Sundance Film Festival award winners


    Park City's Main Street during the Sundance Film Festival 2019. (Photo: Larry D. Curtis / KUTV)

    (KUTV) The Sundance Film Festival announced their award winners Saturday night at a ceremony emceed by Marianna Palka ("GLOW"). This year's festival hosted 121 feature-length and 73 short films culled from from 14,259 submissions.

    As with most years, I only saw four of the 23 award-winning films, but the upside to that is that I now have 19 films to look forward to in 2019.

    You can watch the entire ceremony here:

    2019 Sundance Film Festival Feature Award Winners

    Synopses provided by the Sundance Institute.

    A still from One Child Nation by Jialing Zhang and Nanfu Wang, an official selection of the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. (Photo: Sundance Institute | photo by Nanfu Wang)

    U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary

    One Child Nation / China, U.S.A. (Directors: Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang, Producers: Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang, Julie Goldman, Christoph Jörg, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn) — After becoming a mother, a filmmaker uncovers the untold history of China’s one-child policy and the generations of parents and children forever shaped by this social experiment.

    Alfre Woodard and Alex Castillo appear in Clemency by Chinonye Chukwu, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. (Photo: Sundance Institute | photo by Eric Branco)

    U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic

    Clemency / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Chinonye Chukwu, Producers: Bronwyn Cornelius, Julian Cautherley, Peter Wong, Timur Bekbosunov) — Years of carrying out death row executions have taken a toll on prison warden Bernadine Williams. As she prepares to execute another inmate, Bernadine must confront the psychological and emotional demons her job creates, ultimately connecting her to the man she is sanctioned to kill. Cast: Alfre Woodard, Aldis Hodge, Richard Schiff, Wendell Pierce, Richard Gunn, Danielle Brooks.

    A still from Honeyland by Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska, an official selection of the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. (Photo: Sundance Institute | photo by Samir Ljuma)

    World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary

    Honeyland / Macedonia (Directors: Ljubomir Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska, Producer: Atanas Georgiev) — When nomadic beekeepers break Honeyland's basic rule (take half of the honey, but leave half to the bees), the last female beehunter in Europe must save the bees and restore natural balance.

    Tom Burke and Honor Swinton Byrne appear in The Souvenir by Joanna Hogg, an official selection of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. (Photo: Sundance Institute | photo by Agatha A. Nitecka).

    World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic

    The Souvenir / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Joanna Hogg, Producers: Luke Schiller, Joanna Hogg) — A shy film student begins finding her voice as an artist while navigating a turbulent courtship with a charismatic but untrustworthy man. She defies her protective mother and concerned friends as she slips deeper and deeper into an intense, emotionally fraught relationship which comes dangerously close to destroying her dreams. Cast: Honor Swinton Byrne, Tom Burke, Tilda Swinton.

    A still from Knock Down The House by Rachel Lears, an official selection of the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. (Photo: Sundance Institute | photo by Rachel Lears)

    Audience Award: U.S. Documentary

    Knock Down the House / U.S.A. (Director: Rachel Lears, Producers: Sarah Olson, Robin Blotnick, Rachel Lears) — A young bartender in the Bronx, a coal miner’s daughter in West Virginia, a grieving mother in Nevada and a registered nurse in Missouri build a movement of insurgent candidates challenging powerful incumbents in Congress. One of their races will become the most shocking political upset in recent American history. Cast: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

    Jillian Bell appears in Brittany Runs A Marathon by Paul Downs Colaizzo, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. (Photo: Sundance Institute | photo by Jon Pack)

    Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic

    Brittany Runs a Marathon / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Paul Downs Colaizzo, Producers: Matthew Plouffe, Tobey Maguire, Margot Hand) — A woman living in New York takes control of her life – one city block at a time. Cast: Jillian Bell, Michaela Watkins, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Lil Rel Howery, Micah Stock, Alice Lee.

    A still from Sea of Shadows by Richard Ladkani, an official selection of the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. (Photo: Sundance Institute | photo by Richard Ladkani)

    Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary

    Sea of Shadows / Austria (Director: Richard Ladkani, Producers: Walter Koehler, Wolfgang Knoepfler) —The vaquita, the world’s smallest whale, is near extinction as its habitat is destroyed by Mexican cartels and Chinese mafia, who harvest the swim bladder of the totoaba fish, the “cocaine of the sea.” Environmental activists, Mexican navy and undercover investigators are fighting back against this illegal multimillion-dollar business.

    Trine Dyrholm and Gustav Lindh appear in Queen of Hearts by May el-Toukhy, an official selection of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. (Photo: Sundance Institute | photo by Rolf Konow)

    Audience Award: World Cinema Dramatic

    Queen of Hearts / Denmark (Director: May el-Toukhy, Screenwriters: Maren Louise Käehne, May el-Toukhy, Producers: Caroline Blanco, René Ezra) — A woman jeopardizes both her career and her family when she seduces her teenage stepson and is forced to make an irreversible decision with fatal consequences. Cast: Trine Dyrholm, Gustav Lindh, Magnus Krepper.

