A moving coming-of-age tale about the hearing child of deaf parents and Questlove’s documentary about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival have won the top jury and audience awards at Sundance Film Festival, which transformed itself from a snowy in-person event into a virtual affair this year amid the pandemic.
“CODA” won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for drama on Tuesday night, while “Summer of Soul (… Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” took the U.S. documentary award. “CODA” also won best director for Siân Heder and best ensemble.
Both films topped USA TODAY critic Brian Truitt’s picks from the 2021 festival. “CODA” sold to Apple TV+ during the festival for a reported $25 million, according to Variety and Deadline.
“I’m literally on my way to work right now!” said an “overwhelmed” Questlove by video, showing himself in a car in snowy New York. “I’m so grateful.”
“Hive,” which follows a woman after the disappearance of her husband in Kosovo, won the world cinema drama Jury Prize, while “Flee” won the world cinema documentary award. Executive produced by Riz Ahmed and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen, “Flee” is a hand-drawn animated documentary about a refugee fleeing Afghanistan.
International audience prizes went to “Hive” and the documentary “Writing With Fire,” which focuses on India’s only all-female newspaper.
Patton Oswalt, Alison Brie, Cynthia Erivo and Diego Luna were on hand to help announce the winners.
Like other major festivals in Toronto, New York and elsewhere did in 2020, Sundance went virtual this year, streamlining its program and welcoming film fans and critics in an online platform.
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Last year, the Korean-American family drama “Minari,” Lee Isaac Chung’s tender autobiographical tale about his upbringing in rural Arkansas, won the U.S. dramatic Grand Jury Prize and the dramatic audience award. It arrives this year as a major Oscar contender.
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