Winners of the Sundance Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic

In order from 1982 to 2011. I figured this would be a good way to seek out good-quality independent films.
View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
Circle of Power (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
A group of husbands with their wives participate in a reunion where everybody will find his hidden secret... (97 mins.)
Director: Bobby Roth
 
2.
Blood Simple. (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A rich but jealous man hires a private investigator to kill his cheating wife and her new man. But, when blood is involved, nothing is simple. (99 mins.)
Director: Joel Coen
 
3.
Smooth Talk (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A free-spirited 15-year-old girl flirts with a dangerous stranger in the Northern California suburbs and must prepare herself for the frightening and traumatic consequences. (92 mins.)
Director: Joyce Chopra
 
4.
American Playhouse (1981 TV Series)
Episode: Waiting for the Moon (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Sundance prizewinner. Fictionalized portrait of one of history's great literary couples: Stein & Toklas...
 
5.
Heat and Sunlight (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
Over 16 hours, in February, 1987, a man confronts jealously and rage as a love affair falters. Photojournalist... (98 mins.)
Director: Rob Nilsson
 
6.
True Love (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Donna and Michael are getting married. But first, they have to plan the reception, get the tux, buy the rings... (104 mins.)
Director: Nancy Savoca
 
7.
Chameleon Street (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
William Douglas Street is bored with his life. Working for his father is getting to him, his wife wants more money... (94 mins.)
 
8.
Poison (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Three intercut stories about outsiders, sex and violence. In "Hero," Richie, at age 7, kills his father and flies away... (85 mins.)
Director: Todd Haynes
 
9.
In the Soup (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A neurotic nebbish lives in 2 worlds: the fantasy of winning his dream-girl via a hit movie, and the... (93 mins.)
 
10.
Ruby in Paradise (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Ruby, a young woman, arrives in a Florida resort town during the off season to make a fresh start. She... (114 mins.)
Director: Victor Nunez
 
11.
Public Access (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  
Brewster seems to be an almost too perfect example of idyllic small-town America, with everyone living in peace and harmony... (90 mins.)
Director: Bryan Singer
 
12.
What Happened Was... (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
This darkly humorous film explores the personal psychic landscape of two lonely New Yorkers. Jackie and Michael are coworkers at a large law firm... (91 mins.)
Director: Tom Noonan
 
13.
The Brothers McMullen (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Three Irish Catholic brothers from Long Island struggle to deal with love, marriage, and infidelity. (98 mins.)
Director: Edward Burns
 
14.
The Young Poisoner's Handbook (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
This film is based on a true story about a British teenager who allegedly poisoned family, friends, and co-workers... (99 mins.)
Director: Benjamin Ross
 
15.
Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An unattractive seventh grader struggles to cope with inattentive parents, snobbish classmates, a smart older brother, an attractive younger sister, and her own insecurities in suburban New Jersey. (88 mins.)
Director: Todd Solondz
 
16.
Sunday (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
This film concerns two mysterious characters who meet on a Sunday in Queens. Madeleine the most unsettling... (91 mins.)
 
17.
Love Jones (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Darius Lovehall is a young black poet in Chicago who starts dating Nina Moseley, a beautiful and talented photographer... (104 mins.)
 
18.
Slam (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Slam tells the story of Ray Joshua, an original, gifted young MC trapped in a war-zone housing project known as Dodge City... (100 mins.)
Director: Marc Levin
 
19.
Three Seasons (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
An American in Ho Chi Minh City looks for a daughter he fathered during the war. He meets Woody, a child who's a street vendor... (113 mins.)
Director: Tony Bui
 
20.
The Believer (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A young Jewish man develops a fiercely anti-Semitic philosophy. Based on the factual story of a K.K.K. member in the 1960s who was revealed to be Jewish by a New York Times reporter. (98 mins.)
Director: Henry Bean
 
21.
American Splendor (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An original mix of fiction and reality illuminates the life of comic book hero everyman Harvey Pekar. (101 mins.)
 
22.
Primer (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Four friends/fledgling entrepreneurs, knowing that there's something bigger and more innovative than the different error-checking devices they've built, wrestle over their new invention. (77 mins.)
Director: Shane Carruth
 
23.
Forty Shades of Blue (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
A Russian woman living in Memphis with a much older rock-'n'-roll legend experiences a personal awakening when her husband's estranged son comes to visit. (108 mins.)
Director: Ira Sachs
 
24.
Quinceañera (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
As Magdalena's 15th birthday approaches, her simple, blissful life is complicated by the discovery that she's pregnant. Kicked out of her house, she finds a new family with her great-granduncle and gay cousin. (90 mins.)
 
25.
Sangre de mi sangre (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A Mexican boy smuggles himself to Brooklyn to meet his long-lost father - only to have his identity stolen upon arrival by an impostor who seeks to steal the fathers' fortune. (110 mins.)
“ Listed as Padre Nuestro on the Wikipedia article. ” - kingwilson
 
26.
Frozen River (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Takes place in the days before Christmas near a little-known border crossing on the Mohawk reservation between New York State and Quebec... (97 mins.)
Director: Courtney Hunt
 
27.
Precious (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction. (110 mins.)
Director: Lee Daniels
 
28.
Winter's Bone (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact. (100 mins.)
Director: Debra Granik
 
29.
Like Crazy (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A British college student falls for an American student, only to be separated from him when she's banned from the U.S. after overstaying her visa. (90 mins.)
Director: Drake Doremus