Little Miss Sunshine, Whiplash, Beasts of the Southern Wild and Winter’s Bone have capitalized on Sundance Awards and parlayed them into Academy Award nominations in past years. Perhaps the crop of Award winners announced this past weekend may do the same in just a year’s time.
Clemency, One Child Nation, Honeyland and The Souvenir all took home the prestigious Grand Jury prizes in their specific category and are the big winners from the 2019 edition of the Sundance Film Festival.
In a special ceremony last Saturday night Clemency took home the biggest prize of the night by claiming the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize. Clemency was written and directed by Chinonye Chukwu and starred Alfre Woodard as a Prison Warden who becomes overwhelmed by the amount of death row executions she has carried out over the years.
One Child Nation took home the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for Documentary. The documentary centered around a Mother who discovers the secret history of China’s one-child policy and the effects on the generations who have forever been impacted.
Honeyland, a film about the last female beekeeper in Europe won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for Documentary and The Souvenir, a film starring Tilda Swinton and her daughter, Honor Swinton Byrne won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for World Dramatic.
The Audience Award for U.S. Dramatic went to the festival favorite Brittany Runs a Marathon, the uplifting true story of a unhealthy, down on her luck woman turning her life around by training to run the New York City Marathon. We mentioned Brittany Runs a Marathon in our top 5 of Sundance here.
The Audience Award for U.S. Documentary went to the politically charged documentary Knock Down the House which chronicled three woman politicians as they ran for office, one of which was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who has dominated headlines and the political atmosphere over the past few months.
Queen of Hearts, a film about a woman who puts her career in jeopardy when she seduces her teenage stepson, won the Audience Award for World Cinema Dramatic and Sea of Shadows won the Audience Award for World Cinema Documentary for a doc about the endangerment of the vaquita, the world’s smallest whale.
The final Audience Award went to The Infiltrators, in the NEXT category. The Infiltrators was a film about a rag-tag group of Dreamers who attempt to get detained by Border Patrol on purpose to break into a detention center.
Directing awards went to Joe Talbot for The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Mads Brugger for Cold Case Hammarskjold, Yance Ford for American Factory, and Lucia Garibaldi for The Sharks.
Several other awards for screenwriting, acting, originality, impact for change and more went to films such as Midnight Traveler, Share, Honey Boy, Midnight Family, Jawline, Apollo 11, Always in Season, WE ARE LITTLE ZOMBIES, Monos, and Dolce Fine Giornata.
Some of the members of the Jury included Damien Chazelle, Desiree Akhavan, Tessa Thompson, Dennis Lim, Phyllis Nagy, Laurie Anderson, Jeff Orlowski and many more.