The Syrian refugee black comedy was one of 73 shorts selected from 9,443 submissions. Pic was co-written by Kaadan and May Hayek.
This year’s Short Film jurors are Sheila Vand, Young Jean Lee and Carter Smith.
Short Film awards winners in previous years include Matria by Álvaro Gago, And so we put goldfish in the pool. by Makato Nagahisa, Thunder Road by Jim Cummings, World of Tomorrow by Don Hertzfeldt, SMILF by Frankie Shaw, Of God and Dogs by Abounaddara Collective, Gregory Go Boom by Janicza Bravo, The Whistle by Grzegorz Zariczny, Whiplash by Damien Chazelle, FISHING WITHOUT NETS by Cutter Hodierne, The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossomby Lucy Walker and The Arm by Brie Larson, Sarah Ramos and Jessie Ennis
Select Festival short films are part of a traveling program in over 70 U.S./Canadian cities in the U.S. and Canada each year. Short films and filmmakers also take part in regional Master Classes geared towards supporting emerging shorts-makers in cities around the country.
Of the seven short films selected for awards this year, four projects (57% percent) were directed by women, two were directed by people who identify as LGBTQ, and six (85.7%) were directed by people of color.
Here’s Sundance’s 2019 short film winners:
The Short Film Grand Jury Prize was awarded to: Aziza / Syria, Lebanon (Director: Soudade Kaadan, Screenwriters: Soudade Kaadan, May Hayek) — A dynamic take on the life of Syrian refugees, told through black comedy.
The Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction was presented to: Green / U.S.A. (Director: Suzanne Andrews Correa, Screenwriters: Suzanne Andrews Correa, Mustafa Kaymak) — Green, an undocumented Turkish pedicab driver, unwittingly draws police attention, endangering his brother, his community, and himself.
The Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction was presented to: Dunya’s Day / Saudi Arabia, U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Raed Alsemari) — Abandoned by her domestic help, Dunya fights to throw the perfect graduation soirée.
The Short Film Jury Award: Non-fiction was presented to: Ghosts of Sugar Land / U.S.A. (Director: Bassam Tariq) — In Sugar Land, Texas, a group of young Muslim-American men ponder the disappearance of their friend “Mark,” who is suspected of joining ISIS.
The Short Film Jury Award: Animation was presented to: Reneepoptosis / U.S.A., Japan (Director and screenwriter: Renee Zhan) — Three Renees go on a quest to find God, who is also Renee. As they traverse the mountains and valleys of Renee, they discover all the great joys, sorrows, and mysteries of being Renee.
A Special Jury Award for Directing was presented to: FAST HORSE / Canada (Director and screenwriter: Alexandra Lazarowich) — The Blackfoot bareback horse-racing tradition returns in the astonishingly dangerous Indian Relay. Siksika horseman Allison Red Crow struggles with second-hand horses and a new jockey on his way to challenge the best riders in the Blackfoot Confederacy.
A Special Jury Award for Directing was presented to: The MINORS / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Robert Machoian) — A slice of life about a grandpa and his grandsons, the future and the past.