Birth Of A Nation and Sonita big winners at Sundance

Weiner and Sand Storm complete top prizes.

by Amber Wilkinson

Birth Of A Nation and Sonita were the big winners at the Sundance Film Festival this week.

Nate Parker's biographical drama about Nat Turner's slave rebellion - which sold to Fox Searchlight earlier this week for a record-breaking $17.5m (£12.3m) - won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award in the US Dramatic Competition.

Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami's portrait of an aspiring Afghan rapper in Iran, Sonita, also scooped both the Audience and Grand Jury Prize in the World Documentary Competition.

The US Grand Jury Prize for Documentary went to Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg's campaign trail film Weiner - which charted the attempts of Anthony Weiner to run for New York mayor in the face of a sexting scandal. The World Cinema Dramatic prize went to Elite Zexer for her engaging family drama about a young woman who finds herself torn between tradition and love.

Morris From America was also a big winner, taking home awards for best individual performance and screenwriting.

The full awards are below:


Grand Jury Prize: The Birth of a Nation

Audience Award: The Birth of a Nation

Directing: Daniel Scheinart and Daniel Kwan, Swiss Army Man

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: Chad Hartigan, Morris From America

Special Jury Award: Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, As You Are

Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Performance: Joe Seo, Spa Night

Special Jury Award for Individual Performance: Craig Robinson, Morris From America

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


Grand Jury Prize: Weiner

Audience Award: Jim: The James Foley Story

Directing Award: Roger Ross Williams, Life, Animated

Special Jury Award for Editing: Penny Lane and Thom Stylinski, NUTS!

Special Jury Award for Social Impact: Dawn Porter, Trapped

Special Jury Award for Writing: Robert Greene, Kate Plays Christine

Special Jury Award for Verite Filmmaking: Keith Fulton and Lou Pepe, The Bad Kids


Grand Jury Prize: Sand Storm

Audience Award: Between Sea and Land

Directing Award: Felix van Groeningen, Belgica

Screenwriting: Ana Katz and Ines Bortagaray, Mi amiga del parque

Special Jury Award for Acting: Vicky Hernandez and Manolo Cruz, Between Sea and Land

Special Jury Award for Unique Vision and Design: Agnieszka Smoczynska, The Lure


Grand Jury Prize: Sonita

Audience Award: Sonita

Directing Award: Michal Marczak, All These Sleepless Nights

Special Jury Award for Editing: Mako Kamitsuna and John Maringouin, We Are X

Special Jury Award for Cinematography: Pieter-Jan De Pue, The Land of the Enlightened

Special Jury Award for Debut Feature: Heidi Brandenburg and Mathew Orzel, When Two Worlds Collide


Next Audience Award: First Girl I Loved

Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize: Embrace of the Serpent

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We're looking forward to Sundance and the Glasgow Film Festival.

We've recently covered New Directors/New Films andTallinn Black Nights, DOC NYC, Sheffield DocFest, the London Korean Film Festival, Welsh horror festival Abertoir, New York's Newfest, the October edition of Frightfest, the Scottish Queer International Film Festival, the London Film Festival, the New York Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival.

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