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Sundance Film Festival Awards: ‘I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore’ & ‘Dina’ Take Grand Jury Prizes

Deadline logo Deadline 1/29/2017 Dominic Patten
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With big wins for I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore, Beach Rats, Crown Heights, the documentary Chasing Coral, Roxanne Roxanne’s Chante Adams, The Niles Hilton Incident and Last Men In Aleppo, the 2017 Sundance Film Festival handed out its awards tonight.

“I don’t know what to say,” whispered Beach Rats helmer Eliza Hittman when she took the stage to accept her U.S. Dramatic Best Directing Award on Saturday in Park City. “I just really want to say thank you to the Sundance Institute for supporting this script and supporting me in a very very vulnerable moment in my life,” the SFF alum added. It was a good night for Hittman: the film was also acquired by Neon in a North American rights deal earlier in the day.

Hosted by Jessica Williams, the ceremony was a celebration of independent film but also an indictment of the new administration of President Donald Trump. With Executive Orders banning citizens from a number of Muslim majority countries from entering the U.S. for the next several months and more, his January 20 inauguration threw a shadow over the festival, coming one day after this year’s Robert Redford-founded shindig kicked off.

While Williams mostly avoided the Trump issue in her often rambling opening monologue, Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam early on took aim at the new administration’s moves. “We know that closing our borders to these and other artists will stop the flow of ideas and inspiration that are so vital to the global community,” Putnam said to cheers from the crowd. “We stand with you and we stand with all people risking their lives for their values or seeking refuge from violence or persecution who are now denied entry to our county.”

As awards were given to films in the U.S. and World competition categories and the NEXT slate, other speeches from the stage offered personal glimmers of optimism.

“I want to share an anecdote with you that happened to me today,” said director Tarik Saleh on-stage after his The Nile Hilton Incident won the World Cinema Dramatic Grand Jury Prize. “I’m always kept in the room at the airport when I enter into the United States, since 9/11 basically,” the Swedish-born filmmaker said.

Something special happened today,” he added, “because I had forgotten my passport in L.A. in the hotel and I thought I was not going to make it here.” He leaned into the podium and said, “And I told the security guy that I have a film at Sundance and there is an award show tonight and he said, ‘I’m going to make sure that you are on that plane.’ ” The crowd gave Saleh and that unnamed LAX guard a big round of applause. “It wasn’t a majority that voted for him, I just want to say that,” Saleh said in ending his remarks at Trump, again to big cheers.

Having given a powerful speech at the rally in Park City following the Women’s March on Main on January 21st, Williams noted the political atmosphere in the room at the Basin Recreation Field House. “On an election level, that’s sort of the award Hillary Clinton won,” she said after Crown Heights won the U.S. Dramatic audience award. “Not over it,” she added almost as an aside that resonated with many in the room.

Here’s the complete list of winners.

U.S. DRAMATIC

Grand Jury Prize

I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore

Dir: Macon Blair

Directing Award

Eliza Hittman, Beach Rats

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award

Ingrid Goes West

Writers: Matt Spicer, David Branson Smith

Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Director

Maggie Betts, Novitiate

Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Performance

Chanté Adams, Roxanne Roxanne

Special Jury Award for Cinematography

Yellow Birds

DP: Daniel Landin

U.S. DOCUMENTARY

Grand Jury Prize

Dina

Dir: Dan Sickles, Antonio Santini

Directing Award

Peter Nicks, The Force

The Orwell Award

Icarus

Dir: Bryan Fogel

Special Jury Award for Storytelling

Strong Island

Dir: Yance Ford

Special Jury Award for Editing

Unrest

Editors: Kim Roberts, Emiliano Battista

Special Jury Award for Inspirational Filmmaking

Step

Dir: Amanda Lipitz

U.S. Dramatic Audience Award

Crown Heights

Dir: Matt Ruskin

U.S. Documentary Audience Award

Chasing Coral

Dir: Jeff Orlowski

World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award

Sueño en Otro Idioma (I Dream In Another Language)

Mexico/Netherlands (Dir: Ernesto Contreras)

World Cinema Documentary Audience Award

Joshua: Teenager Vs Superpower

U.S.A. (Dir: Joe Piscatella)

WORLD CINEMA DRAMATIC

Grand Jury Prize

The Nile Hilton Incident

Sweden/Germany/Denmark (Dir: Tarik Saleh)

Special Jury Award For Directing

God’s Own Country

United Kingdom (Director-writer: Francis Lee)

Special Jury Award for Screenwriting

Pop Aye

Singapore/Thailand (Dir: Kirsten Tan)

Special Jury Award for Cinematic Vision

Free And Easy

Hong Kong (Dir: Jun Geng)

Special Jury Award for Cinematography

Axolotl Overkill

Germany (DP: Manu Dacosse)

WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY

Grand Jury Prize

Last Men In Aleppo

Denmark/Syria (Dir: Feras Fayyad)

Directing Award

Winnie

France/Netherlands/South Africa (Dir: Pascale Lamche)

Special Jury Award for Masterful Storytelling

Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World

Canada (Co-directors: Catherine Bainbridge and Alfonso Maiorana)

Special Jury Award for Commanding Vision

Motherland

U.S.A./Philippines (Ramona S. Diaz)

Special Jury Award for Cinematography

Machines

India/Germany/Finland (DP: Rodrigo Trejo Villanueva)

NEXT Audience Award

Gook

U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Justin Chon)

SUNDANCE INSTITUTE GLOBAL FILMMAKING AWARDS

Yalda (Iran)

Massoud Bakhshi

Mignonnes (France)

Maimouna Doucoure

The Hanged (Brazil)

Fernando Coimbra

Untitled Rock Opera (Poland)

Agnieszka Smoczynska

Sundance Institute/NHK Award

I Came By (United Kingdom)

Babak Anvari

PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED

Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize

Marjorie Prime

U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Michael Almereyda)

The Short Film Grand Jury Prize

And so we put goldfish in the pool.

Japan (Director and screenwriter: Makoto Nagahisa)

The Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction

Lucia, Before And After

U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Anu Valia)

The Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction

And The Whole Sky Fit In The Dead Cow’s Eye

Chile, U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Francisca Alegría)

The Short Film Jury Award: Non-fiction

Alone

U.S.A. (Director: Garrett Bradley)

The Short Film Jury Award: Animation

Broken – The Women’s Prison At Hoheneck

Germany (Directors: Volker Schlecht, Alexander Lahl, Screenwriters: Alexander Lahl, Max Mönch)

A Special Jury Award for Cinematography

Dadyaa — The Woodpeckers Of Rotha

Nepal, France (Directors and screenwriters: Pooja Gurung, Bibhusan Basnet, Cinematographer: Chintan Rajbhandari)

A Short Film Special Jury Award for Editing

Laps

U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Charlotte Wells, editor Blair McClendon)

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