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And the Sundance Awards go to…

admin   January 30, 2022

The 2022 Sundance Film Festival’s Awards were announced after nine days featuring 84 films and 59 short films, the juries have deliberated and the audience has voted.

The 26 jury-awarded and six audience-awarded prizes recognize achievement in global independent storytelling. Bold, intimate, and culture shifting stories prevailed across categories, with Grand Jury Prizes awarded to Nanny (U.S. Dramatic), The Exiles (U.S. Documentary), Utama (World Cinema Dramatic), and All That Breathes (World Cinema Documentary). Audience Awards were presented to Navalny (U.S. Documentary), Cha Cha Real Smooth (U.S. Dramatic), Girl Picture (World Cinema Dramatic), The Territory (World Cinema Documentary), Framing Agnes (NEXT), with Navalny winning the Festival Favorite Award.

Sundance Institute CEO Joana Vicente said, “The awards represent the determination of visionary individuals, whose dynamic work will continue to change the culture and create discourse throughout the year.”

Vincente added: “This year’s entire program has proven that no matter the context, independent storytelling remains a pivotal tool in expanding critical dialogues, and these stories will and must be shared.”

According to Sundance Film Festival Director Tabitha Jackson, “the 2022 Sundance Film Festival once again met our audience wherever they happened to be. Whether you watched from home or one of our seven satellite screens, this year’s Festival expressed a powerful convergence; we were present, together, as a community connected through the work. And it is work that has already changed those who experienced it.”

Festival’s Director of Programming Kim Yutani said, “We are so grateful for this year’s jurors who brought their expertise and passion to their decision-making process. We congratulate the award winners and we’re so thankful to each and every film in the program that made the 2022 Sundance Film Festival such a huge success.”

The awards announcement marks a key point of the 2022 Festival, where 84 feature-length and 59 short films — selected from 14,849 submissions — were showcased online via the Festival’s online platform; a selection of the program will play at 7 Satellite Screen locations across the United States, starting tonight.

Here’s the full list of Sundance Film Festival 2022 winners

FESTIVAL FAVORITE AWARD

Navalny
Director: Daniel Roher

U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION

Audience Award

Cha Cha Real Smooth
Director-Writer: Cooper Raiff

Grand Jury Award

Nanny
Director-Writer: Nikyatu Jusu

Directing

Jamie Dack
Palm Trees and Power Lines

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award

K.D. Dávila
Emergency

Special Jury Award: Ensemble Cast

John Boyega, Nicole Beharie, Selenis Leyva, Connie Britton, Olivia Washington, London Covington and Michael K Williams
892

Special Jury Award: Uncompromising Artistic Vision

Bradley Rust Gray
blood

U.S. DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

Audience Award

Navalny
Director: Daniel Roher

Grand Jury Prize

The Exiles (U.S.)
Directors: Ben Klein, Violet Columbus

Directing

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

Aftershock
Directors: Paula Eiselt, Tonya Lewis Lee

Special Jury Award: Creative Vision

Descendant
Director: Margaret Brown

WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

Audience Award

The Territory (Brazil/Denmark/U.S.)

Grand Jury Prize

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

Directing

Simon Lereng Wilmont
A House Made Of Splinters (Denmark)

Special Jury Award: Documentary Craft

The Territory (Brazil/Denmark/U.S.)
Director: Alex Pritz

Special Jury Award: Excellence In Verité Filmmaking

Midwives (Myanmar)
Director: Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing

WORLD CINEMA DRAMATIC COMPETITION

Audience Award

Girl Picture (Finland)
Director: Alli Haapasalo

Grand Jury Prize

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

Directing

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)

NEXT

Audience Award

Framing Agnes (Canada/U.S.)
Director: Chase Joynt

SHORT FILMS AWARDS

Grand Jury Prize

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

Jury Award: U.S. Fiction

If I Go Will They Miss Me (U.S.)
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 (U.S.)
Directors: Lewie Kloster, Noah Kloster; Writer: Sara Driver

Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize

After Yang

Sundance Institute | Amazon Studios Producers Award for Nonfiction

Su Kim, Free Chol Soo Lee (U.S. Documentary Competition)

Sundance Institute | Amazon Studios Producers Award for Fiction

Amanda Marshall, God’s Country (Premieres)

