Another year of fantastic films at the Sundance Film Festival is under our cinematic belts. On Friday, Sundance revealed their award winners for the 2022 festival. Once again (due to the rise in Omicron cases in the U.S.) the ceremony was handled virtually on Twitter.
Festival Director Tabitha Jackson said in her statement on Friday, “This year’s Festival expressed a powerful convergence; we were present, together, as a community connected through the work.”
Sundance Institute CEO Joana Vicente added, “This year’s entire program has proven that no matter the context, independent storytelling remains a pivotal tool in expanding critical dialogues.”
The Festival’s Director of Programming Kim Yutani stated, “We are so grateful for this year’s jurors who brought their expertise and passion to their decision-making process. We congratulate the award winners and we’re so thankful to each and every film in the program that made the 2022 Sundance Film Festival such a huge success.”
In the U.S. Dramatic category, the winner of the Grand Jury prize was “Nanny,” Nikyatu Jusu’s eerie and haunting takedown of the American Dream.
Anna Diop is Aisha, an undocumented Senegalese immigrant working in Manhattan to get enough money to bring her son Lamine (Jahleel Kamera) to America. The upper-class couple she works for (Michelle Monaghan & Morgan Spector) are abusive and their offensive misemploy towards Aisha leads to extreme exploitation. The result is quite disturbing.
The U.S. Dramatic Audience Award winner was “Cha Cha Real Smooth”. Writer/director Cooper Raiff started as an unfocused party planner who falls for a single mom (Dakota Johnson).
Raiff’s film is well-written, intelligent, sweet, and features a fantastic turn from Dakota Johnson (her second at this year’s fest along with “Am I OK?”). This was one of the pure crowd pleasers from this year’s festival.
The U.S. Grand Jury Prize for Documentary went to “The Exiles”, directors Ben Klein and Violet Columbus’s riveting film that follows Christine Choy as she tries to reconnect with the exiled protestors from the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989. A riveting and moving piece.
“Navalny” Daniel Roher’s stark and strangely humorous documentary about a Russian politician who investigates his own near-fatal poisoning. A fascinating work.
Roher’s unique film also won the Festival Favorite award.
Below is a complete list of the categories and winners.
Grand Jury Prizes-
U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic:
“Nanny” Director and Screenwriter: Nikyatu Jusu
U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary:
“The Exiles” Directed by Ben Klein & Violet Columbus
World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic:
“Utama” Director and Screenwriter: Alejandro Loayza Grisi
World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary:
“All That Breathes” Directed by Shaunak Sen
Audience Award: U.S. Documentary:
“Navalny” Directed by Daniel Roher
Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic:
“Cha Cha Real Smooth” Director and Screenwriter: Cooper Raiff
Audience Award: World Cinema Dramatic
“Girl Picture” Director: Alli Haapasalo, Screenwriters: Ilona Ahti, Daniela Hakulinen
Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary
“The Territory” Director: Alex Pritz
Audience Award: NEXT
“Framing Agnes” Director: Chase Joynt
Festival Favorite Award
“Navalny” Director: Daniel Roher
The Directing Award: U.S. Documentary was presented to Reid Davenport for “I Didn’t See You There”
The Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic was presented to Jamie Dack for “Palm Trees and Power Lines”.
The Directing Award: World Cinema Documentary was presented to Simon Lereng Wilmont for “A House Made Of Splinters”.
The Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic was presented to Maryna Er Gorbach for “Klondike”.
The Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: U.S. Dramatic was presented to K.D. Dávila for “Emergency”.
The Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award: U.S. Documentary was presented to Erin Casper and Jocelyne Chaput for “Fire Of Love”.
A U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award: Uncompromising Artistic Vision was presented to Bradley Rust Gray for “blood”.
A U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award: Ensemble Cast was presented to John Boyega, Nicole Beharie, Selenis Leyva, Connie Britton, Olivia Washington, London Covington, and Michael K Williams for “892”.
A U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award: Impact for Change was presented to “Aftershock”.
A U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award: Creative Vision was presented to “Descendant”.
A World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award: Documentary Craft was presented to “The Territory”.
A World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award: Excellence In Verité Filmmaking was presented to “Midwives”.
A World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award: Innovative Spirit was presented for “Leonor Will Never Die”.
A World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award: Acting was presented to Teresa Sánchez for “Dos Estaciones”
The NEXT Innovator Award presented by Adobe was presented to Chase Joynt for “Framing Agnes”.
The Short Film Grand Jury Prize was awarded to “The Headhunter’s Daughter” (Philippines) Director and Screenwriter: Don Josephus Raphael Eblahan
The Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction was awarded “If I Go, They Will Miss Me” (U.S.A.) Director and Screenwriter: Walter Thompson-Hernández
The Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction was awarded to Dania Bdeir for “Warsha”
(France/Lebanon) Director and Screenwriter: Dania Bdeir
The Short Film Jury Award: Nonfiction was awarded to Samir Karahoda for “Displaced”
(Kosovo) Director and Screenwriter: Samir Karahoda
The Short Film Jury Award: Animation was awarded to Joe Hsieh for “Night Bus” (Taiwan) Director and Screenwriter: Joe Hsieh
The Short Film Special Jury Award: Ensemble Cast was presented to Zélia Duncan, Bruna Linzmeyer, Camila Rocha, Clarissa Ribeiro, and Lorre Motta for “A Wild Patience Has Taken Me Here” (Brazil) Director and Screenwriter: Érica Sarmet
The Short Film Special Jury Award: Screenwriting was awarded to Sara Driver for Stranger Than Rotterdam with Sara Driver (United States) Directors: Lewie Kloster, Noah Kloster
The 2022 Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize, presented to an outstanding feature film about science or technology, went to “After Yang”. The filmmakers received a $20,000 cash award from the Sundance Institute with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
The Sundance Institute | Amazon Studios Producers Award for Nonfiction went to Su Kim for “Free Chol Soo Lee” (U.S. Documentary Competition).
The Sundance Institute | Amazon Studios Producers Award for Fiction went to Amanda Marshall for “God’s Country”.
The Sundance Institute | Adobe Mentorship Award for Editing Nonfiction went to Toby Shimin.
The Sundance Institute | Adobe Mentorship Award for Editing Fiction went to Dody Dorn.
The Sundance Institute | NHK Award went to Hasan Hadi for his film “The President’s Cake”.
Congratulations to all the winners and to all the filmmakers whose film found a platform at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival!