February 2, 2020
The 2020 Sundance Film Festival is coming to a close in Park City, and that means that this year’s award winners have been announced. The awards spotlight standout films across the festival’s various categories, including U.S. films spanning fiction and documentary, as well as foreign-made films, and NEXT and Midnight selections.
This year’s fest brought a bounty of riches that are continuing to attract buyers, including high-profile pickups from Neon and Hulu (“Palm Springs”), Sony Pictures Classics (“I Carry You With Me,” “Charm City Kids”), Searchlight Pictures (“The Night House”), and more. The 2020 Sundance Film Festival broke a number of records, from diversity in its programming to sales. Culled from 15,000 submissions, the 2020 edition offered up a range of timely, boundary-pushing documentary and narrative storytelling, promising new voices and satisfying new heights from established filmmakers. (Check out IndieWire’s roundup of the best 15 films out of Sundance here.)
Netflix, which owned this year’s Academy Awards nominations, is the distributor that came to the festival with the most titles, including the high-profile Taylor Swift documentary “Miss Americana” from director Lana Wilson as well as Sundance regular Dee Rees’ latest effort, the Anne Hathaway-starring Joan Didion adaptation “The Last Thing He Wanted” (which was unfortunately excoriated by critics).
Still, there are plenty of other buzzed-about titles up for grabs to the highest bidder from across Sundance’s sections, like “Shirley,” a psychodrama from “Madeline’s Madeline” director Josephine Decker starring Elisabeth Moss and Michael Stuhlbarg as author Shirley Jackson and her husband. Meanwhile, Miranda July debuted her first film in nearly a decade, “Kajillionaire,” currently in final talks for distribution from A24. Hulu has set its sights on Justin Simien’s ’80s-set horror satire “Bad Hair.” Elsewhere, the festival’s most controversial title, Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering’s “On the Record,” focused on a former music executive’s accusations of sexual assault against Russell Simmons, and it’s still on the prowl for a buyer after former executive producer Oprah Winfrey backed out of the project, which was set for release on Apple TV+. That distribution deal is no longer.
Sundance 2020 winners are listed below.
Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize: “Tesla”
Adobe Mentorship Award for Editing: Carla Guttierez and Affonso Gonçalves
Producers Award: Huriyyah Muhammad, “Farewell Amor”
Short Film Grand Jury Prize: “So What If the Goats Die,” Sofia Alaoui
NEXT Audience Award: “I Carry You With Me,” Heidi Ewing
NEXT Innovator Award: “I Carry You With Me,” Heidi Ewing
World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Editing: “Softie,” Mila Aung-Thwin, Sam Soko, and Ryan Mullins
World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Cinematography: “Acasa, My Home,” Mircea Topoleanu and Radu Ciorniciuc
World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Creative Storytelling: “The Painter and the Thief,” Benjamin Ree
Directing Award: World Cinema Documentary: Iryna Tsilyk, “The Earth Is Blue as an Orange”
World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary: Hubert Sauper, “Epicentro”
World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting: Ben Whishaw, “Surge”
World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Visionary Filmmaking: Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, “This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection”
World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Best Screenplay: Fernanda Valadez and Astrid Rondero, “Identifying Features”
Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic: Maïmouna Doucouré, “Cuties”
World Cinema Grand Jury Prize World Dramatic: “Yalda, A Night for Forgiveness,” Massoud Bakhshi
Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary: “The Reason I Jump”
Audience Award: World Cinema Dramatic: “Identifying Features”
Audience Award: U.S. Documentary: “Crip Camp”
U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Emerging Filmmaker: Arthur Jones, “Feels Good Man”
Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic: “Minari,” Lee Isaac Chung
U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking: Elyse Steinberg, Josh Kriegman, and Eli Despres, “The Fight”
U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Innovation in Nonfiction Storytelling: Kirsten Johnson, “Dick Johnson Is Dead”
U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Editing: Tyler H. Walk, “Welcome to Chechnya”
U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Ensemble Cast: “Charm City Kids”
U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Auteur Filmmaking: Josephine Decker, “Shirley”
U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Neorealism: Eliza Hittman, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: Edson Oda, “Nine Days”
Directing Award: U.S. Documentary: Garrett Bradley, “Time”
Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic: Radha Blank, “The 40-Year-Old Version”
U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary: “Boys State,” Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine
U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic: “Minari,” Lee Isaac Chung.
Source: IndieWire film