'World Of Tomorrow' Wins Sundance Short Film Grand Jury Prize

The Sundance Film Festival handed out awards tonight to the short films it tapped as best of the fest, culled from the 60 shorts selected from 8,061 submissions. Writer-director Don Hertzfeldt’s World Of Tomorrow, about a little girl who is taken on a mind-bending tour of the distant future, scored the Short Film Grand Jury Prize. Frankie Shaw’s SMILF won the jury award for U.S. Fiction, and Atsuko Hirayanagi’s Oh Lucy! took the trophy for International Fiction.

Short films are a huge part of the indie-centric festival and many directors who participated in the category in the past have become Oscar nominees, among their many honors. Some folks you might have heard of launched their careers with shorts at Park City include David O. Russell, Wes Anderson, Todd Haynes, Spike Jonze, Jason Reitman, Paul Thomas Anderson, Trey Parker & Matt Stone and Tamara Jenkins.

The jurors are for tonight’s awards were K.K. Barrett, Alia Shawkat and Autumn de Wilde. The Short Film winners will also be honored at the Tig Notaro hosted feature film Awards Ceremony on January 31.

That said, here is the complete list of Short Film winners plus synopsis of them:

Short Film Grand Jury Prize
World of Tomorrow / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Don Hertzfeldt) — A little girl is taken on a mind-bending tour of the distant future.

Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction
SMILF / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Frankie Shaw) — A young single mother struggles to balance her old life of freedom with her new one as mom. It all comes to a head during one particular nap-time when Bridgette invites an old friend over for a visit.

Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction
Oh Lucy! / Japan, Singapore, U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Atsuko Hirayanagi) — Setsuko, a 55-year-old single so-called office lady in Tokyo, is given a blonde wig and a new identity, Lucy, by her young unconventional English-language teacher. “Lucy” awakens desires in Setsuko she never knew existed.

Short Film Jury Award: Non-fiction
The Face of Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiul / Australia (Director: Kitty Green) — Adorned in pink sequins, little girls from across a divided, war-torn Ukraine audition to play the role of Olympic champion figure skater Oksana Baiul, whose tears of joy once united their troubled country.

Short Film Jury Award: Animation
Storm hits jacket / France (Director and screenwriter: Paul Cabon) — A storm reaches the shores of Brittany. Nature goes crazy, two young scientists get caught up in the chaos. Espionage, romantic tension, and mysterious events clash with enthusiasm and randomness.

Short Film Special Jury Award for Acting
Back Alley / France (Director and screenwriter: Cécile Ducrocq) — Suzanne, a prostitute for 15 years, has her turf, her regular johns, and her freedom. One day, however, young African prostitutes settle nearby, and she is threatened.

Short Film Special Jury Award for Visual Poetry
Object / Poland (Director: Paulina Skibińska) — A creative image of an underwater search in the dimensions of two worlds — ice desert and under water — told from the point of view of the rescue team, of the diver, and of the ordinary people waiting on the shore.