'The Exiles' and 'Nanny' win top awards at Sundance

First-time filmmaker Nikyatu Jusu’s horror/drama “Nanny” snagged the US Grand Jury award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, which wa...


First-time filmmaker Nikyatu Jusu’s horror/drama “Nanny” snagged the US Grand Jury award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, which was mostly virtual for the second year in a row. The film about a Senegalese nanny working for a privileged family in New York has generated strong reviews and is still looking for a cast.

“The Exiles”, about three dissidents exiled from the Tiananmen Square massacre in China, won the Grand Jury Prize for American documentary. “Utama,” a Bolivian character portrayal, won the world’s top drama film award, while Indian documentary “All That Breathes” won the World Documentary Grand Jury Prize.

‘Cha Cha Real Smooth’ snagged the audience award in the US drama competition just days after securing a $15 million distribution deal with Apple – the festival’s biggest sale. The crowd pleaser was written, directed by and stars Cooper Raiff in his second effort. Dakota Johnson also stars.

In the documentary space, the surprise screening of “Navalny,” which CNN and HBO Max will air later this year, won both the Audience Award in the American Documentary Competition and the Festival Favorite award. The film traces the aftermath of the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition leader and one of Vladimir Putin’s harshest critics. Directed by Daniel Roher, “Navalny” debuted to rave reviews and drew attention to the dissident who has been imprisoned in a Russian prison for more than a year.

In his speech after winning the People’s Choice Award, Roher said he hoped the film would help people “learn the courage it takes to bring down an authoritarian regime.”

Other Audience Awards went to “Girl Picture” (World Cinema Dramatic), “The Territory” (World Cinema Documentary), and “Framing Agnes” (Next).

“Today’s awards represent the determination of visionary individuals, whose dynamic work will continue to change culture,” said Joana Vicente, CEO of the Sundance Institute.

The festival made the last-minute decision to go virtual due to concerns over the highly contagious variant of Omicron, and the prizes were announced in a two-hour series of tweets, which included speeches from each of the winners.

“Whether you’re watching from home or from one of our seven satellite screens,” said festival director Tabitha Jackson, “this year’s festival expressed a powerful convergence; we were present, together, as a community connected by work.

In addition to Apple’s purchase of “Cha Cha”, two other high-profile sales were made by Fox Searchlight: director Mimi Cave’s horror film “Fresh” and “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande”, starring Emma Thompson as a repressed character. widow who hires a sex worker. Both films will bypass theaters and debut on Hulu in the US

Sony Pictures Classics has picked up “Living,” the remake of Akira Kurosawa’s film “Ikiru” starring Bill Nighy as a civil servant who discovers he has a fatal disease; and IFC Films will release “Resurrection,” starring Rebecca Hall, in theaters ahead of its debut on the Shudder streaming service.

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Newsrust - US Top News: 'The Exiles' and 'Nanny' win top awards at Sundance
'The Exiles' and 'Nanny' win top awards at Sundance
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