Back in Park City, Utah, for the first time since 2020, the Sundance Film Festival concluded with an in-person awards show. The U.S. dramatic grand jury prize went to the Focus Features release “A Thousand and One,” from debut writer-director A.V. Rockwell, one of eight women in this year’s female-led competition.
Jeremy O. Harris, a member of the three-person U.S. dramatic jury at Sundance, choked back tears as he presented the award to Rockwell, admitting that he left the director’s premiere screening and cried on the street, as the film unearthed “all the feelings I’ve learned to mask in public spaces.”
Rockwell’s film is set in an unforgiving New York City in the late ’90s, where a single mother moving from shelter to shelter kidnaps her 6-year-old son from foster care. As they improbably forge a life and bond, their darkest secret threatens to disrupt what they’ve built. It stars Teyana Taylor, Will Catlett, Josiah Cross, Aven Courtney and Aaron Kingsley Adetola.
“Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project,” directed by Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson, took the U.S. documentary jury prize. It examines the life and legacy of the legendary poet Giovanni. Audience winners included “The Persian Version,” directed by Maryam Keshavarz, for dramatic and “Beyond Utopia,” directed by Madeleine Gavin, for documentary. The award for festival favorite went to “Radical,” an inspirational teacher drama led by Eugenio Derbez and produced by 3Pas.
Three trans-themed films took home awards. “Kokomo City” won both prizes in Sundance’s more experimental NEXT section, while “Mutt” star Lio Mehiel earned a special jury acting award in U.S. competition. In the U.S. documentary section, Kristen Lovell and Zackary Drucke’s “The Stroll” earned a special prize for “clarity of vision.” In world competition, directing honors went to another uncommon depiction of LGBTQIA+ identity: Marija Kavtaradze’s “Slow” depicts a budding love story between a modern dancer and a man who identifies as asexual.
“This year taught me to never forget the magic we make here on the mountain,” festival director of programming Kim Yutani told Variety at the ceremony. “Every single one of these films has had a standout moment and incredible energy from our audiences.”
Find the full list of winners below.
U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION
Grand Jury Prize: A.V. Rockwell for “A Thousand and One”
Audience Award: “The Persian Version,” directed by Maryam Keshavarz
Directing: Sing J. Lee for “The Accidental Getaway Driver”
Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: Maryam Keshavarz for “The Persian Version”
Special Jury Award: Acting: Lio Mehiel for “Mutt”
Special Jury Award: Ensemble: The cast of “Theater Camp,” directed by Molly Gordon and Nick Lieberman.
Special Jury Award: Creative Vision: The creative team of “Magazine Dreams,” directed by Elijah Bynum
Festival Favorite Award: “Radical,” directed by Christopher Zalla
U.S. DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
Grand Jury Prize: “Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project,” directed by Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson
Audience Award: “Beyond Utopia,” directed by Madeleine Gavin
Directing: Luke Lorentzen for “A Still Small Voice”
Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award: Daniela I. Quiroz for “Going Varsity in Mariachi”
Special Jury Award: Clarity of Vision: “The Stroll,” directed by Kristen Lovell & Zackary Drucke
Special Jury Award: Freedom of Expression, “Bad Press”
WORLD CINEMA DRAMATIC COMPETITION
Grand Jury Prize: “Scrapper”
Audience Award: “Shayda,” directed by Noora Niasari
Directing Award: Marija Kavtaradze for “Slow”
Special Jury Award: Cinematography: Lílis Soares for “Mami Wata”
Special Jury Award: Best Performance: Rosa Marchant, “When It Melts”
Special Jury Award: Creative Vision: Sofia Alaoui for “Animalia”
WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
Grand Jury Prize: “The Eternal Memory”
Audience Award: “20 Days in Mariupol,” directed and produced by Mstyslav Chernov
Special Jury Prize: Directing: “Smoke, Sauna Sisterhood,” Anna Hints
Special Jury Award: Creative Vision: “Fantastic Machine”
Special Jury Award: Vérité: “Against the Tide”
Short Film Grand Jury Prize: “When You Left Me on That Boulevard,” directed by Kayla Abuda Galang
Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction: “Rest Stop,” directed by Crystal Kayiza
Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction: “The Kidnapping of the Bride,” Sophia Mocorrea
Short Film Jury Award: Non-Fiction: “Will You Look at Me,” directed by Shuli Huang.
Short Film Special Jury Award, International: Directing: “AliEN0089,” directed by Valeria Hofmann.
Short Film Special Jury Award, U.S: Directing: “The Vacation,” directed by Jarreau Carrillo
NEXT Audience Award: “Kokomo City”
NEXT Innovator Award: “Kokomo City”
Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize: “The Pod Generation”
Sundance Institute NHK Award: TBA
Sundance Institute/Amazon Studios Producers Award for Narrative Features: TBA
Sundance Institute/Amazon Studios Producers Award for Documentary Features: TBA
Sundance Institute/Adobe Mentorship Award for Editing Documentary: TBA
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