Hive and CODA big winners at Sundance

Summer Of Soul, Flee, Writing With Fire also take prizes

by Amber Wilkinson

Sundance winners, clockwise from top left, CODA, Summer of Soul (...Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised),  Flee, Ma Belle, My Beauty, Writing With Fire and Hive
Sundance winners, clockwise from top left, CODA, Summer of Soul (...Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised), Flee, Ma Belle, My Beauty, Writing With Fire and Hive Photo: Courtesy of Sundance Institute, Mass Distraction Media, Alexander Bloom
The awards for Sundance's 2021 edition - which took place online due to the pandemic - were announced last night in a streamed ceremony hosted by actor Patton Oswalt.

The US Grand Jury Prizes for the Dramatic and Documentary sections went to Sian Heder's CODA and Summer Of Soul (...Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised), directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson.

Heder's coming-of-age tale about a Child of Deaf Adults finding herself torn between the love of her family and her own aspirations also took home the Best Directing and Audience awards along with a Special Jury Prize for the ensemble cast, including Emilia Jones, Marlee Matlin and Troy Kotsur.

Summer Of Soul, which documents the Harlem Cultural Festival of 1969, that was attended by 300,000 in the same summer as Woodstock, also pulled off the double by winning the Audience Award.

The World Cinema Dramatic and Documentary awards went to Blerta Basholi's Hive and Jonas Poher Rasmussen for Flee, respectively.

Hive - which also won its section's Audience Award — considers a woman's fight for independence after her husband is left missing, presumed dead, in the war in Kosovo, while Rasmussen's animation recounts one refugee's flight from Afghanistan to Sweden, articulating the traumatic legacy it has left him with as well as the journey itself. The Audience Award for documentary went to Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh for Writing With Fire, which considers the success and work of an Indian news organisation set up by Dalit women, fighting the stigma of being considered "untouchables" in their homeland.

Marion Hill's Ma Belle, My Beauty, about newlyweds adjusting to their new life in France whose lives are disrupted by the arrival of an ex from their once three-way relationsihp.

Sundance Institute CEO Keri Putnam said: “This has been a singular Festival for a singular moment. We’ve been able to elevate independent art and celebrate a wonderful slate of films by gathering in new ways, ways that worked thanks to adventurous audiences everywhere, eager to connect and engage with the work and with one another. Watching people come together to connect and discuss exciting new work has been incredibly rewarding – and a resounding confirmation that great independent storytelling inspires rich conversation.”

“This was not a ‘virtual’ festival, it was a real festival and the power of these artists and their work was what made it so,” added Sundance Film Festival Director Tabitha Jackson, “It has been a privilege to help this work meet new audiences and enter the culture with such fanfare, especially now, when breaking through the noise is harder than ever.”

The festival screened 73 feature-length and 50 short films — selected from more than 14,000 submissions — were showcased online via the Festival’s custom-built online platform, as well as in 28 Satellite Screen locations across the US.

This year’s feature film jurors were Julie Dash, Cynthia Erivo, Hanya Yanagihara, Ashley Clark, Joshua Oppenheimer, Lana Wilson, Zeynep Atakan, Isaac Julien, Daniela Vega, Kim Longinotto, Mohamed Saïd Ouma, and Jean Tsien. Kate and Laura Mulleavy served as co-jurors for NEXT. Shorts jurors were Raúl Castillo, Tacita Dean and Inge de Leeuw. A newly-created award, the Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award for US Documentary, has been created to memorialise the late editor.

