Awards for 2016

Grand Jury Prize

Documentary

WINNER

Weiner: Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg
"A fast paced verite film that unfolds like a modern Shakespearean tragedy."

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World Cinema - Documentary

WINNER

Sonita: Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami
"This film really engaged us on emotional level. It made us laugh. It made us cry. It spilled ground on its truly extraordinary central character. Its journey is fearless, inspirational and brave."

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World Cinema - Dramatic

WINNER

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Dramatic

WINNER

The Birth of a Nation: Nate Parker
"In the words of the recently and dearly departed Alan Rickman, 'The more we're governed by idiots and have no control over our destinies, the more we need to tell stories to each other about who we are, why we are, where we come from, and what might be possible.' This year the winner embodies this notion singularly and accomplishes it with grand cinematic vision. Most of all, it challenges each of us to carry a riotous disposition for injustice and the system that preserve it everywhere and in doing so, it is both timeless and right on time."

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Special Jury Prize

Documentary

WINNERS

Trapped: Dawn Porter
Social Impact Filmmaking: "This film highlights a critical issue through intimate and passionate storytelling."

The Bad Kids: Keith Fulton, Louis Pepe
Vérité Filmmaking: "A film that artfully avoids cliches by taking us into overlooked world and illuminating not only the ugly reality but the humanity of the characters."

World Cinema - Documentary

WINNER

When Two Worlds Collide: Heidi Brandenburg, Mathew Orzel
Best Debut Feature: "This film impresses us because of the tenacity of the filmmakers in staying with the story of many years. This film was beautiful, raw and had incredible tension."

World Cinema - Dramatic

WINNERS


The Lure: Agnieszka Smoczynska
Unique Vision and Design: "This is for a film that really captured our imagination."

Dramatic

WINNERS

As You Are: Miles Joris-Peyrafitte
"To acknowledge a film we feel embodies the spirit of independence that Sundance represents. It's also a film that harkens the arrival of a bold, first time director with a command of their craft. We find much to admire in this remarkable reworking of the traditional coming of age narrative, we will eagerly await the next vision meets creator."

Spa Night: Joe Seo
Breakthrough Performance: "To an actor whose quiet and intimate performance is deeply moving."

Morris from America: Craig Robinson
Individual Performance

The Intervention: Melanie Lynskey
Individual Performance

Directing Award

Documentary

WINNER

Life, Animated: Roger Ross Williams
"For fashioning a compelling exquisitely wrought, beautifully crafted, visually powerful and seeringly moving film."

World Cinema - Documentary

WINNER

All These Sleepless Nights: Michal Marczak
"This filmmaker made a visually stunning film with unique vision. We feel the director is pushing the art of nonfiction into brave new territories. We the jury is really looking forward to see what this talented filmmaker does in the future."

World Cinema - Dramatic

WINNER

Dramatic

WINNER

Swiss Army Man: Daniel Scheinert, Dan Kwan
"A remarkable film that brims with creativity, humor and deft insight. A delightfully original film that balances fine performances with a rich and often breathtaking sense of design that bodes well for future projects. It is never anything else than provocative and entertaining."

Cinematography Award

World Cinema - Documentary

WINNER

The Land of the Enlightened: Pieter-Jan De Pue
"This film is beautifully shot which makes a lot of sense. We loved the exploration of the landscape, the strong combination of the grandiosity of the locations and the intimacy which shooting with the characters especially when considering the astonishingly challenging condition."

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award

WINNER

Morris from America: Chad Hartigan
"We are thrilled to honor an intimate original script that had us all utterly charmed and smiling like goons by placing the protagonist in an alien landscape and watching him flounder. This writer shown the light the experience of the outsider and the human connection that sustain us using the ancient art of humor."

Audience Award

Documentary

WINNER

World Cinema - Documentary

WINNER

World Cinema - Dramatic

WINNER

Dramatic

WINNER

Best of Next!

WINNER

Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize

WINNER

Embrace of the Serpent: Ciro Guerra
For its depiction of how different cultures seek to understanding nature.

NHK Award

WINNER

Atsuko Hirayanagi
Screenplay: "Oh Lucy" (Japan)

Editing Award

Documentary

WINNER

Nuts!: Penny Lane, Thom Stylinski
"For its startlingly original and visually delightful film about human frailty."

World Cinema - Documentary

WINNER

Screenwriting Award

Documentary

WINNER

Kate Plays Christine: Robert Greene
"A film that cleverly wrestles with the very meaning of story investigation and truth."

World Cinema - Dramatic

WINNER

Short Film Jury Prize

Fiction

WINNER

The Procedure: Calvin Reeder
"This is the shortest film we watched but it stuck with us the longest and we love the director's restraint in the making of this film and his literal ass out insanity."

International Fiction

WINNER

Maman(s): Maïmouna Doucouré
"Frame for frame, scene for scene, this story unfolds beautifully. The director definitely draws us into many points of view within a family in a midst of a crisis but its her sensitive portrayal of an eight year old girl and the emotional impact on her and her father that won us over. This piece exhibits excellence in writing and directing. It's a staggering debut that leaves us eager to see more from her."

Animation

WINNER

Edmond: Nina Gantz
"This film takes us deep into a man's memories and his psyche as it contemplates suicide. It is high concept and emotional but it really is a gorgeous tragedy about the all-consuming power of love. We felt the characters and sets are so exquisitely rendered so tactile that we want it to just reach into the screen and hug the main character."

Non-Fiction

WINNER

Bacon & God's Wrath: Sol Friedman
"This is a doc with a very very simple hook about a woman who decides to eat bacon for the first time at 90 years old. And that simple idea blossoms into this exploration of faith, obedience, and even the power of the internet; And it pairs this no nonsense narration with half a dozen different cells of quirky animation that we just loved."

Short Film Special Jury Prize

WINNERS

Peacock: Ondrej Hudecek
Best Direction: "This is a bloody period piece that ties together huge panoramas and minimalist animation; the direction and cinematography, which this filmmaker also did himself, is flawlessly inventive and clever."

Her Friend Adam: Grace Glowicki
Outstanding Performance: "This is to an actress who plays a girlfriend who may or may not be having an emotional affair with her gay bestfriend. What we are definitely certain of is that this actress is a brave and fearless talent and we are not choosing that because this movie has unhinged or fake orgasm scene."

Sundance Institute/Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award

WINNERS

Armando Capó
Screenplay: "August" (Cuba)

Abdellah Taia
Screenplay: "The Treasure" (Morocco)

Geethu Mohandas
Screenplay: "Insha' Allah" (India)

Sicilian Ghost Story: Antonio Piazza, Fabio Grassadonia
Screenplay: "Sicilian Ghost Story" (Italy)

Short Film Grand Jury Prize

WINNER

Thunder Road: Jim Cummings
"...a one shot monologue about a man melting down is a mini masterpiece of writing, directing and acting. This filmmaker is a real discovery. We have no idea who you are but the three of us left the theater and stalked your imdb page."

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