Sundance Institute | Adobe Mentorship Award for Editing Nonfiction

Toby Shimin

Sundance Institute | Adobe Mentorship Award for Editing Fiction

Dody Dorn

Sundance Institute | NHK Award

Hasan Hadi, The President’s Cake


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Embracing Cinema Through Screens of all Sizes

admin   September 21, 2020

TIFF’s industry platform welcomed 3,926 international professionals digitally this year, and remains a force for market activity with strong deals continuing to be made

“TIFF 2020 was a year we won’t soon forget,” said Cameron Bailey, TIFF Artistic Director and Co-Head. “Over the last 10 days, we have experienced community in the truest sense. The pandemic hit TIFF hard and we responded by going back to our original inspiration — to bring the very best in film to the broadest possible audience and transform the way people see the world through film. We heeded the urgent calls for greater representation of under-represented voices. And we watched as audiences embraced cinema’s ability to transport them through screens of all sizes by joining us online from all over this country — something that we would never have seen in previous years. TIFF delivered on its promise to provide Festival-goers and the industry with impactful programming. We are very proud of what the TIFF team accomplished.”

“The films and talent featured in this year’s Festival have left us inspired and moved,” said Joana Vicente, TIFF Executive Director and Co-Head. ”In a time where the very future of our beloved art form was in question due to cinema and production shutdowns and film festival cancellations, we have seen a tenacity of spirit. We’re heartened by the support and generosity from TIFF’s loyal sponsors, donors, members, and public audiences who encouraged us to deliver a reimagined Festival. We’re grateful for the industry delegates and press corps who championed TIFF’s decision to go ahead with the Festival. We are excited by the fact that 46% of the films screened this year were either directed, co-directed or created by women. We are inspired by the generosity of the industry, who gave their time to be present — virtually — in support of the Festival. And, finally, we are genuinely moved by the commitment of all TIFF’s stakeholders who helped us deliver the TIFF Tribute Awards to Canadian and international audiences.

TIFF’s industry platform welcomed 3,926 international professionals digitally this year, and remains a force for market activity with strong deals continuing to be made. The following films were sold at TIFF 2020: Another Round, Bruised, Good Joe Bell, MLK/FBI, Night of the Kings, One Night in Miami… , Pieces of a Woman, Shadow In The Cloud, Shiva Baby and Summer of 85, with many other sales continuing to be negotiated for films in and out of selection.

TIFF’s Industry Conference presented 35 digital sessions, including Master Classes with Viola Davis and Julius Tennon, Luca Guadagnino, Ted Hope, and dream hampton. The Dialogues stream featured conversations with directors Radha Blank, Stella Meghie, and Lulu Wang; writers Tracy Oliver, Cord Jefferson, and Leslye Headland; Primetime directors Derek Cianfrance and Lenny Abrahamson; and documentarians Sam Pollard and Shola Lynch.

Additionally, Perspectives sessions included “Narrative Sovereignty” with TIFF Tribute Award honouree Tracey Deer, and “From Micro to Macro: How Data Can Drive Anti-Racist Action in Film and Television.” Popular Microsessions encouraged conversations in “Reclaiming Our Time, Stories and Screens for Under-represented Canadian Creators” and “Harnessing Media to Make Positive Social Change,” to name just a few, and Spotlights featured countries such as Russia, India Israel, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. The Conference also offered two special industry events: “Aaron Sorkin on The Trial of the Chicago 7 ”, and “Women on the Rise: 2020 TIFF Rising Stars, a panel presented by OLG.”

Talent development also remains at the forefront of TIFF’s commitment to the industry. The Filmmaker Lab provided emerging directors with an immersive learning experience. This year, 20 directors were selected to participate — 10 from Canada and 10 from around the world. The Lab, designed to be inspirational, brought filmmakers into contact with some of the finest creative talent in the world and was supported by Telefilm Canada, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the RBC Female Creator Initiative, Anne-Marie Canning, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) with Filmmaker Lab Fellowships generously supported by Hudson’s Bay Foundation, Canada Goose and TIFF’s Share Her Journey campaign. For 2020 the HFPA selected three of our Filmmaker Lab participants for their three-week residency programme: Maha Al-Saati (Saudi Arabia), Álvaro Gago Díaz (Spain), and Jeff Wong (Canada).

In order to acknowledge the heroes working to keep people safe during the global health crisis, TIFF presented a special screening of Concrete Cowboy to 500 invited frontline workers on Monday, September 14. The screening was held on TIFF’s online film platform, Bell Digital Cinema, and sponsored by Fasken.