The full list of winners is below:

US Grand Jury Prize: Documentary Summer Of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised), USA, dir. Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson

US Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic CODA (USA), dir. Sian Heder

World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary Flee (Denmark-France-Sweden-Norway), dir. Jonas Poher Rasmussen

World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic Hive (Kosovo-Switzerland-Macedonia-Albania), dir. Blerta Basholli

Audience Award: US Documentary Summer Of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised), dir. Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson

Audience Award: US Dramatic CODA (USA), dir. Sian Heder

Audience Award: World Cinema Dramatic Hive (Kosovo-Switzerland-Macedonia-Albania), dir. Blerta Basholli

Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary Writing With Fire (India), dirs. Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh

NEXT Audience Award Ma Belle, My Beauty (USA-France), dir. Marion Hill

Special Jury Awards

US Dramatic Special Jury Award for Ensemble Cast CODA (USA), dir. Sian Heder

US Dramatic Special Jury Award for Best Actor Clifton Collins Jr, Jockey (USA)

US Documentary Special Jury Award: Emerging Filmmaker Parker Hill and Isabel Bethencourt, Cusp (USA)

US Documentary Special Jury Award: Nonfiction Experimentation Theo Anthony, All Light, Everywhere (USA)

World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award: Vérité Filmmaking Camilla Nielsson, President (Denmark-USA-Norway)

World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award: Impact for Change Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh, Writing With Fire (India)

World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award: Acting Jesmark Scicluna, Luzzu (Malta)

World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award: Creative Vision One For The Road (China-Hong Kong-Thailand), dir. Baz Poonpiriya

NEXT Innovator Prize Cryptozoo (USA), dir. Dash Shaw

Directing, Screenwriting And Editing Awards

Directing Award: US Documentary Natalia Almada, Users (USA-Mexico)

Directing Award: US Dramatic Sian Heder, CODA (USA)

Directing Award: World Cinema Documentary Hogir Hirori, Sabaya (Sweden)

Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic Blerta Basholli, Hive (Kosovo-Switzerland-Macedonia-Albania)

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: U.S. Dramatic Ari Katcher and Ryan Welch, On The Count Of Three (USA)

Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award: U.S. Documentary Kristina Motwani and Rebecca Adorno, Homeroom (USA)

Short Film Awards

Short Film Grand Jury Prize Lizard (UK), dir. Akinola Davies

Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction The Touch Of The Master’s Hand (USA), dir. Gregory Barnes.

Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction Bambirak (USA-Germany), dir. Zamarin Wahdat

Short Film Jury Award: Nonfiction Don’t Go Tellin’ Your Momma (USA-Germany-France-Italy), dirs. Topaz Jones, rubberband

Short Film Jury Award: Animation Souvenir Souvenir (France), dir. Bastien Dubois

Short Film Special Jury Award for Acting Wiggle Room (USA), dirs. Sam Guest, Julia Baylis

Short Film Special Jury Award for Screenwriting The Criminals (France-Romania-Turkey), dir. Serhat Karaaslan

Previously Announced Awards

Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize Son of Monarchs.

Sundance Institute

Amazon Studios Producers Award for Nonfiction Nicole Salazar, Philly D.A.

Sundance Institute

Amazon Studios Producers Award for Fiction Natalie Qasabian, Run

Sundance Institute

Adobe Mentorship Award for Editing Nonfiction Juli Vizza

Sundance Institute

Adobe Mentorship Award for Editing Fiction Terilyn Shropshire

Sundance Institute

NHK Award Meryman Joobeur, Motherhood

Share this with others on...
News

The archival activist Dagmar Schultz on Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years 1984-1992

Streaming Spotlight: family time Kith and kin who stick together through thick and thin

Between reality and dreams Sara Driver on Sleepwalk and the New York City she remembers

Dystopian worlds Director Chino Moya on crumbling societies, toxic manhood and fear of the other in Undergods

On a dark and stormy night Cody Calahan on storytelling and shooting The Oak Room

DocFest announces line-up 55 world premieres included in Sheffield festival's line-up

More news and features

We're bringing you coverage of New York's Human Rights Watch Film Festival.



We're looking forward to Inside Out and Tribeca.



We've recently covered New Directors/New Films, BFI Flare , the Glasgow Short Film Festival, South by Southwest , New York's Rendez-vous with French Cinema, the Glasgow Film Festival, the first part of this year's Berlin Film Festival, Slamdance and Sundance.



Read our full for more.


Visit our festivals section.

Interact

More competitions coming soon.