It’s awards day! We’re here at The Ray Theatre in Park City, Utah, for the much-anticipated 2024 Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony. We’re so excited to share the results as voted by our illustrious jurors, as well as the winners of the audience awards. Join us in congratulating these exceptional artists on their amazing contributions to independent film!
Watch this space; we’re updating this list live as we learn the results.
The U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic was awarded to In The Summers.
Jury citation: This film snuck up on us — like many great films do. We didn’t know where the journey would lead us, but by the time we landed on the final frame, we knew we had experienced something truly mesmerizing. This film tells the story of a family that is broken but refuses to give up on each other. A film like this can easily slip through the cracks, and for that reason we have chosen to shed light on this beautiful piece of cinema and we hope it finds the audience it so well deserves. The U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic goes to In The Summers.
The Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic was presented to Alessandra Lacorazza for In The Summers.
Jury citation: This filmmaker’s specific vision left us in suspense and grabbed a hold of our hearts. The direction was consistently surprising with how it handled its characters’ flaws and how it navigated complicated relationships between children and their parents. We were also impressed with its handling of queerness on screen and forgiveness when it comes to imperfect parents. Though the film is quiet, it is effective in its storytelling, and for that we felt this director was worthy of this coveted award. The Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic goes to Alessandra Lacorazza, In The Summers.
Jury citation: We felt this script was not only nuanced but extremely well-balanced. The writer’s ability to marry darkness with comedy really impressed us. There were moments where we didn’t know if we should be laughing or crying. This poignant script featured a range of diverse voices that all rang true. We never knew where a sentence would land or where a character would end up — and that is why we felt the screenwriting should be highlighted and acknowledged with this prestigious award. The Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: U.S. Dramatic goes to Jesse Eisenberg, A Real Pain.
The U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Best Ensemble was presented to Izaac Wang, Joan Chen, Shirley Chen, and Chang Li Hua for Dìdi (弟弟).
Jury citation: This cast worked together like a beautiful symphony. There were people of different ages and different levels of experience, and yet this group of actors felt like they’d known and worked with each other forever. It is the chemistry between these actors that helped to give this film its sense of vibrancy and helped to bring to life the joys and pains of growing up. The U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Best Ensemble goes to Izaac Wang, Joan Chen, Shirley Chen, and Chang Li Hua for Dìdi (弟弟).
The U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Performance was presented to Nico Parker for Suncoast.
Jury citation: We felt this performance was not only nuanced and powerful, but it was also extremely impressive due to the fact that she had to share the screen with such seasoned actors and was tasked with being the center of such an emotionally charged film. We feel this performance should be highlighted and talked about for years to come. It is the definition of a breakthrough performance. And we look forward to seeing what she does next. The U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Performance goes to Nico Parker with Suncoast.
The U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary was awarded to Porcelain War.
Jury citation: Resisting totalitarian aggression is necessary, but holding onto your humanity amid the onslaught is the ultimate pursuit of good. The making of this film — a film full of pathos and violence, porcini and dragonlets — is in and of itself this pursuit. For its unwavering voice from inside the brutal war in Ukraine calling us to care about those who would sacrifice their lives to defend their humanity and ours, and since at present there is no Sundance Jury Award for best dog, the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary goes to Porcelain War.
The Directing Award: U.S. Documentary was presented to Julian Brave NoiseCat and Emily Kassie for Sugarcane.
Jury citation: Benefiting from sensitive cinematography, careful producing, and editing that interweaves multiple narratives, these directors helped illuminate the urgency of history and the interconnected, multigenerational crimes experienced by a community. For its important voice for truth and healing, the Directing Award: U.S. Documentary goes to co-directors Julian Brave NoiseCat and Emily Kassie for their film Sugarcane.
The U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for the Art of Change was awarded to Union.
Jury citation: Power has a way of making it feel like we have no choice but to accept gross injustice and inequity as a fact of life. Without oversimplifying the struggle — both inner and outer — this film reminds us that we do have a choice, that we can organize and fight for what is just. The winner of the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for the Art of Change goes to Union.
Jury citation: This film was directed with a strong, clear vision, and its imaginative edit interweaves archival footage, photographs, images, and animation to bring that vision to vivid life. The winner of the Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award: U.S. Documentary goes to Carla Gutiérrez for her film FRIDA.