    Maynor Alvarado and Manuel Uriza appear in The Infiltrators by Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera, an official selection of NEXT program at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. (Photo: Sundance Institute | photo by Lisa Rinzler)

    NEXT

    The Infiltrators / U.S.A. (Directors: Alex Rivera, Cristina Ibarra, Screenwriters: Alex Rivera, Aldo Velasco, Producers: Cristina Ibarra, Alex Rivera, Darren Dean) — A rag-tag group of undocumented youth – Dreamers – deliberately get detained by Border Patrol in order to infiltrate a shadowy, for-profit detention center. Cast: Maynor Alvarado, Manuel Uriza, Chelsea Rendon, Juan Gabriel Pareja, Vik Sahay.

    Rob Haerr & Wong He appear in American Factory by Steve Bognar and Julia Reichert, an official selection of the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. (Photo: Sundance Institute | photo by Ian Cook)

    Directing Award: U.S. Documentary

    American Factory / U.S.A. (Directors: Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert, Producers: Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert, Jeff Reichert, Julie Parker Benello) — In post-industrial Ohio, a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory in the husk of an abandoned General Motors plant, hiring two thousand blue-collar Americans. Early days of hope and optimism give way to setbacks as high-tech China clashes with working-class America.

    Jimmie Fails and Jonathan Majors appear in The Last Black Man In San Francisco by Joe Talbot, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. (Photo: Sundance Institute | photo by Peter Prato / A24)

    Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic

    The Last Black Man in San Francisco / U.S.A. (Director: Joe Talbot, Screenwriters: Joe Talbot, Rob Richert, Producers: Khaliah Neal, Joe Talbot, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Christina Oh) — Jimmie Fails dreams of reclaiming the Victorian home his grandfather built in the heart of San Francisco. Joined on his quest by his best friend Mont, Jimmie searches for belonging in a rapidly changing city that seems to have left them behind.

    Poster image of Cold Case Hammarskjöld by Mads Brügger, an official selection of the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. (Photo: Sundance Institute)

    Directing Award: World Cinema Documentary

    Cold Case Hammarskjöld / Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Belgium (Director: Mads Brügger, Producers: Peter Engel, Andreas Rocksén, Bjarte M. Tveit) — Danish director Mads Brügger and Swedish private investigator Göran Bjorkdahl are trying to solve the mysterious death of Dag Hammarskjold. As their investigation closes in, they discover a crime far worse than killing the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

    Romina Bentancur and Federico Morosini appear in The Sharks by Lucía Garibaldi, an official selection of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. (Photo: Sundance Institute | photo by German Nocella)

    Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic

    The Sharks / Uruguay, Argentina, Spain (Director and screenwriter: Lucía Garibaldi, Producers: Pancho Magnou Arnábal, Isabel García) — While a rumor about the presence of sharks in a small beach town distracts residents, 15-year-old Rosina begins to feel an instinct to shorten the distance between her body and Joselo's. Cast: Romina Bentancur, Federico Morosini, Fabián Arenillas, Valeria Lois, Antonella Aquistapache.

    Rhianne Barreto appears in Share by Pippa Bianco, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. (Photo: Sundance Institute | photo by Josh Johnson)

    Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: U.S. Dramatic

    Share / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Pippa Bianco, Producers: Carly Hugo, Tyler Byrne, Matt Parker) — After discovering a disturbing video from a night she doesn’t remember, sixteen-year-old Mandy must try to figure out what happened and how to navigate the escalating fallout. Cast: Rhianne Barreto, Charlie Plummer, Poorna Jagannathan, J.C. MacKenzie, Nick Galitzine, Lovie Simone.

    Special Jury Awards

    U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Moral Urgency

    Always in Season / U.S.A. (Director: Jacqueline Olive, Producers: Jacqueline Olive, Jessica Devaney) — When 17-year-old Lennon Lacy is found hanging from a swing set in rural North Carolina in 2014, his mother’s search for justice and reconciliation begins as the trauma of more than a century of lynching African Americans bleeds into the present.

    U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Moral Urgency

    Always in Season / U.S.A. (Director: Jacqueline Olive, Producers: Jacqueline Olive, Jessica Devaney) — When 17-year-old Lennon Lacy is found hanging from a swing set in rural North Carolina in 2014, his mother’s search for justice and reconciliation begins as the trauma of more than a century of lynching African Americans bleeds into the present.

    U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award: Emerging Filmmaker

    Jawline / U.S.A. (Director: Liza Mandelup, Producers: Bert Hamelinck, Sacha Ben Harroche, Hannah Reyer) — The film follows 16-year-old Austyn Tester, a rising star in the live-broadcast ecosystem who built his following on wide-eyed optimism and teen girl lust, as he tries to escape a dead-end life in rural Tennessee.

