Sundance: 'Birth of a Nation' Sweeps Top Prizes

Courtesy of Sundance Institute
'The Birth of a Nation'

Nate Parker's slave rebellion drama won both the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize and the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award, while 'Weiner' won the U.S. Documentary Award.

After 10 days of premieres and deals, the awards for the 2016 Sundance Film Festival were handed out Saturday night in Park City, Utah.

Taika Waititi, director of fest film Hunt for the Wilderpeople, hosted the ceremony. "That's what you get — you want to make low-budget films, you get the low-budget host," the New Zealand native joked in his opening remarks.

The Birth of a Nation won both the event’s top honors, the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize and the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award.

The film, which was bought by Fox Searchlight in the biggest deal in Sundance history for $17.5 million, was directed, written and produced by Nate Parker, who also stars. Following slave rebellion leader Nat Turner, the drama received a rapturous standing ovation when it premiered Jan. 25 and led to a bidding war.

"Making films is a very, very difficult thing and often you’re left on your own wondering why you’re doing what you’re doing," Parker said when he took the stage to claim the night's top prize. "Thank you, Sundance, for creating a platform for us to grow, in spite of what the rest of Hollywood is doing."

The complete list of winners below:

U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize: The Birth of a Nation, Nate Parker, director

U.S. Documentary Grand Jury Prize: Weiner, Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg, directors

U.S. Dramatic Directing Award: Daniel Scheinert, Daniel Kwan for Swiss Army Man

U.S. Documentary Directing Award: Roger Ross Williams for Life, Animated

U.S. Dramatic Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: Chad Hardigan for Morris From America

U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Individual Performance: Melanie Lynskey for The Intervention

U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Individual Performance: Craig Robinson for Morris From America

U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Performance: Joe Seo for Spa Night

U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award: As You Are, Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, director

U.S. Dramatic Audience Award: The Birth of a Nation, Nate Parker, director

U.S. Documentary Audience Award: Jim, Brian Oakes, director

U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Verity Filmmaking: The Bad Kids, Keith Fulton, Lou Pepe, directors

U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Writing: Kate Plays Christine, Robert Greene, director

U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking: Trapped, Dawn Porter, director

U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Editing: Nuts, Penny Lane, Thom Stylinski, editors

WORLD CINEMA

World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award: Between Sea and Land, Manolo Cruz, director

World Cinema Documentary Audience Award: Sonita, Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami, director

NEXT Audience Award: First Girl I Loved, Kerem Sanga, director

World Cinema Dramatic Grand Jury Prize: Sand Storm, Elite Zexer, director

World Cinema Dramatic Directing Award: Felix van Groeningen for Belgica

World Cinema Dramatic Special Award for Unique Vision and Design: The Lure, Agnieszka Smoczyńska, director

World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting: Vicky Hernandéz, Manolo Cruz for Between Sea and Land

World Cinema Documentary Grand Jury Prize: Sonita, Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami, director

World Cinema Documentary Directing Award: Michal Marczak, All These Sleepless Nights

World Cinema Documentary Special Award: Best Debut Feature: When Two Worlds Collide, Heidi Brandenburg, Mathew Orzel, directors

World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for best cinematography: Pieter-Jan De Pue, The Land of the Enlightened

As previously announced, Thunder Road won the short film grand jury prize.

 

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