2023 Sundance Film Festival Awards Announced!

The Sundance Film Festival, a program of the nonprofit Sundance Institute, returned back in person and across the country online for 2023.  The 2023 Sundance Film Festival jurors and audiences have voted with the awards announced today during an event at The Ray Theatre in Park City and updated on Sundance Film Festival’s official social accounts.

This year’s jurors were: Jeremy O. Harris, Eliza Hittman, and Marlee Matlin for U.S. Dramatic Competition; W. Kamau Bell, Ramona Diaz, and Carla Gutierrez for U.S. Documentary Competition; Shozo Ichiyama, Annemarie Jacir, and Funa Maduka for World Cinema Dramatic Competition; and Karim Amer, Petra Costa, and Alexander Nanau for World Cinema Documentary Competition; Madeleine Olnek for the NEXT competition section; Destin Daniel Cretton, Marie-Louise Khondji, and Deborah Stratman for the Short Film Program Competition.

The 2023 Sundance Film Festival awards are:


Grand Jury Prize: A.V. Rockwell for “A Thousand and One”

Jury citation: Never have I seen a life so similar to my own rendered with such nuance and tenderness. I walked out of the theatre and wept in front of people I barely know because this film reached into my gut and pulled from it every emotion I’ve learned to mask in these spaces. As a jury we know how impossible it is to make work that is real, full of pain, and fearless in its rigorous commitment to emotional truth born of oppressive circumstances. It is our honor to award the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic to A Thousand and One.

Audience Award: “The Persian Version,” directed by Maryam Keshavarz

Directing: Sing J. Lee for “The Accidental Getaway Driver”

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: Maryam Keshavarz for “The Persian Version”

Special Jury Award: Acting: Lio Mehiel for “Mutt”

Special Jury Award: Ensemble: The cast of “Theater Camp,” directed by Molly Gordon and Nick Lieberman.

Special Jury Award: Creative Vision: The creative team of “Magazine Dreams,” directed by Elijah Bynum

Festival Favorite Award: “Radical,” directed by Christopher Zalla


Grand Jury Prize: “Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project,” directed by Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson

Jury citation: This film focuses on a singular, unapologetic voice, and through her story it captures the experience of the collective. The strong directorial vision illuminates the joy and the raw reality of the Black experience. Also it is fucking funny. The U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary goes to Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project.

Audience Award: “Beyond Utopia,” directed by Madeleine Gavin

Directing: Luke Lorentzen for “A Still Small Voice”

Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award: Daniela I. Quiroz for “Going Varsity in Mariachi”

Special Jury Award: Clarity of Vision: “The Stroll,” directed by Kristen Lovell & Zackary Drucke

Special Jury Award: Freedom of Expression, “Bad Press”


Grand Jury Prize: “Scrapper”

Jury citation: A charming and empathetic film full of integrity and life. Scrapper is a poignant study on grief and how the protagonist attempts to shrink her world. Through a child’s eyes, we observe abandonment, detachment and coldness, delivered with love, humor and warmth. The jury was drawn by the honest and sincere performances, strong direction, playful cinematography, and impressive script. The authenticity and command of place and space by the filmmaker and her insistence in creating a world where pain and joy align perfectly delivered a story full of heart and soul. The World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic goes to Scrapper.

Audience Award: “Shayda,” directed by Noora Niasari

Directing Award: Marija Kavtaradze for “Slow”

Special Jury Award: Cinematography: Lílis Soares for “Mami Wata”

Special Jury Award: Best Performance: Rosa Marchant, “When It Melts”

Special Jury Award: Creative Vision: Sofia Alaoui for “Animalia”


Grand Jury Prize: “The Eternal Memory”

Jury citation: This film opened our hearts by bringing us closer to the meaning of life and death, and the element that threads sense into all of it – love. Through a simple yet complex portrayal of a confinement, it brings us to the lives of these fascinating characters who make us wiser and more loving the longer we stay with them. The World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary goes to The Eternal Memory.

Audience Award: “20 Days in Mariupol,” directed and produced by Mstyslav Chernov

Special Jury Prize: Directing: “Smoke, Sauna Sisterhood,” Anna Hints

Special Jury Award: Creative Vision: “Fantastic Machine”

Special Jury Award: Vérité: “Against the Tide”


Short Film Grand Jury Prize: “When You Left Me on That Boulevard,” directed by Kayla Abuda Galang

Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction: “Rest Stop,” directed by Crystal Kayiza

Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction: “The Kidnapping of the Bride,” Sophia Mocorrea

Short Film Jury Award: Non-Fiction: “Will You Look at Me,” directed by Shuli Huang.

Short Film Special Jury Award, International: Directing: “AliEN0089,” directed by Valeria Hofmann.

Short Film Special Jury Award, U.S: Directing: “The Vacation,” directed by Jarreau Carrillo.


What an exciting year! This year’s award-winning films brought audiences intimately into the stories of Iranian women, trans sex workers, a single mother with a child in foster care, the war in Ukraine, an elementary school in a Mexican border town, the struggle with Alzheimer’s disease, escaping North Korea, the loss of a parent as a young child, a vital black poet, and so much more.

Exit mobile version