The U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Sound was awarded to Gaucho Gaucho.
Jury citation: Inside of each carefully crafted tableau, sound became a field of sensorial meaning and a register of the atmospherics of experience. For its cinematic and uncommon creation of this most intimate perceptual encounter, the winner of the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Sound goes to Gaucho Gaucho.
The Festival Favorite Award was awarded to Daughters.
The Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic, Presented by Acura was awarded to Dìdi (弟弟).
The Audience Award: U.S. Documentary, Presented by Acura was awarded to Daughters.
The Audience Award: World Cinema Dramatic, Presented by United Airlines was awarded to Girls Will Be Girls.
The Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary, Presented by United Airlines was awarded to Ibelin.
The Audience Award: NEXT, Presented by Adobe was awarded to Kneecap.
The NEXT Innovator Award was awarded to Little Death.
Jury citation: At the Festival, unlike the marketplace, you can watch films blind, devoid of the marketing dollars and spin, allowing you to experience them in their purest form. Led by a filmmaker skilled in construction and tailoring, we travel a path that bends, bucks, and veers. I applaud these risks, the strong performances, the desire to wrestle with one’s own blind spots, and the desire to eat your cake and then also have it. And why not. And why not at Sundance. The NEXT Innovator Award goes to Little Death and its bold filmmaker.
The NEXT Special Jury Award was awarded to Desire Lines.
Jury citation: With deep reservoirs of feeling and intellectual curiosity, this filmmaker takes our hand and guides us through the bathhouse. The mythical one of history, the pedestrian one of the present, and finally the promise of an inclusive, unguarded one of the future where the lines of desire intersect and bloom. But how can we get there without unearthing underground histories and looking at the rawness of our present? I salute this filmmaker’s boldness and care — a rare, potent combination. The NEXT Special Jury Award goes to Desire Lines.
The World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic was awarded to Sujo.
Jury citation: A breathtaking film that created its own unique cinematic vocabulary — of a childhood born around violence yet protected by the embrace of women, strangers, and family alike. The story came alive with extraordinary cinematography that captured a lyrical intensity of darkness, nature, and aspiration. The filmmakers brought us a story as yet unseen, with an originality and power that is deeply affecting and transcendent. The World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic goes to Sujo.
Jury citation: This remarkable debut feature got under our skins and never let us go. The filmmakers had a masterful command of every aspect of the medium and told the story with precision and poetry. Clear-eyed and courageous in its portrayal of everyday brutalities of refugee existence, the film brought humanity to each of its characters and allowed us to see ourselves in all of them. The Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic goes to Raha Amirfazli and Alireza Ghasemi for In the Land of Brothers.
The World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting was presented to Preeti Panigrahi for Girls Will Be Girls.
Jury citation: This luminous performance completely moved and surprised us, bringing to life a character with intelligence and vulnerability. In a film that dared to explore young female sexuality and agency with frankness and sweetness, this performance was delicate, uncompromising, and unforgettable. The World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting goes to Preeti Panigrahi in Girls Will Be Girls.
The World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Original Music was presented to Peter Raeburn for Handling the Undead.
Jury citation: This propulsive and sweeping score achieved a haunting atmosphere that carried the emotional heartbeat of this indelible film. The journey through grief, love, and hope was expertly conveyed through the tender yet unsettling soundscape, creating space for existential questioning and catharsis for the audience. The World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Original Music goes to Peter Raeburn for Handling the Undead.
The World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary was awarded to A New Kind of Wilderness.
Jury citation: Our jury was immersed in this story from start to finish. The film is embedded with deep humanism and a sensitivity and vulnerability that never veers into sentimentalism. The film is sSkillfully edited, beautifully filmed, and scored with intimate access inside a very special family. It’s rare to see classically vérité films of this caliber. The World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary goes to A New Kind of Wilderness.
The Directing Award: World Cinema Documentary was presented to Benjamin Ree for Ibelin.
Jury citation: The director found a powerful form to fit the story, excavating a wondrous and enchanting secret life with real skill, to give us deep insight into the mind of the main character, opening up a world that was previously locked away. We love the film’s playful inventiveness, its emotion, and depth. The Directing Award: World Cinema Documentary goes to Benjamin Ree, with Ibelin.
