Sundance Film Festival 2022 Winners

Over 80 feature films played at this year’s Sundance, as well as six indie episodic projects, 15 New Frontier projects and 59 short films that were drawn from the festival’s largest submission pool ever.


Director: Daniel Roher

Navalny is a documentary thriller directed by Daniel Roher hailing from CNN Films and HBO Max. It focuses on Russian opposition leader and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, who gave Roher unparalleled access to him and his inner circle as he was recovering from being poisoned and decides to return home.


Audience Award

Cha Cha Real Smooth
Director-Writer: Cooper Raiff

Grand Jury Award

Director-Writer: Nikyatu Jusu

Top US winner Nanny, a horror-thriller, centres on Aisha (Anna Diop), an immigrant piecing together a new life in New York City while caring for the child of an Upper East Side family. She is forced to confront a concealed truth that threatens to shatter her precarious American Dream. Michelle Monaghan and Sinqua Walls also star.

“For this Grand Jury Prize we celebrate a movie that flooded us with its compassionate and horrifying portrayal of a mother being separated from her child,” Sundance juror Chelsea Bernard said during the virtual ceremony. “This film cannot be contained by any one genre —it’s visually stunning, masterfully acted, impeccably designed from sound to visual effects, and the overall vision, expertly guided by Nikyatu Jusu, comes together offering its audience an electrifying experience.”


Jamie Dack
Palm Trees and Power Lines

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award

K.D. Dávila

Special Jury Award: Ensemble Cast

John Boyega, Nicole Beharie, Selenis Leyva, Connie Britton, Olivia Washington, London Covington and Michael K Williams

Special Jury Award: Uncompromising Artistic Vision

Bradley Rust Gray


Audience Award

Director: Daniel Roher

Grand Jury Prize

The Exiles (US)
Directors: Ben Klein, Violet Columbus

The Exiles revolves around activist and documentary filmmaker Christine Choy, who filmed the leaders of the Tiananmen Square democracy movement during the 1989 massacre. Midway through production, the project was abandoned and the footage was all but forgotten. In Exiles, she returns to the never before seen archive, and the stories of three key figures during the protests, who remain political exiles to this day.


Reid Davenport
I Didn’t See You There

Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award

Erin Casper and Jocelyne Chaput
Fire Of Love

Special Jury Award: Impact for Change

Directors: Paula Eiselt, Tonya Lewis Lee

Special Jury Award: Creative Vision

Director: Margaret Brown


Audience Award

The Territory (Brazil/Denmark/US)

Grand Jury Prize

All That Breathes (India/UK)
Director: Shaunak Sen


Simon Lereng Wilmont
A House Made Of Splinters (Denmark)


Audience Award

Girl Picture (Finland)
Director: Alli Haapasalo

Grand Jury Prize

Utama (Bolvia/Uruguay/France)
Director-Writer: Alejandro Loayza Grisi


Maryna Er Gorbach
Klondike (Ukraine/Turkey)

Special Jury Award: Innovative Spirit

Leonor Will Never Die (Philippines)
Director-Writer: Martika Ramirez Escobar

Special Jury Award: Acting

Teresa Sánchez
Dos Estaciones (Mexico)

Audience Award

Framing Agnes (Canada/US)
Director: Chase Joynt


Grand Jury Prize

The Headhunter’s Daughter (Philippines)
Director-Writer: Don Josephus Raphael Eblahan

Jury Award: US Fiction

If I Go Will They Miss Me (US)
Director-writer: Walter Thompson-Hernández

Jury Award: International Fiction

Warsha (France/Lebanon)
Director-writer: Dania Bdeir

Jury Award: Nonfiction

Displaced (Kosovo)
Director-writer: Samir Karahoda

Jury Award: Animation

Night Bus (Taiwan)
Director-writer: Joe Hsieh

Special Jury Award: Ensemble Cast

Zélia Duncan, Bruna Linzmeyer, Camila Rocha, Clarissa Ribeiro and Lorre Motta
A wild patience has taken me here (Brazil)
Director-writer: Érica Sarmet

Special Jury Award: Screenwriting

Sara Driver
Stranger Than Rotterdam with Sara Driver (US)
Directors: Lewie Kloster, Noah Kloster; Writer: Sara Driver


Apple paid $15 million for world rights to Raiff’s Cha Cha Real Smooth. In other spotlight deals in the market, Searchlight Pictures closed a deal for around $7.5 million for US rights to Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, starring Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack, while Sony Pictures Classics paid about $5 million for North American and some international territory rights to the Bill Nighy-starrer Living.

On the documentary side, National Geographic picked up Fire of Love in a mid-seven-figure world rights deal and The Territory.

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