A drama about an undocumented nanny in New York, a documentary about three exiled dissidents from Tiananmen Square and another documentary about Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny won top prizes at the Sundance Film Festival. The winners were announced Friday night in a virtual ceremony.
“Nanny,” by writer-director Nikyatu Jusu and starring Anna Diop and Michelle Monaghan, won the Grand Jury Prize in the drama category for its portrayal of a Senegalese immigrant working for a wealthy family in New York. The top documentary jury prize went to Ben Klein and Violet Columbus for “The Exiles,” in which a female documentary filmmaker tries to finish a film she started in 1989 after the Tiananmen Square massacre.
“Navalny”, a late and secretive addition to the competition, won the audience award for documentary and the festival’s favorite award. Daniel Roher’s gripping film follows the Russian opposition leader as he recovers in Berlin after being poisoned.
The People’s Choice Award for American Drama Film went to Cooper Raiff’s “Cha Cha Real Smooth,” starring Dakota Johnson as the young mother of a teenage daughter who, on the bar mitzvah circuit, forms a unique relationship with a recent college graduate.
Among the grand jury winners in the world cinema category are ‘Utama’, about an elderly couple in Bolivia, and ‘All That Breathes’, a documentary about brothers in Delhi who fight to protect the bird known as the name of Black Kite. World Cinema Audience Awards went to ‘Girl Picture’, a Finnish coming-of-age film about three girls and ‘The Territory’, a documentary about the seizure of an area of the Amazon rainforest and those who fight for the land.
“Today’s awards represent the determination of visionary individuals, whose dynamic work will continue to change culture and create discourse throughout the year,” said Joana Vicente, CEO of Sundance Institute. “This year’s entire program has proven that, regardless of context, independent storytelling remains an essential tool for expanding critical dialogues, and those stories will and should be shared.”
Several of last year’s Sundance winners remain in Oscar conversation, including “CODA,” “Flee,” “Hive” and “Summer of Soul.”
The winning films will be screened on Sundance’s online platform on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets go on sale beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern Time Friday.
“Whether you’re watching 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 by work,” said Tabitha Jackson, director of the Sundance Film Festival. “And it’s work that has already changed those who have lived through it.”
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.