The World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Cinematic Innovation was presented to Johan Grimonprez for Soundtrack to a Coup d’Etat.
Jury citation: This kaleidoscopic, impressionistic, and at times wildly chaotic film uses form in a bold and ambitious way to grapple with a complex story. It bursts into our consciousness using multiple storytelling forms, taking a concealed history and making us see it differently. The World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Cinematic Innovation goes to Johan Grimonprez, Soundtrack to a Coup d’Etat.
The World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Craft was awarded to Nocturnes.
Jury citation: The images and sound in this film immediately invoke in the audience a meditative state as they enter the film’s world, at the same time bringing a laser focus to the film’s main subject. The confidence of the cinematography and sound design in building this story is part of its power and allure. The World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Craft goes to Nocturnes.
The Short Film Grand Jury Prize was awarded to Alex Lora Cercos for The Masterpiece.
Jury citation: Being able to craft and express nuance in a 90+ minute feature is quite a feat, but to be able to do that in 20 minutes or less is a wildly impressive task. This short kept us on the edge of our seats, but also left us thinking about it and its commentary long after we left the theater. From its writing to its direction and performances, this film felt as if it was crafted by a team that’s been making stories together for a lifetime. The winner of the Short Film Grand Jury Prize is The Masterpiece, directed by Alex Lora Cercos.
The Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction was presented to Kate Jean Hollowell for Say Hi After You Die.
Jury citation: This film took us on an unexpected journey of grief, skillfully blending heartfelt moments with humor and a dash of the absurd. It made us appreciate true friendship and see porta-pottys in a new way. The winner of the Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction is Say Hi After You Die, directed by Kate Jean Hollowell.
The Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction was presented to An Chu for The Stag.
Jury citation: This quietly powerful film held onto our attention from the opening shot, and it gave us a peek into a world we haven’t seen. The film is striking with beautifully composed scenes, and at its center is a deeply moving story about a father trying to do the right thing for his kids. The winner of the Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction is The Stag, directed by An Chu.
The Short Film Jury Award: Nonfiction was presented to Jack Dunphy for Bob’s Funeral.
Jury citation: This film balances different tones and styles with the confidence of someone who has incredible control of storytelling. The vulnerability offered up by the family makes us, the audience, feel like they’re a part of the emotional journey in such a short space of time. The winner of the Short Film Jury Award for Nonfiction is Bob’s Funeral, directed by Jack Dunphy.
The Short Film Jury Award: Animation was presented to Phoebe Jane Hart for Bug Diner.
Jury citation: We didn’t stop laughing at this from start to finish. It has that magical effect of making you walk around all day with a smile on your face. The dialogue was incredibly written and the animation style was amazing… there’s also never been a better bug’s voice done on film. The winner of the Short Film Jury Award for Animation is Bug Diner, directed by Phoebe Jane Hart.
A Short Film Special Jury Prize for Directing was presented to Masha Ko for The Looming.
Jury citation: Terrifyingly beautiful seems like an oxymoronic phrase, but this terrifying yet beautiful short left us deeply moved and served as a haunting reminder to not send your parents’ calls to voicemail. The winner of a Short Film Special Jury Prize for Directing goes to Masha Ko for The Looming.
A Short Film Special Jury Prize for Directing was presented to Makoto Nagahisa for Pisko the Crab Child is in Love.
Jury citation: There is nothing more special than the utter joy that can be found in friendships built on pure love and acceptance. It is so rare to see such such delight captured in a frame, and we never thought we’d root so hard for a half-crab. The winner of a Short Film Special Jury Prize for Directing goes to Makoto Nagahisa for Pisko the Crab Child is in Love.
The Sundance Institute | NHK Award was presented to Saim Sadiq for We Are Never Going to Die.
The Sundance Institute | Adobe Mentorship Award for Fiction was presented to Pamela Martin.
The Sundance Institute | Adobe Mentorship Award for Nonfiction was presented to Kristina Motwani.
The Sundance Institute | Amazon MGM Studios Producers Award for Fiction was presented to Brad Becker-Parton for Stress Positions.
The Sundance Institute | Amazon MGM Studios Producers Award for Nonfiction was presented to Toni Kamau for The Battle for Laikipia.
The 2024 Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize, presented to an outstanding feature film about science or technology, was awarded to Love Me.