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Sundance Film Festival Announces 2016 Short Film Jury Prizes – Includes a Black Filmmaker to Watch

Sundance Film Festival Announces 2016 Short Film Jury Prizes - Includes a Black Filmmaker to Watch

Sundance Institute has announced the jury prizes in short filmmaking at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.

This year’s Short Film jurors are: star and co-creator of Comedy Central’s “Key & Peele,” Keegan-Michael Key; development executive at Amazon Studios, Gina Kwon; and chief film critic for MTV, Amy Nicholson.

The Short Film Grand Jury Prize, awarded to one film in the program of 72 short films selected from 8,712 submissions, went to “Thunder Road” by director and screenwriter Jim Cummings.

Of note with respect to this blog’s stated interests, the Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction was presented to “Maman(s)” from French-Senegalese director and screenwriter, Maïmouna Doucouré, which tells the story of an eight-year-old girl named Aida, whose life is disrupted when her father returns with a young Senegalese woman, Rama, whom he introduces as his second wife. Sensitive to her mother’s distress, Aida decides to get rid of the new visitor.

The short film also won the International Short Prize at last fall’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), so the filmmaker is one to be aware of. “Maman(s)” is only her 2nd film. She’s clearly off to a great start, winning 2 major awards with it. You’ll find a teaser for “Maman(s)” at the bottom of this post, as well as footage of the filmmaker accepting the International Short Film Prize at TIFF last fall.

And also read Claire Diao’s profile of the filmmaker on the African Women in Cinema blog here, in which she talks about her background, her attraction to cinema, the genesis of “Maman(s)” and more.

The Sundance short film prizes were presented at a ceremony in Park City, Utah.

The rest of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Jury Awards follow: 
– The Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction was presented to: “The Procedure” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Calvin Lee Reeder) — A man is captured and forced to endure a strange experiment.
– The Short Film Jury Award: Non-fiction was presented to: “Bacon & God’s Wrath” / Canada (Director: Sol Friedman) — A 90-year-old Jewish woman reflects on her life experiences as she prepares to try bacon for the first time.
– The Short Film Jury Award: Animation was presented to: “Edmond” / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Nina Gantz) — Edmond’s impulse to love and be close to others is strong—maybe too strong. As he stands by a lake contemplating his options, he reflects on his defining moments in search of the origin of his desires.
– A Short Film Special Jury Award for Outstanding Performance was presented to:Grace Glowicki for her performance in Her Friend Adam.
– A Short Film Special Jury Award for Best Direction was presented to: “Peacock” / Czech Republic (Director: Ondřej Hudeček, Screenwriters: Jan Smutny, Ondřej Hudeček) — A twisted queer romance set in picturesque 19th-century Bohemia tells the true story of the birth of one of the nation’s most influential writers, with suspense, laughter, violence, hope, nudity, sex, and a happy ending—mostly a happy ending.

Watch the teaser for “Maman(s)” below:

And here’s the filmmaker accepting the International Short Film Prize at TIFF last fall:

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