2024 Sundance Film Festival Award Winners


Directors, producers, and filmmakers alike gathered at The Ray Theatre on January 26th for the 2024 Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony. Awards were voted on by jurors and audience members throughout the festival, with many of this year’s winners being lower-profile entries. Festival director Euguene Hernandez kicked off the ceremony by speaking to the massive effort put into this year’s festival to appropriately celebrate its 40th anniversary. 

Here’s the biggest winners from this year’s fest: 

U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic - In the Summers 

Alessandra Lacorazza’s directorial debut In the Summers earned a U.S. Grand Jury Prize and the Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic. The semi-autobiographical drama follows two sisters who visit their complicated father in Las Cruces, New Mexico each summer, spanning throughout years of their lives. Excelling in storytelling, Lacorazza dedicated the film to her own mother. 

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: U.S. Dramatic - Jesse Eisenberg, A Real Pain 

Jesse Eisenberg’s ability to seamlessly bridge humor and familial trauma allowed A Real Pain to take home the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. As both the director and star of the film, Eisenberg plays opposite Kieran Culkin as a pair of cousins who travel to Poland to honor their late grandmother. Eisenberg’s comedy was one of the biggest deals made this year at Sundance, selling to Searchlight for $10 million.  

U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Best Ensemble - Izaac Wang, Joan Chen, Shirley Chen, and Chang Li Hua, Dìdi (弟弟). 

Featuring cast members of all different ages, experience levels, and acting backgrounds, the diverse cast of Dìdi worked together flawlessly to earn the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Best Ensemble award. The coming-of-age film follows a thirteen year-old Taiwanese American boy throughout the summer before starting highschool. Dìdi also won the Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic, Presented by Acura. 

U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Performance - Nico Parker, Suncoast 

Nico Parker won the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Performance for her emotional role as Doris, a teen who cares for her brother as he battles a serious illness. Parker stars alongside Woody Harrelson as Paul, an eccentric activist. 

U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary - Porcelain War 

Director Brendan Bellomo’s Porcelain War took home the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary. The documentary follows three Ukrainian artists who stay behind to defend their country from the Russian invasion. 

U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for the Art of Change - Union 

U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for the Art of Change award winner Union proves everyone has a choice to fight for what is right. Highlighting current and former Amazon employees in Staten Island as they fight to unionize, Union shows what it takes to challenge one of the most powerful companies ever. 

Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award: U.S. Documentary - Carla Gutiérrez, FRIDA

Carla Gutiérrez was celebrated for her inspired vision with FRIDA, a true triumph as Gutiérrez was faced with the challenge of connecting archival footage and photographs, animation, and a collection of diary entries, letters, essays, and print interviews to detail the iconic artist Frida Kahlo’s life. 

Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic - Raha Amirfazli and Alireza Ghasemi for In the Land of Brothers 

Raha Amirfazil and Alireza Ghasemi make a remarkable debut with In the Land of Brothers, which took home the Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic. Following three family members who must start over as refugees in Iran, In the Land of Brothers is filled with careful storytelling of the refugee existence and highlights humanity within all. 

Festival Favorite Award - Daughters 

Daughters moved audiences and critics alike, following four young girls who prepare to attend a daddy-daughter dance with their incarcerated fathers through a program in a Washington, D.C. jail. Selected by audience votes, Daughters took home the coveted Festival Favorite Award, along with the Audience Award: U.S. Documentary, Presented by Acura. 

The World Cinema Grand Jury Prize - Dramatic - Sujo

Sujo explores dangerous upbringings when four year old Sujo’s father is killed, leaving him an orphan. After learning the cartel put a hit out on his father, Sujo vows to break the cycle of violence and hopes for a brighter future. The film was praised for its originality and breathtaking cinematography as it details Sujo’s adolescent life in the Mexican countryside. 

World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting - Preeti Panigrahi, Girls Will Be Girls

Preeti Panigrahi won the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting for her role as Mira in Girls Will Be Girls, an Indian film following a sixteen year old who discovers romance at a strict boarding school, much to her mother’s dismay. Panigrahi's performance surprised audiences, as she successfully formed a vulnerable yet strong, uncompromising character. Girls Will Be Girls also received the Audience Award: World Cinema Dramatic, Presented by United Airlines. 

NEXT Innovator Award - Little Death

Dark comedy Little Death was awarded the NEXT Innovator Award for its bold storytelling and strong cast performances throughout. Starring David Schwimmer and produced by Darren Aronofsky, the film follows a filmmaker trying to salvage his career, a pair of addicts in search of lost backpack, and a dog that finds itself far from home.  

World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary - A New Kind of Wilderness

A New Kind of Wilderness took home the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary, as audiences were completely immersed in film from start to finish. With a unique sensitivity to humanity, the skillfully made documentary introduces viewers to a unique family living in an isolated Norwegian forest, who is forced to adapt to modern society after a family tragedy. 

The Directing Award: World Cinema Documentary - Benjamin Ree, Ibelin

It takes real skill, like that of Benjamin Ree, to craft a story that provides such distinctive insight into the depths of the online world. As a pair of parents mourn their son Mats, who suffered from a degenerative muscular disease, they begin to receive an overwhelming amount of messages from all around the world, stemming from the online gaming community their son was part of. Ree’s touching look into Mats mind, and his charismatic World of Warcraft persona, took home the Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary, Presented by United Airlines for Ibelin.

The 2024 Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize - Love Me

This year’s Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize, which is presented to an outstanding feature about science or technology, went to Sam and Andy Zuchero’s Love Me starring Steven Yeun and Kristen Stewart. The filmmakers received $25,000 from Sundance Institute for winning the award for their post-apocalyptic romance film. 

Head to the official Sundance website for a complete list of 2024 Sundance Film Festival Award Winners

All images courtesy of the Sundance Institute.