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Oscar History

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Details about the Sundance winners

For those of you who were way to caught up in the Oscar nomination race to have been paying attention to Sundance (*raises hand in solidarity*) we thought rather than just share the winners list from Sundance we'd include a couple of details about the films in question. Some of these films will vanish as some festival films always do and others might be on top ten lists and in the awards race next year, you never know. Sundance has a number of different juries so they're broken up into types of films that those juries oversee.

Grand Jury Prize: I don’t feel at home in this world anymore.
This thriller about a depressed nurse (Melanie Lynskey) and her neighbor (Elijah Wood) tracking down burglars who broke into her house comes from actor turned debuting writer/director Macon Blair. It's skipping theaters and premiering on Netflix on February 24th...

Audience Award: Crown Heights
A true story about a long battle to free a wrongfully convicted man (Lakeith Stanfield from Short Term 12). Amazon bought this film so we might see it in theaters as they're making inroads there and did very well this year with both The Handmaiden and Manchester by the Sea.

Directing: Eliza Hittman, Beach Rats
Eliza Hittman's buzzy drama is about a closeted gay man (Harris Dickinson in what is supposedly a star-making performance) meeting men for anonymous trysts. This was bought by a new distribution company called Neon.

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: Matt Spicer and David Branson Smith, Ingrid Goes West
This is a satire about social media "influencers" starring Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen and Billy Magnussen. Also purchased by Neon

Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Performance: Chanté Adams, Roxanne Roxanne
Adams stars as rapper Roxanne Shanté in this true story about a legendary beef in hip-hop history. Also bought by Neon. They've previously only distributed one film, Michael Moore's Where to Invade Next

Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Director: Maggie Betts, Novitiate
Her debut film is about a young girl who wants to become a nun. But they had my interest at Melissa Leo as the Reverend Mother. Sony Pictures Classics bought this so we'll probably see a late year release because that's how they like to do.
Special Jury Award for Cinematography: Daniel Landin, Yellow Birds
Yellow Birds is an Iraq war movie starring Alden Ehrenreich and featuring Jennifer Aniston & Tye Sheridan as mother & son. Daniel Landin, who emerged from the world of music videos, previously shot the incredible Under the Skin.


Grand Jury Prize: Dina
From the team that did the drag documentary Mala Mala this one is about an odd couple who are having intimacy problems when they decide to move in together.
Directing: Peter Nicks, The Force
Nicks is already an Emmy winner. This documentary charts the Oakland police force trying to shed their past and meet the needs of their community during the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement
Orwell Award: Icarus
On the doping scandals of Russia, sports and politics. Purchased by Netflix.
Audience Award: Chasing Coral
A documentary on the world's vanishing coral reefs. From the director of Chasing Ice.  Purchased by Netflix.
Special Jury Award for Editing: Kim Roberts and Emiliano Battista, Unrest
This doc is about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Special Jury Award for Storytelling: Yance Ford, Strong Island
Special Jury Award for Inspirational Filmmaking: Amanda Lipitz, Step
is about three senior girls and their step dance team and college applications. Lipitz is a first time filmmaker but previously a Broadway producer. Fox Searchlight bought the film so expect a big push.

Grand Jury Prize: The Nile Hilton Incident
A noir about a corrupt cop and the case of a dead singer found in a hotel, set in Egypt just before the uprising. the star is Lebanese actor Fares Fares who has been working a lot. Recently he's popped up in Zero Dark Thirty, Rogue One, The Commune, and Safe Fouse
Audience Award: I Dream in Another Language
This Mexican film is about a guy trying to record a dying language but the last two speakers of it won't speak to each other due to a decades old grudge

Directing Award: Francis Lee, God’s Own Country
This film has been compared to Brokeback Mountain, as all gay dramas are condemned to be now. It's about a young sheep farmer who hires a Romanian migrant to help him 
Screenwriting: Kirsten Tan, Pop Aye
This Tailand set road trip film is about an architect trying to return an elephant he knew as a child to their home in a small village from Bangkok. Bought by Kino Lorber so expect a small release but who knows when.
Special Jury Award for Cinematic Visions: Jun Geng, Free and Easy
This Hong Kong film is said to be a fresh spin on the crime drama with Jarmusch-like touches. Hmmm.

Special Jury Award for Cinematography: Manu Dacosse, Axolotl Overkill
This is the feature debut of a novelist from Germany adapting her own bestseller about a young party girl in Berlin 

Grand Jury Prize: Last Men in Aleppo
Another doc on the first responders or "White Helmets" of the bombings
Audience Award: Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower
This documentary profiles a teenage activist in China fighting against the regime and rallying thousands toward civil disobedience.  Purchased by Netflix.
Directing Award: Pascale Lamche, Winnie
On Winnie Mandela
Special Jury Award for Masterful Storytelling: Catherine Bainbridge, Alfonso Maiorana, Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World
Detailing the Native American influence on rock and roll.
Special Jury Award for Commanding Vision: Ramona S. Diaz, Motherland
A film about a frenetic maternity hospital in the Philippines. Bought by the UK distributor Dogwoof but no word on US release
Special Jury Award for Cinematography: Rodrigo Trejo Villanueva, Machines
On the textile mills in India 

Next Audience Award: Gook
Set in 1992 just before the riots in Los Angeles, the film charts the story of two Korean brothers and their African American friend whose brother is angry that she's hanging out with "those gooks"

This photo is from the recent stage production of Marjorie Prime which also starred Lois Smith

Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize: Marjorie Prime
This prize is always given to films that have science somewhere at the center. Marjorie Prime (Lois Smith) gets an artificial intelligence companion that looks like her dead husband and tells her memories back to her. 

Are you excited to see any of these? 


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Reader Comments (6)

I'm very excited about a lot of these. Crown Heights, Ingrid Goes West, God's Own Country, and Beach Rats seem promising. But regarding films that haven't won, though, I am most looking forward to Thoroughbred, The Big Sick, and of course....CALL ME BY YOUR NAME!!!

January 30, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMatt St. Clair

I think it may have been Indiewire, but also maybe Vulture or one of those websites, that said GODS OWN COUNTRY was even better than Brokeback because... well, it's reasonings were odd. I think basically they liked it better because Brokeback was too populist (if that's something you can say about Brokeback).

January 30, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

the synopsis for i dream in another language made me laugh out loud. what a brilliant idea

who is funding neon? a single michael moore documentary surely can't be that lucrative

January 30, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterpar

Thrilled for Melanie.

Looking forward to Beach Rats, too. I wasn't the biggest It Felt Like Love fan but Hittman showed plenty of promise.

PS can't wait for the top 10 podcast!

January 30, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie

Cannot wait for Call Me By Your Name!!!

January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMichael R

I love that Lois Wilson is getting a breakout role in the movies!
just like others, I can't wait for CALL ME BY YOUT NAME!!!

January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCraver

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