury Awards also went out to Bradley Rust Gray’s blood (for “Uncompromising Artistic Vision”), the cast of 892, and documentaries Aftershock and Descendent.
Finally, the awards for Directing went to Jamie Duck for Palm Trees And Power Lines and Reid Davenport for I Didn’t See You There (for drama and documentary, respectively.) Christine Choy’s Tiananmen Square documentary The Exiles took home the Grand Jury Prize in its category, while Nikyatu Jusu’s supernatural thriller Nanny took home the big prize in drama. Here’s an excerpt from Dowd’s write-up of the film:
Nanny is beautifully shot by Rina Yang and well-acted, and it’s quite engrossing when focusing on the microaggressions that make Aisha’s life as an immigrant and caregiver so difficult—as in the scene where her employer, played by Michelle Monaghan, tries to draw a line of kinship between the two of them as women without acknowledging the vast chasm separating their respective privilege. As a horror movie, though, it’s generic and ineffectual, trotting out a lot of familiar smoke-and-mirrors hallucinations that aren’t half as scary as the mundane terrors the heroine faces.
You can see the full list of Sundance winners below, and check out our own thoughts on what the festival’s best films were right here.
Grand Jury Prize, U.S. Dramatic: Nanny
Audience Award, U.S. Dramatic: Cha Cha Real Smooth
Directing, U.S. Dramatic: Jamie Dack, Palm Trees And Power Lines
Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, U.S. Dramatic: K.D. Dávila, Emergency
Special Jury Award for Uncompromising Artistic Vision,U.S. Dramatic: Bradley Rust Gray, blood
Special Jury Award for Ensemble Cast, U.S. Dramatic: John Boyega, Nicole Beharie, Selenis Leyva, Connie Britton, Olivia Washington, London Covington, and Michael K Williams, 892
Grand Jury Prize, U.S. Documentary: The Exiles
Audience Award, U.S. Documentary: Navalny
Directing, U.S. Documentary: Reid Davenport, I Didn’t See You There
Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award, U.S. Documentary: Erin Casper and Jocelyne Chaput, Fire of Love
Special Jury Award for Impact for Change, U.S. Documentary: Aftershock
Special Jury Award for Impact for Creative Vision, U.S. Documentary: Descendant
Grand Jury Prize, World Cinema Dramatic: Utama
Audience Award, World Cinema Dramatic: Girl Picture
Directing Award, World Cinema Dramatic: Maryna Er Gorbach, Klondike
Special Jury Award, World Cinema Dramatic: Leonor Will Never Die
Special Jury Award for Acting for Innovative Spirit, World Cinema Dramatic: Teresa Sánchez, Dos Estaciones
Grand Jury Prize, World Cinema Documentary: All That Breathes
Audience Award, World Cinema Documentary: The Territory
Directing Award, World Cinema Documentary: A House Made Of Splinters
Special Jury Award for Documentary Craft, World Cinema Documentary: The Territory
Special Jury Award for Excellence In Verité Filmmaking, World Cinema Documentary: Midwives
NEXT Audience Award: Framing Agnes
NEXT Innovator Award: Chase Joynt, Framing Agnes
Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize: After Yang
Sundance Institute NHK Award: Hasan Hadi, The President’s Cake
Sundance Institute/Amazon Studios Producers Award for Narrative Features: Amanda Marshall, God’s Country
Sundance Institute/Amazon Studios Producers Award for Documentary Features: Su Kim, Free Chol Soo Lee
Sundance Institute/Adobe Mentorship Award for Editing Documentary: Toby Shimin