Shorts Awards Announced at 2019 Sundance Film Festival

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Aziza Wins Grand Jury Prize

            (L-R) Aziza, Credit: Elsy Hajjar; Green, Credit: Marina Piedade; Dunya’s Day, Credit: Olivier Theurillat.

Park City, Utah — Winners of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival jury prizes in short filmmaking were announced today by Sundance Institute at a ceremony in Park City, Utah. The Short Film Grand Jury Prize, awarded to one film in the program of 73 shorts selected from 9,443 submissions, went to Aziza, directed by Soudade Kaadan and co-written by Kaadan and May Hayek. Full video of the ceremony is at youtube.com/sff. The Short Film program is presented by YouTube, as part of their ongoing support for emerging storytellers, unique voices and independent artists. 2019 marks the seventh year YouTube has been the official sponsor of the Sundance Film Festival Shorts program.

This year’s Short Film jurors are Sheila Vand, Young Jean Lee and Carter Smith.

Short Film awards winners in previous years include Matria by Álvaro Gago, And so we put goldfish in the pool. by Makato Nagahisa, Thunder Road by Jim Cummings, World of Tomorrow by Don Hertzfeldt, SMILF by Frankie Shaw, Of God and Dogs by Abounaddara Collective, Gregory Go Boom by Janicza Bravo, The Whistle by Grzegorz Zariczny, Whiplash by Damien Chazelle, FISHING WITHOUT NETS by Cutter Hodierne, The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom by Lucy Walker and The Arm by Brie Larson, Sarah Ramos and Jessie Ennis

The short film program at the Festival is the centerpiece of Sundance Institute’s year-round efforts to support short filmmaking. Select Festival short films are presented as a traveling program in over 70 cities in the U.S. and Canada each year, one of the few theatrical releases of short films in North America. Short films and filmmakers also take part in regional Master Classes geared towards supporting emerging shorts-makers in cities around the country.

Of the seven short films selected for awards this year, four projects (57% percent) were directed by women, two were directed by people who identify as LGBTQ, and six (85.7%) were directed by people of color.

2019 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Jury Awards: 

The Short Film Grand Jury Prize was awarded to: Aziza / Syria, Lebanon (Director: Soudade Kaadan, Screenwriters: Soudade Kaadan, May Hayek) — A dynamic take on the life of Syrian refugees, told through black comedy.

The Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction was presented to: Green / U.S.A. (Director: Suzanne Andrews Correa, Screenwriters: Suzanne Andrews Correa, Mustafa Kaymak) — Green, an undocumented Turkish pedicab driver, unwittingly draws police attention, endangering his brother, his community, and himself.

The Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction was presented to: Dunya’s Day / Saudi Arabia, U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Raed Alsemari) — Abandoned by her domestic help, Dunya fights to throw the perfect graduation soirée.

The Short Film Jury Award: Non-fiction was presented to: Ghosts of Sugar Land / U.S.A. (Director: Bassam Tariq) — In Sugar Land, Texas, a group of young Muslim-American men ponder the disappearance of their friend “Mark,” who is suspected of joining ISIS.

The Short Film Jury Award: Animation was presented to: Reneepoptosis / U.S.A., Japan (Director and screenwriter: Renee Zhan) — Three Renees go on a quest to find God, who is also Renee. As they traverse the mountains and valleys of Renee, they discover all the great joys, sorrows, and mysteries of being Renee.

A Special Jury Award for Directing was presented to: FAST HORSE / Canada (Director and screenwriter: Alexandra Lazarowich) — The Blackfoot bareback horse-racing tradition returns in the astonishingly dangerous Indian Relay. Siksika horseman Allison Red Crow struggles with second-hand horses and a new jockey on his way to challenge the best riders in the Blackfoot Confederacy.

A Special Jury Award for Directing was presented to: The MINORS / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Robert Machoian) — A slice of life about a grandpa and his grandsons, the future and the past.
The Sundance Film Festival®
The Sundance Film Festival has introduced global audiences to some of the most groundbreaking films of the past three decades, including Sorry to Bother You, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Eighth Grade, Get Out, The Big Sick, Mudbound, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Whiplash, Brooklyn, Precious, The Cove, Little Miss Sunshine, An Inconvenient Truth, Napoleon Dynamite, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Reservoir Dogs and sex, lies, and videotape. The Festival is a program of the non-profit Sundance Institute®. The Festival is a program of the non-profit Sundance Institute®. 2019 Festival sponsors include: Presenting Sponsors – Acura, SundanceTV, Chase Sapphire, YouTube; Leadership Sponsors – Adobe, Amazon Studios, AT&T, DIRECTV, Dropbox, Netflix, Omnicom, Stella Artois; Sustaining Sponsors – Ancestry, Canada Goose, Canon, Dell, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, GEICO, High West Distillery, IMDbPro, Lyft, RIMOWA, Unity Technologies, University of Utah Health; Media Sponsors – The Atlantic, IndieWire, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, VARIETY, The Wall Street Journal. Sundance Institute recognizes critical support from the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and the State of Utah as Festival Host State. The support of these organizations helps offset the Festival’s costs and sustain the Institute’s year-round programs for independent artists. Look for the Official Partner seal at their venues at the Festival. sundance.org/festival

Sundance Institute
Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, and media to create and thrive. The Institute’s signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences to artists in igniting new ideas, discovering original voices, and building a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as Sorry to Bother You, Eighth Grade, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Hereditary, RBG, Call Me By Your Name, Get Out, The Big Sick, Top of the Lake, Winter’s Bone, Dear White People, Brooklyn, Little Miss Sunshine, 20 Feet From Stardom, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, I’m Poppy, America to Me, Leimert Park, Spring Awakening, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

(Source: Press release provided by Sundance Institute)

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