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All of the Winners of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival

All of the Winners of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival

This year’s Sundance Film Festival capped off this evening with the fest’s annual awards show, held at Park City, Utah’s own Basin Recreation Field House. The ceremony kicked off at 7:00PM MT, featuring host (and Sundance premiere “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” director) Taika Waititi shepherding along the festivities mostly amusing (and endearingly self-relective) fashion.

Featuring awards judged by six different juries, the ceremony is always a lively, fun and forward-thinking end to the festival. Big winners included World features like “Sonita” and “Between Land and Sea,” along with U.S. offerings like “Morris From America” and “The Birth of a Nation.”

Check out the full list of winners below:

READ MORE: The 2016 Indiewire Sundance Bible: All the Reviews, Interviews and News Posted During The Festival

U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize: “The Birth of a Nation”

U.S. Documentary Grand Jury Prize: “Weiner”

U.S. Documentary Directing Award: Roger Ross Williams, “Life, Animated”

U.S. Dramatic Directing Award: The Daniels (Daniel Scheinart and Daniel Kwan), “Swiss Army Man”

World Cinema Grand Jury Prize, Dramatic: “Sand Storm”

World Cinema Grand Jury Prize, Documentary: “Sonita”

U.S. Dramatic Audience Award: “The Birth of a Nation”

U.S. Documentary Audience Award: “Jim”

World Cinema Audience Award, Dramatic: “Between Sea and Land”

World Cinema Audience Award, Documentary: “Sonita”

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: Chad Hartigan, “Morris From America”

NEXT Audience Award: “First Girl I Loved”

U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Prize: “As You Are”

U.S. Dramatic Breakthrough Performance Award: 
Joe Seo, “Spa Night”

U.S. Dramatic Individual Performance Award: Craig Robinson, “Morris From America”

U.S. Dramatic Individual Performance Award: Melanie Lynskey, “The Intervention”

U.S. Documentary Editing Award: “NUTS!”

U.S. Documentary Social Impact Filmmaking Award: “Trapped”

U.S. Documentary Writing Award: “Kate Plays Christine”

U.S. Documentary Verite Filmmaking Award: “The Bad Kids”

World Cinema Directing Award, Documentary: “All These Sleepless Nights”

World Cinema Directing Award, Dramatic: “Belgica”

World Cinema Acting Award, Dramatic: Vicky Hernandez and Manolo Cruz, “Between Land and Sea”

World Cinema Screenwriting Award, Dramatic: “Mi Amiga del Parque”

World Cinema Unique Vision and Design Award, Dramatic: “The Lure”

World Cinema Editing Award, Documentary: “We Are X”

World Cinema Cinematography Award, Documentary: “The Land of the Enlightened”

World Cinema Best First Feature Award, Documentary: “When Two Worlds Collide”

Alfred P. Sloan Prize: “Embrace of the Serpent” (announced earlier)

You can also watch the show live below:

READ MORE: Sundance: Why Nate Parker Put His Acting Career on Hold to Make Breakout Hit ‘The Birth of a Nation’

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Why would you being a SAG member have anything to do with you being familiar with these movies? They are brand-new films that just premiered at a film festival. Unless you attended Sundance or kept up with coverage of the fest there’s no reason why you should have heard of them.


@Philip: I’m talking about the preference of the Sundance Institute since the late 1980s for the socially redeeming over quality and intelligence. This is what happens when you turn over an art form to social welfare administrators and rich liberals. American indie film is shockingly immature compared to art-house traditions of other countries, for which Sundance doesn’t have the slightest regret. The best description of the typical Sundance competition movie is a Hollywood movie Hollywood no longer makes. But "independent film" should mean more than "no studio financing".


I think this festival has become so irrelevant. Looking at the documentary award recipients I’m not so shocked to see that none of the most highly regarded docs in the festival by critics received an award – not one! Sundance usually selects feel good films, or shallow quirky films for its doc awards. For example, every review I read of the new doc NEWTOWN has been spectacular, but it got no love from meaningless Sundance juries. I think that Sundance’s jury awards often reek of politics! Now I know why I didn’t go!


@Cally: Have to disagree with you here. What kind of destructive effects of Sundance are you talking about? These films are indeed independent — though some are certainly higher profile than others, and have more money and influence than others, but does that mean they’re not independently made. If you’re going to call these films not independent, then define independent. A film doesn’t have to be self-financed to be independent (though I would LOVE to see a ‘self-financed film fest’, which might be closer to the mark of what some people want Sundance to be). Sundance has always represented the indie voice, though it’s the corporate/sponsor influence on the festival that brings the cynicism to their efforts. Redford regularly bemoans the size and scope of Sundance as detracting from what they stand for. But you can’t blame Sundance for being popular. You CAN blame people for twisting Sundance’s initiatives to their own self-serving (and commercial) agendas.

John M

Why no Cinematography or editing awards for Dramatic Competition this year?


@Bob Hawk: the winners are reflective of Sundance itself — including the Institute, whose destructive effects can’t be understated. Even the judges are, in most cases, unaccountable choices. The coincidence — now a feature of the festival — of audience award and Grand Prize says it all, alas. The only actual "independent" films are outside the Dramatic Competition, and even in the suburbs of the main program, the actual independent films are few. Granted, a festival of actual American independent films would be of no interest to the resort goers or the industry at large, in no small part because these invariably self-financed efforts are stunted from the outset. But that’s what Sundance and its co-conspirators (IFP, FIND, etc.) was supposed to cure…. But, instead they’re the disease.


Like Park City,Sundance Film Festival,and the Frozen temps


OMG I thought I was looking at the SAG award winners. I need coffee.


I am SAG and have heard of only two of these films. What am I looking at?

Bob Hawk

"J" — How could a minuscule number of winners (compared to the total number of films at Sundance this year) reflect the irrelevance of the festival? These are merely the choices of three-to-five person juries. In addition, I doubt that you’ve seen all the winners, some of which are anything but quiet or meaningless. I’d like to posit that your post may be meaningless.


Further proof of how irrelevant this festival has become. Back-patting of the quietest, most meaningless sort.


Do I smell politics, or do I smell politics?

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