Hollywood loves a comeback story, and 2023 was an in-person comeback for the Sundance Film Festival after two virtual years. This year’s fest was back in Park City, Utah, from January 19-29, and SAGindie returned just like the olden days!
Also like the olden days, we once again hosted our annual Actors Only Brunch (hosted by Parvesh Cheena, Alden Ehrenreich, Jordan Firstman, Algee Smith, and Karrueche Tran) and Filmmakers Luncheon (hosted by Thembi Banks, Nina Yang Bongiovi, Lisa Cortés, Mali Elfman, Susanna Fogel, Poppy Hanks, Laura Moss, Bird Runningwater, and Roger Ross Williams). This year we also sponsored both the Latinx House and innaugural IllumiNative Indigenous House, which served as meeting spaces and hubs for some of the underrepresented artists and attendees at the fest.
We also saw some movies (since the festival does screen then throughout the week). See our staff’s favorite films of the fest, plus all of this year’s award-winners below. See you next year, Sundance! (Right? Please say yes. We can’t go back to our couches.)
I saw two films, one in-person and one online, that I thought really stood out.
Online, I saw Other People’s Children, which was compelling and managed the subject of a 40 yr old woman realizing that she wants children but it may be late, without making her seem damaged or morose.
The other film was Rye Lane, which I can only describe as, if a young Spike Lee and Wes Anderson has a filmic baby, who then directed Before Sunrise. It was fun, light, irreverent and colorful, and really fun to watch.
Favorite Movie: Rye Lane was a highlight, a fun rom-com with two fantastic leads (David Jonsson and Vivian Oparah).
Favorite Scene: The “what mariachi means to me” scene in Going Varsity in Mariachi
And a festival highlight would definitely be the first South Asian Lounge. I hope they have another one next year!
2023 Sundance Film Festival Winners:
Grand Jury Awards – Dramatic
- U.S. Grand Jury Prize – Dramatic: A Thousand and One
- Directing Award – U.S. Dramatic: Sing J. Lee, The Accidental Getaway Driver
- Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award – U.S. Dramatic: Maryam Keshavarz, The Persian Version
- U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Ensemble Cast: Theater Camp
- U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Creative Vision: Magazine Dreams
- U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting: Lio Mehiel, Mutt
- World Cinema Grand Jury Prize – Dramatic: Scrapper
- Directing Award – World Cinema Dramatic: Marija Kavtaradze, Slow
- World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Creative Vision: Animalia
- World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Cinematography: Lílis Soares, Mami Wata
- World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Best Performance: Rosa Marchant, When It Melts
Grand Jury Awards – Documentary
- U.S. Grand Jury Prize – Documentary: Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project
- Directing Award – U.S. Documentary: Luke Lorentzen, A Still Small Voice
- Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award – U.S. Documentary: Daniela I. Quiroz, Going Varsity in Mariachi
- U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Clarity of Vision: The Stroll
- U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Freedom of Expression: Bad Press
- World Cinema Grand Jury Prize – Documentary: The Eternal Memory
- Directing Award – World Cinema Documentary: Anna Hints, Smoke Sauna Sisterhood
- World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Creative Vision: Fantastic Machine
- World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Vérité Filmmaking: Against the Tide
Grand Jury Awards – Shorts
- Short Film Grand Jury Prize: When You Left Me On That Boulevard
- Short Film Jury Award – U.S. Fiction: Rest Stop
- Short Film Jury Award – International Fiction: The Kidnapping of the Bride
- Short Film Jury Award – Non-Fiction: Will You Look at Me
- Short Film Jury Award – Animation: The Flying Sailor
- Short Film Special Jury Award for International Directing: AliEN0089
- Short Film Special Jury Award for U.S. Directing: The Vacation
- Audience Award – U.S. Dramatic: The Persian Version
- Audience Award – U.S. Documentary: Beyond Utopia
- Audience Award – NEXT: Kokomo City
- Audience Award – World Cinema Dramatic: Shayda
- Audience Award – World Cinema Documentary: 20 Days in Mariupol
- Festival Favorite Award: Radical
- Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize: The Pod Generation
- NEXT Innovator Award: Kokomo City
- Sundance Institute/Amazon Studios Producers Award – Fiction: Kara Durrett, The Starling Girl
- Sundance Institute/Amazon Studios Producers Award – Nonfiction: Jess Devaney, It’s Only Life After All
- Sundance Institute/Adobe Mentorship Award – Fiction: Troy Takaki
- Sundance Institute/Adobe Mentorship Award – Nonfiction: Mary Manhardt
- Sundance Institute/NHK Award: Olive Nwosu
- Sundance Institute/Stars Collective Imagination Awards: Tamara Shogaolu; Navid Khonsari, Vassiliki Khonsari, Andres Perez-Duarte; Vanessa Keith
CONGRATS TO THIS YEAR’S FILMMAKERS AND AWARD-WINNERS!
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