    U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Editing

    APOLLO 11 / U.S.A. (Director: Todd Douglas Miller, Producers: Todd Douglas Miller, Thomas Petersen, Evan Krauss) — A purely archival reconstruction of humanity’s first trip to another world, featuring never-before-seen 70mm footage and never-before-heard audio from the mission.

    U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Cinematography

    Midnight Family / Mexico, U.S.A. (Director: Luke Lorentzen, Producers: Kellen Quinn, Daniela Alatorre, Elena Fortes, Luke Lorentzen) — In Mexico City’s wealthiest neighborhoods, the Ochoa family runs a private ambulance, competing with other for-profit EMTs for patients in need of urgent help. As they try to make a living in this cutthroat industry, they struggle to keep their financial needs from compromising the people in their care.

    U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Vision and Craft

    Honey Boy / U.S.A. (Director: Alma Har'el, Screenwriter: Shia LaBeouf, Producers: Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Anita Gou, Christopher Leggett, Alma Har'el) — A child TV star and his ex-rodeo clown father face their stormy past through time and cinema. Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Lucas Hedges, Noah Jupe.

    U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Creative Collaboration

    The Last Black Man in San Francisco / U.S.A. (Director: Joe Talbot, Screenwriters: Joe Talbot, Rob Richert, Producers: Khaliah Neal, Joe Talbot, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Christina Oh) — Jimmie Fails dreams of reclaiming the Victorian home his grandfather built in the heart of San Francisco. Joined on his quest by his best friend Mont, Jimmie searches for belonging in a rapidly changing city that seems to have left them behind. Cast: Jimmie Fails, Jonathan Majors, Rob Morgan, Tichina Arnold, Danny Glover.

    U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Achievement in Acting

    Rhianne Barreto, for Share / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Pippa Bianco, Producers: Carly Hugo, Tyler Byrne, Matt Parker) — After discovering a disturbing video from a night she doesn’t remember, sixteen-year-old Mandy must try to figure out what happened and how to navigate the escalating fallout. Cast: Rhianne Barreto, Charlie Plummer, Poorna Jagannathan, J.C. MacKenzie, Nick Galitzine, Lovie Simone.

    World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for No Borders

    Midnight Traveler / U.S.A., Qatar, United Kingdom, Canada (Director: Hassan Fazili, Screenwriter: Emelie Mahdavian, Producers: Emelie Mahdavian, Su Kim) — When the Taliban puts a bounty on Afghan director Hassan Fazili’s head, he is forced to flee with his wife and two young daughters. Capturing their uncertain journey, Fazili shows firsthand the dangers facing refugees seeking asylum and the love shared between a family on the run.

    World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Impact for Change

    Honeyland / Macedonia (Directors: Ljubomir Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska, Producer: Atanas Georgiev) — When nomadic beekeepers break Honeyland's basic rule (take half of the honey, but leave half to the bees), the last female beehunter in Europe must save the bees and restore natural balance.

    World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Cinematography

    Honeyland / Macedonia (Directors: Ljubomir Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska, Producer: Atanas Georgiev) — When nomadic beekeepers break Honeyland's basic rule (take half of the honey, but leave half to the bees), the last female beehunter in Europe must save the bees and restore natural balance.

    World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Originality

    WE ARE LITTLE ZOMBIES / Japan (Director and screenwriter: Makoto Nagahisa, Producers: Taihei Yamanishi, Shinichi Takahashi, Haruki Yokoyama, Haruhiko Hasegawa) — Their parents are dead. They should be sad, but they can't cry. So they form a kick-ass band. This is the story of four 13-year-olds in search of their emotions. Cast: Keita Ninomiya, Satoshi Mizuno, Mondo Okumura, Sena Nakajima.

    World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award

    Monos / Colombia, Argentina, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Uruguay (Director: Alejandro Landes, Screenwriters: Alejandro Landes, Alexis Dos Santos, Producers: Alejandro Landes, Fernando Epstein, Santiago Zapata, Cristina Landes) — On a faraway mountaintop, eight kids with guns watch over a hostage and a conscripted milk cow. Cast: Julianne Nicholson, Moisés Arias, Sofia Buenaventura, Deiby Rueda, Karen Quintero, Laura Castrillón.

    World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting

    Krystyna Janda, for Dolce Fine Giornata / Poland (Director: Jacek Borcuch, Screenwriters: Jacek Borcuch, Szczepan Twardoch, Producer: Marta Habior) — In Tuscany, Maria's stable family life begins to erode as her relationship with a young immigrant develops against a backdrop of terrorism and eroding democracy.

    NEXT Innovator Prize

    The Infiltrators / U.S.A. (Directors: Alex Rivera, Cristina Ibarra, Screenwriters: Alex Rivera, Aldo Velasco, Producers: Cristina Ibarra, Alex Rivera, Darren Dean) — A rag-tag group of undocumented youth – Dreamers – deliberately get detained by Border Patrol in order to infiltrate a shadowy, for-profit detention center. Cast: Maynor Alvarado, Manuel Uriza, Chelsea Rendon, Juan Gabriel Pareja, Vik Sahay.

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