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Jury and Audience prizes announced for Sundance films

Winning films to be screened online
Stills from the winning films from the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.  Courtesy Sundance Film Festival

Left to Right Top Row: All That Breathes, Nanny, Utama Middle Row: The Exiles, Cha Cha Real Smooth, Framing Agnes Bottom Row: Navalny, The Territory, Girl Picture
Posted at 8:43 AM, Jan 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-29 10:43:14-05

PARK CITY, Utah — As the 2022 Sundance Film Festival winds down, the winners of the festival's jury and audience awards were announced Friday night.

84 feature films and 59 shorts, out of nearly 15,000 submissions, were shown over the course of nine days via the festival's online service after the festival canceled all of it's in person events due to the ongoing pandemic.

"The 2022 Sundance Film Festival once again met our audience wherever they happened to be,” said Sundance Film Festival Director Tabitha Jackson in a statement sent to the media. "Whether you watched from home or one of our seven satellite screens, this year’s Festival expressed a powerful convergence; we were present, together, as a community connected through the work. And it is work that has already changed those who experienced it.”

26 jury prizes and 6 audience prizes were awarded to the winning films, which will be screened on the Festival's online platform Saturday, January 29, and Sunday, January 30.

As the names imply, jury prizes are awarded to films by a jury of industry professionals, whereas the audience prize winners are determined by audience votes.

Here is the list of the winning films, with film descriptions provided by the Sundance Film Festival.

Grand Jury Prize Winners

A still from the film "Nanny" which won the Grand Jury Prize for Best US Dramatic Film.

DRAMATIC (U.S.): "Nanny" by Nikyatu Jusu

Aisha is an undocumented nanny working for a privileged couple in New York City. As she prepares for the arrival of the son she left behind in Senegal, a violent supernatural presence invades her reality, threatening the American dream she is painstakingly piecing together.

A still from the film "Utama" which won the Grand Jury prize for Best World Dramatic film.

DRAMATIC (World): "Utama" by Alejandro Loayza Grisi

In the Bolivian highlands, an elderly Quechua couple has been living the same daily life for years. When an uncommon long drought threatens their entire way of life, Virginio and his wife Sisa face the dilemma of resisting or being defeated by the environment and time itself.

A still from the documentary "The Exiles," which won the Grand Jury prize for best US documentary.

DOCUMENTARY (U.S.): "The Exiles" by Ben Klein and Violet Columbus

Documentarian Christine Choy tracks down three exiled dissidents from the Tiananmen Square massacre, in order to find closure on an abandoned film she began shooting with Renee Tajima-Peña in 1989.

A still from the documentary "All that Breathes," which won the Grand Jury prize for best World Documentary.

DOCUMENTARY (World): "All that Breathes" by Shaunak Sen

Against the darkening backdrop of Delhi’s apocalyptic air and escalating violence, two brothers devote their lives to protect one casualty of the turbulent times: the bird known as the Black Kite.

Audience Award Winners

A still from the film "Cha Cha Real Smooth," which was voted Best Dramatic U.S. film by Sundance Film Festival Audiences.

DRAMATIC (U.S.): "Cha Cha Real Smooth" by Cooper Raiff

A directionless college graduate embarks on a relationship with a young mom and her teenage daughter while learning the boundaries of his new bar mitzvah party-starting gig.

A still from the film "Girl Picture," which was voted Best World Dramatic Film by Sundance Film Festival audiences.

DRAMATIC (World): "Girl Picture" by Alli Haapasalo

Mimmi, Emma and Rönkkö are girls at the cusp of womanhood, trying to draw their own contours. In three consecutive Fridays two of them experience the earth moving effects of falling in love, while the third goes on a quest to find something she’s never experienced before: pleasure.

A still from the documentary "Navalny," which was voted best US documentary by Sundance Film Festival audiences.

DOCUMENTARY (U.S.): "Navalny" by Daniel Roher

Shot as the story unfolded, a fly-on-the-wall documentary thriller about anti-authoritarian Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Recovering in Berlin after nearly being poisoned to death with the nerve agent Novichok, Navalny makes shocking discoveries about his assassination attempt and bravely decides to return home – whatever the consequences.

This film was also awarded the Audience Festival Favorite Award

A still from the documentary "The Territory," which was voted best World documentary by Sundance Film Festival audiences.

DOCUMENTARY (World): "The Territory" by Alex Pritz

When a network of Brazilian farmers seizes a protected area of the Amazon rainforest, a young Indigenous leader and his mentor must fight back in defense of the land and an uncontacted group living deep within the forest.

Short Film Awards

A still from "The Headhunter's Daughter," which was awarded the Grand Jury Prize for short films as the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.

Grand Jury Prize: "The Headhunter's Daughter" by Don Josephus Raphael Eblahan

Leaving her family behind, Lynn traverses the harrowing roads of the Cordilleran highlands to try her luck in the city as a country singer.

A still from "IF I GO WILL THEY MISS ME" which was awarded the Jury Prize for Best US fiction short.

U.S. Fiction: "IF I GO WILL THEY MISS ME" by Walter Thompson-Hernandez

Lil’ Ant is obsessed with Pegasus, the Greek mythological character, since first learning about him at school in Watts, California. He begins to notice imaginary airplane people around his home, and yearns to fly with them.

A still from "Warsha," which was awarded the jury prize for best International fiction short.

International Fiction: "Warsha" by Dania Bdeir

A Syrian migrant working as a crane operator in Beirut volunteers to cover a shift on one of the most dangerous cranes, where he is able to find his freedom.

A still from the short "Displaced," which was awarded the Jury prize for best Non-fiction short.

Non-Fiction: "Displaced" by Samir Karahoda

In postwar Kosovo, driven to keep their beloved sport table tennis alive, two local players wander from one obscure location to another carrying with them their club’s only possession: their tables.

A still from "Night Bus," which was awarded the Jury prize for best animated short.

Animation: Night Bus by Joe Hsieh

On a late-night bus, a panicked scream shatters the night’s calm. A necklace is stolen, followed by a tragic and fatal road accident. The series of intriguing events that follows reveal love, hatred, and vengeance.