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Sundance Announces the Winners of the 2023 Sundance Film Festival

A mother wearing a flannel shirt with a slicked-back ponytail cradles her song in her arms, who is wearing a white tank top and gold chain necklace.Teyana Taylor and Aaron Kingsley Adetola in A Thousand and One.

A.V. Rockwell’s debut feature, A Thousand and One and Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project, directed by Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson, won, respectively the 2023 Sundance Film Festival’s two top U.S. awards, the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic and U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary. D. Smith’s Kokomo City won two awards, the NEXT Innovator Award and the NEXT Audience Award. And Maryam Keshavarz’s The Persian Winner was another double winner, picking up the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award and the Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic.

“This year’s Festival has been an extraordinary experience,” said Joana Vicente, Sundance Institute CEO. “The artists that comprise the 2023 Sundance Film Festival have demonstrated a sense of urgency and dedication to excellence in independent film. Today’s award winners highlight our programs’ most impressive achievements in the current moment of cinematic arts. I hope you will join me in congratulating our winners, as well as thanking all artists across sections for sharing their stories with the Sundancecommunity.”

“In addition to acknowledging our artists, I want to thank this year’s jurors for their time and thoughtful consideration,” added Kim Yutani, Sundance Film Festival Director of Programming. “Their efforts help contextualize our artists’ work beyond the Festival program and elevate their stories to new audiences around the globe. The winners themselves represent a diverse mix of bold storytelling, thought-provoking reflections, and critical representations of our world today.”

This year’s jurors were: Jeremy O. Harris, Eliza Hittman, and Marlee Matlin for U.S. Dramatic Competition; W. Kamau Bell, Ramona Diaz, and Carla Gutierrez for U.S. Documentary Competition; Shozo Ichiyama, Annemarie Jacir, and Funa Maduka for World Cinema Dramatic Competition; and Karim Amer, Petra Costa, and Alexander Nanau for World Cinema Documentary Competition; Madeleine Olnek for the NEXT competition section; Destin Daniel Cretton, Marie-Louise Khondji, and Deborah Stratman for the Short Film Program Competition.

The complete list of winners is below, along with links to specific Filmmaker interviews and profiles. Click here for all of Filmmaker‘s Sundance 2023 coverage.


U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic — A Thousand and One (dir. A.V. Rockwell) [25 New Face profile]

U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary — Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project (dirs. Joe Brewster, Michèle Stephenson) [Sundance Question answer]

World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic – Scrapper (dir. Charlotte Regan) [Sundance Question answer]

World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary – The Eternal Memory (dir. Maite Alberdi) [Interview with Alberdi]

U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award (Clarity of Vision) — The Stroll (dir. Kristen Lovell, Zackary Drucker) [Interview with DP Sara Kinney]

U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award (Freedom of Expression) — Bad Press (dir. Rebecca Landsberry-Baker, Joe Peeler) [Lauren Wissot’s interview with Landsberry-Baker and Peeler]

U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Ensemble Award: the cast of Theater Camp, directed by Molly Gordon [Sundance Question Answer]

U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award, Creative Vision: the creative team of Magazine Dreams, directed by Elijah Bynum [Sundance Question Answer]


Audience Award: U.S. Documentary — Beyond Utopia (dir. Madeleine Gavin)

Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic — The Persian Version (dir. Maryam Keshavarz) [Interview with editor JoAnne Yarrow]

Audience Award: World Cinema Dramatic — Shayda (dir. Nora Niasari) [Sundance Question answer, interviews with editor Elika Rezaee and DP Sherwin Akbarzadeh]

Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary — 20 Days in Mariupol (dir. Mstyslav Chernov) [Interviews with director/cinematographer Chernov and editor Michelle Mizner]

Audience Award: NEXT – Kokomo City (dir. D. Smith)


Radical — (dir. Christopher Zalla)


Directing Award: U.S. Documentary — Luke Lorentzen, A Still Small Voice [Sundance Question Answer]

Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic — Sing J. Lee, The Accidental Getaway Driver [Sundance Question Answer]

Directing Award: World Cinema Documentary – Anna Hints, Smoke Sauna Sisterhood [Interview with director Anna Hints]

Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic – Marija Kavtaradze, Slow

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: U.S. Dramatic — Maryam Keshavarz, The Persian Version

Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award: U.S. Documentary — Daniela I. Quiroz, Going Varsity in Mariachi


Kokomo City (D. Smith)


Short Film Grand Jury Prize – When You Left Me on that Boulevard (dir. Kayla Abuda Galang)

Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction – Rest Stop (dir. Crystal Kayiza)

Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction – The Kidnapping of the Bride (dir. Sophia Mocorrea)

Short Film Jury Award: Nonfiction – Will You Look at Me (dir. Shuli Huang)

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