Sundance Film Festival Awards: ‘I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore’ & ‘Dina’ Take Grand Jury Prizes

By Dominic Patten, Patrick Hipes

Sundance Film Festival Winners

With big wins for I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore, Beach Rats, Crown Heights, the documentary Chasing Coral, Roxanne Roxanne’s Chante Adams, The Niles Hilton Incident and Last Men In Aleppo, the 2017 Sundance Film Festival handed out its awards tonight.

“I don’t know what to say,” whispered Beach Rats helmer Eliza Hittman when she took the stage to accept her U.S. Dramatic Best Directing Award on Saturday in Park City. “I just really want to say thank you to the Sundance Institute for supporting this script and supporting me in a very very vulnerable moment in my life,” the SFF alum added. It was a good night for Hittman: the film was also acquired by Neon in a North American rights deal earlier in the day.

Sundance Winners Live Stream

Hosted by Jessica Williams, the ceremony was a celebration of independent film but also an indictment of the new administration of President Donald Trump. With Executive Orders banning citizens from a number of Muslim majority countries from entering the U.S. for the next several months and more, his January 20 inauguration threw a shadow over the festival, coming one day after this year’s Robert Redford-founded shindig kicked off.

While Williams mostly avoided the Trump issue in her often rambling opening monologue, Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam early on took aim at the new administration’s moves. “We know that closing our borders to these and other artists will stop the flow of ideas and inspiration that are so vital to the global community,” Putnam said to cheers from the crowd. “We stand with you and we stand with all people risking their lives for their values or seeking refuge from violence or persecution who are now denied entry to our county.”

As awards were given to films in the U.S. and World competition categories and the NEXT slate, other speeches from the stage offered personal glimmers of optimism.

Sundance Film Festival

“I want to share an anecdote with you that happened to me today,” said director Tarik Saleh on-stage after his The Nile Hilton Incident won the World Cinema Dramatic Grand Jury Prize. “I’m always kept in the room at the airport when I enter into the United States, since 9/11 basically,” the Swedish-born filmmaker said.

Something special happened today,” he added, “because I had forgotten my passport in L.A. in the hotel and I thought I was not going to make it here.” He leaned into the podium and said, “And I told the security guy that I have a film at Sundance and there is an award show tonight and he said, ‘I’m going to make sure that you are on that plane.’ ” The crowd gave Saleh and that unnamed LAX guard a big round of applause. “It wasn’t a majority that voted for him, I just want to say that,” Saleh said in ending his remarks at Trump, again to big cheers.

Having given a powerful speech at the rally in Park City following the Women’s March on Main on January 21st, Williams noted the political atmosphere in the room at the Basin Recreation Field House. “On an election level, that’s sort of the award Hillary Clinton won,” she said after Crown Heights won the U.S. Dramatic audience award. “Not over it,” she added almost as an aside that resonated with many in the room.

Here’s the complete list of winners.


Sundance Film Festival

Grand Jury Prize
I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore
Dir: Macon Blair

Directing Award
Eliza Hittman, Beach Rats

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award
Ingrid Goes West
Writers: Matt Spicer, David Branson Smith

Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Director
Maggie Betts, Novitiate

Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Performance
Chanté Adams, Roxanne Roxanne

Special Jury Award for Cinematography
Yellow Birds
DP: Daniel Landin


Grand Jury Prize
Dir: Dan Sickles, Antonio Santini

Directing Award
Peter Nicks, The Force

The Orwell Award
Dir: Bryan Fogel

Special Jury Award for Storytelling
Strong Island
Dir: Yance Ford

Special Jury Award for Editing
Editors: Kim Roberts, Emiliano Battista

Special Jury Award for Inspirational Filmmaking
Dir: Amanda Lipitz

U.S. Dramatic Audience Award
Crown Heights
Dir: Matt Ruskin

Sundance Film Festival

U.S. Documentary Audience Award
Chasing Coral
Dir: Jeff Orlowski

World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award
Sueño en Otro Idioma (I Dream In Another Language)
Mexico/Netherlands (Dir: Ernesto Contreras)

World Cinema Documentary Audience Award
Joshua: Teenager Vs Superpower
U.S.A. (Dir: Joe Piscatella)


Grand Jury Prize
The Nile Hilton Incident
Sweden/Germany/Denmark (Dir: Tarik Saleh)

Special Jury Award For Directing
God’s Own Country
United Kingdom (Director-writer: Francis Lee)

Special Jury Award for Screenwriting
Pop Aye
Singapore/Thailand (Dir: Kirsten Tan)

Special Jury Award for Cinematic Vision
Free And Easy
Hong Kong (Dir: Jun Geng)

Special Jury Award for Cinematography
Axolotl Overkill
Germany (DP: Manu Dacosse)


Grand Jury Prize
Last Men In Aleppo
Denmark/Syria (Dir: Feras Fayyad)

Directing Award
France/Netherlands/South Africa (Dir: Pascale Lamche)

Special Jury Award for Masterful Storytelling
Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World
Canada (Co-directors: Catherine Bainbridge and Alfonso Maiorana)

Special Jury Award for Commanding Vision
U.S.A./Philippines (Ramona S. Diaz)

Special Jury Award for Cinematography
India/Germany/Finland (DP: Rodrigo Trejo Villanueva)

NEXT Audience Award

Samuel Goldwyn Films

U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Justin Chon)


Yalda (Iran)
Massoud Bakhshi

Mignonnes (France)
Maimouna Doucoure

The Hanged (Brazil)
Fernando Coimbra

Untitled Rock Opera (Poland)
Agnieszka Smoczynska

Sundance Institute/NHK Award
I Came By (United Kingdom)
Babak Anvari


Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize
Marjorie Prime
U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Michael Almereyda)

The Short Film Grand Jury Prize
And so we put goldfish in the pool.
Japan (Director and screenwriter: Makoto Nagahisa)

The Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction
Lucia, Before And After
U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Anu Valia)

The Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction
And The Whole Sky Fit In The Dead Cow’s Eye
Chile, U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Francisca Alegría)

The Short Film Jury Award: Non-fiction
U.S.A. (Director: Garrett Bradley)

The Short Film Jury Award: Animation
Broken – The Women’s Prison At Hoheneck
Germany (Directors: Volker Schlecht, Alexander Lahl, Screenwriters: Alexander Lahl, Max Mönch)

A Special Jury Award for Cinematography
Dadyaa — The Woodpeckers Of Rotha
Nepal, France (Directors and screenwriters: Pooja Gurung, Bibhusan Basnet, Cinematographer: Chintan Rajbhandari)

A Short Film Special Jury Award for Editing
U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Charlotte Wells, editor Blair McClendon)

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