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Nanny, The Exiles, Navalny Win Top Prizes at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival


Nikyatu Jusu’s horror drama Nanny and Ben Klein and Violet Columbus’s documentary The Exiles won yesterday the two top U.S. prizes at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. Nanny took the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic while The Exiles was awarded the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary.

About the former, juror Chelsea Barnard said, ““For this Grand Jury Prize we celebrate a movie that flooded us with its compassionate and horrifying portrayal of a mother being separated from her child. This film cannot be contained by any one genre —it’s visually stunning, masterfully acted, impeccably designed from sound to visual effects, and the overall vision, expertly guided by Nikyatu Jusu comes together offering its audience an electrifying experience.”

“For the Grand Jury Prize, we recognize a film which is totally original, layered, philosophical and non-linear — challenging our understanding of history,” said juror Joan Churchill about The Exiles. “For celebrating the power of documentary filmmaking and the responsibility of the filmmaker to examine the truth.”

Among the other prizes, Alejandro Loayza Grisi’s Utama won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic, and Shaunak Sen’s All that Breathes won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary. Daniel Roher’s Navalny, a late addition to the Sundance lineup, won the U.S Documentary Audience Award as well as the all-festival Festival Favorite award, while the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award went to Cooper Raiff’s Cha Cha Real Smooth.

From the press release:

“Today’s awards represent the determination of visionary individuals, whose dynamic work will continue to change the culture and create discourse throughout the year,” said Sundance Institute CEO Joana Vicente. “This year’s entire program has proven that no matter the context, independent storytelling remains a pivotal tool in expanding critical dialogues, and these stories will and must be shared.”

“The 2022 Sundance Film Festival once again met our audience wherever they happened to be,” added Sundance Film Festival Director Tabitha Jackson, “Whether you watched from home or one of our seven satellite screens, this year’s Festival expressed a powerful convergence; we were present, together, as a community connected through the work. And it is work that has already changed those who experienced it.”

“We are so grateful for this year’s jurors who brought their expertise and passion to their decision-making process,” said the Festival’s Director of Programming Kim Yutani, “We congratulate the award winners and we’re so thankful to each and every film in the program that made the 2022 Sundance Film Festival such a huge success.”

The complete list of awards follows:


Audience Award: Cha Cha Real Smooth, director-writer, Cooper Raiff

Grand Jury Award: Nanny, director-writer, Nikyatu Jusu

Directing: Jamie Dack, Palm Trees and Power Lines

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: K.D. Dávila, Emergency

Special Jury Award: Ensemble Cast: John Boyega, Nicole Beharie, Selenis Leyva, Connie Britton, Olivia Washington, London Covington and Michael K Williams, 892

Special Jury Award: Uncompromising Artistic Vision: Bradley Rust Gray, blood

U.S. DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION: Audience Award, Navalny, director, Daniel Roher

Grand Jury Prize: The Exiles (U.S.), directors, Ben Klein, Violet Columbus

Directing: Reid Davenport, I Didn’t See You There

Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award: Erin Casper and Jocelyne Chaput, Fire Of Love

Special Jury Award: Impact for Change: Aftershock, directors: Paula Eiselt, Tonya Lewis Lee

Special Jury Award: Creative Vision: Descendant, director: Margaret Brown


Audience Award: The Territory, director, Alex Pritz (Brazil/Denmark/U.S.)

Grand Jury Prize: All That Breathes (India/UK), director: Shaunak Sen

Directing: Simon Lereng Wilmont, A House Made Of Splinters (Denmark)

Special Jury Award: Documentary Craft: The Territory (Brazil/Denmark/U.S.), director, Alex Pritz

Special Jury Award: Excellence In Verité Filmmaking: Midwives (Myanmar), director ,Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing


Audience Award: Girl Picture (Finland), director, Alli Haapasalo

Grand Jury Prize: Utama (Bolvia/Uruguay/France), director-writer: Alejandro Loayza Grisi

Directing: Maryna Er Gorbach, Klondike (Ukraine/Turkey)

Special Jury Award: Innovative Spirit: Leonor Will Never Die (Philippines), director-writer: Martika Ramirez Escobar

Special Jury Award: Acting, Teresa Sánchez, Dos Estaciones (Mexico)


Audience Award: Framing Agnes (Canada/U.S.), director: Chase Joynt


Grand Jury Prize: The Headhunter’s Daughter (Philippines), director-writer: Don Josephus Raphael Eblahan

Jury Award: U.S. Fiction:  If I Go Will They Miss Me (U.S.), director-writer: Walter Thompson-Hernández

Jury Award: International Fiction: Warsha (France/Lebanon), director-writer: Dania Bdeir

Jury Award: Nonfiction Displaced (Kosovo), director-writer: Samir Karahoda

Jury Award: Animation: Night Bus (Taiwan), director-writer: Joe Hsieh

Special Jury Award: Ensemble Cast: Zélia Duncan, Bruna Linzmeyer, Camila Rocha, Clarissa Ribeiro and Lorre Motta, A wild patience has taken me here (Brazil), director-writer: Érica Sarmet

Special Jury Award: Screenwriting

Sara Driver: Stranger Than Rotterdam with Sara Driver (U.S.), directors: Lewie Kloster, Noah Kloster; writer: Sara Driver

Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize: After Yang

Sundance Institute | Amazon Studios Producers Award for Nonfiction: Su Kim, Free Chol Soo Lee (U.S. Documentary Competition)

Sundance Institute | Amazon Studios Producers Award for Fiction: Amanda Marshall, God’s Country (Premieres)

Sundance Institute | Adobe Mentorship Award for Editing Nonfiction: Toby Shimin

Sundance Institute | Adobe Mentorship Award for Editing Fiction: Dody Dorn

Sundance Institute | NHK Award: Hasan Hadi, The President’s Cake



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