Coda, Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised) Take Top Prizes at The 2021 Sundance Film Festival Awards
“When we dreamed this idea, this is what we dreamed, but you all made it a reality,” said Sundance Festival Director Tabitha Jackson during the introduction to this evening’s 2021 Sundance Film Festival awards ceremony. Like the festival, the ceremony was a smoothly running virtual one, connecting the at-home Sundance directors and programmers with the filmmakers similarly ensconced around the world (or, in the cases of Summer of Soul (… Or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised) director Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, All Light, Everywhere director Theo Anthony and Users director Natalia Almada, respectively, in a car on his way to work in New York, walking his dog, and at a San Francisco drive-in). Big winners include Coda, Siân’s Heder drama about a hearing teenager living with her Deaf family (U.S. Dramatic Competition Grand Jury Award, Audience Award, Best Ensemble and Directing Award); Roots drummer Questlove’s directorial debut, Summer of Soul (…Or, the Revolution Will Not Be Televised), about a 1969 Harlem music performance series dubbed the “Black Woodstock,” which took home the US Documentary Competition Grand Jury Award as well as the Audience Award; and Blerta Basholli’s Kosovo-set drama of a woman in the years after the disappearance of her husband, Hive, which won three awards, including the World Cinema Dramatic Competition Grand Jury Award.
A new award was created to recognize the creative work of the documentary editor, the Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award, named after the late editor of Streetwise, Paris is Burning and The Oath, among many others. That award went to Kristina Motwani and Rebecca Adorno for Homeroom.
The complete list of winners follows. Read all of Filmmaker‘s Sundance 2021 coverage here.
Short Film Awards
Special Jury Award, Acting: Deanna Gibson, Wiggle Room
Special Jury, Screenwriting: Serhat Karaaslan, The Criminals
Jury Prize, Animation: Souvenir, Souvenir, directed by Bastien Dubois
Jury Award, Nonfiction: Don’t Go Tellin’ Your Momma, directed by Topaz Jones and Rubberband
Jury Award, International Fiction: Bambirak, directed by Zamarin Wahdat
Jury Prize for U.S. Fiction: The Touch of the Masters Hand, directed by Gregory Barnes.
Grand Jury Award: Lizard, directed byAkinola Davies, Jr.
Audience Award: Ma Belle, My Beauty, directed by Marion Hill
Innovator Award: Cryptozoo, directed by Dash Shaw
World Cinema Documentary Competition
Special Jury Award, Verite Filmmaking: President, directed by Camilla Nielsson
Special Jury Award, Impact for Change: Writing with Fire, directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh
Directing Award: Sabaya, directed by Hogir Hirori
Grand Jury Award: Flee, directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen
Audience Award: Writing with Fire, directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh
World Cinema Dramatic Competition
Special Jury Award, Acting: Jesmark Scicluna, Luzzu.
Special Jury Award, Creative Vision: One for the Road, directed by Baz Poonpiriya
Directing Award: Hive, directed by Blerta Basholli
Grand Jury Prize: Hive, directed by Blerta Basholli
Audience Award: Hive, directed by Blerta Basholli
US Documentary Competition
Audience Award: Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised), directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson
Special Jury Award, Emerging Filmmaker: Parker Hill and Isabel Bethencourt, Cusp.
Special Jury Award, Nonfiction Experimentation: Theo Anthony, All Light, Everywhere
Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award: Kristina Motwani and Rebecca Adorno, Homeroom
Directing Award: Natalia Almada, Users
Grand Jury Prize: Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised), directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson
US Dramatic Competition
Audience Award: Coda, directed by Siân Heder
Special Jury Award, Acting: Clifton Collins, Jr., Jockey
Special Jury Award, Best Ensemble: The cast of Coda
Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: Ari Katcher and Ryan Welch, On the Count of Three
Directing Award: Siân Heder, Coda
Grand Jury Prize: Coda, directed by Siân Heder.