Monday, February 1, 2016


"Birth of A Nation", actor Nate Parker's debut as a writer and director, was the undisputed winner of this year's Sundance Film Festival. Not only did the film, about the true-life story of a Virginia slave, Nat Turner (Parker) leading a bloody slavery revolt in 1831, become the highest paid acquisition ever at the fest with a record-breaking $17.5 million by Fox Searchlight but it won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award for best dramatic feature. This is the fourth year in a row this has occured beginning with "Fruitvale Station" in 2013, followed by "Whiplash" and "Me & Earl & The Dying Girl". The directing prize went to the team of Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan for their controversial film, "Swiss Army Man" involving the friendship between a stranded man (Paul Dano) on a island and a washed-up corpse (Daniel Radcliffe). The screenwriting award went to Chad Hartigan for his culture shock comedy, "Morris From America" about an African-American father and son moving to Germany with star Craig Robinson winning a Jury Prize for Best Individual Performance.

Here is a partial list of winners from the 2016 Sundance Film Festival:

Grand Jury Prizes:

U.S. Dramatic Feature: "Birth Of A Nation"

Directing: Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan, "Swiss Army Man"

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: Chad Hartigan, "Morris From America"

Special Jury Award: Individual Performance: Melanie Lynskey, "The Intervention"

Special Jury Award: Individual Performance: Craig Robinson, "Morris from America"
Special Jury Award: Breakthrough Performance: Joe Seo, "Spa Night"
U.S. Documentary Feature: "Weiner"
World Dramatic Feature: "Sand Storm" (Israel)
Special Jury Award: Acting: Vicky Hernand├ęz and Manolo Cruz, "Between Sea and Land"(Colombia)
World Cinema Documentary Feature: "Sonita"(Germany/Iran/Switzerland)

Audience Awards:

U.S. Dramatic Feature: "Birth of A Nation"
World Dramatic Feature: "Between Sea and Land" (Colombia)
U.S. Documentary Feature: "Jim: The James Foley Story"