TIFF partnered with Toronto area hospitals Sinai Health, Toronto General, St. Michael’s, and St. Joseph’s (Unity); long-term care facilities Baycrest Hospital, Homes First, and South Riverdale Community Health Centre; and mental health care partners CAMH (PHP, ENCORE, Gifts of Light), CMHA, Real Canadian Superstore, and the TTC in order to facilitate outreach to 500 frontline workers in the Greater Toronto Area. Many of these partners work closely with TIFF year-round as part of our Mental Health Outreach programme, which supports individuals on their path to wellness by harnessing the unique power of film to unlock imagination and encourage curiosity.

For the first time ever, TIFF’s leading fundraiser, the TIFF Tribute Awards, was broadcast across Canada on CTV and ctv.ca, and streamed internationally to the rest of the world by Variety. During the one-hour broadcast, Academy Award–winning actress Kate Winslet and Academy Award–winning actor Sir Anthony Hopkins each received a TIFF Tribute Actor Award ; Nomadland director Chloé Zhao was awarded the TIFF Ebert Director Award; Academy Award–nominated filmmaker Mira Nair was honoured with the Jeff Skoll Award in Impact Media; Grammy Award– winning composer Terence Blanchard, whose work was featured in this year’s films Bruised and One Night In Miami… , received the TIFF Variety Artisan Award; and Beans director Tracey Deer was awarded the TIFF Emerging Talent Award.


Toronto to Honor Anthony Hopkins, Chloe Zhao, and Mira Nair

admin   August 18, 2020

The Awards honour the film industry’s outstanding contributors and their achievements, recognizing leading industry members, acting talent, directorial expertise, new talent, and a below-the-line artist and creator

TIFF and Bell Media unveiled that television audiences can tune in to the 2020 TIFF Tribute Awards, to be broadcast on Tuesday, September 15 during the 45th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival. Produced by Bell Media Studios, the first-ever one-hour broadcast will feature special messages from the honourees. The broadcast will be streamed to a global audience by Variety.

The TIFF Tribute Awards ceremony is an annual fundraiser to support both TIFF’s year-round programming and the organization’s core mission to transform the way people see the world through film. The Awards honour the film industry’s outstanding contributors and their achievements, recognizing leading industry members, acting talent, directorial expertise, new talent, and a below-the-line artist and creator.

“In what has been a challenging year for our global filmmaking community, we’re delighted to partner with Bell Media to unite cinemagoers across Canada, and around the world, to share in our love of film and celebrate the industry’s leading talent,” said Joana Vicente, Executive Director and Co-Head, TIFF.

Featuring incredible career retrospectives along with appearances by extraordinary talent, we’re thrilled to be working with the TIFF team to create the inaugural broadcast of the 2020 TIFF Tribute Awards for viewers in Canada and around the world,” said Randy Lennox, President, Bell Media.

In making the announcement, TIFF revealed that Academy Award-winning actor Sir Anthony Hopkins will receive a TIFF Tribute Actor Award; director Chloé Zhao will receive the TIFF Ebert Director Award; and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Mira Nair will be honoured with the Jeff Skoll Award in Impact Media. TIFF previously announced Academy Award-winning actress Kate Winslet will receive a TIFF Tribute Actor Award.

Sir Anthony Hopkins

Vicente said Hopkins’ onscreen presence continues to captivate, entertain, and inspire audiences and actors alike: “Sir Anthony’s brilliant and compelling performance in Florian Zeller’s The Father affirms his position as a true acting legend.” With a career spanning over 60 years, Hopkins has starred in films including The Bounty, Howards End, Hitchcock, and the Thor series. He won an Academy Award for his role as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, and was nominated for four other Academy Awards for his roles in The Remains of the Day, Nixon, Amistad, and The Two Popes. In addition, he has won three BAFTAs and two Emmys, has been nominated for seven Golden Globe awards, and was honoured with the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2006. Hopkins stars alongside Olivia Colman in Zeller’s The Father, about a man struggling with aging, which will screen at TIFF and be released by Sony Pictures Classics on November 20, 2020.

Chloé Zhao

Vicente said Zhao’s upcoming film Nomadland reminds us, particularly right now, that cinema has the power to connect us all no matter how far apart we might feel: “Chloé’s work consistently exemplifies her signature flair for authentic, humane, and emotionally intimate storytelling.”

Zhao was born in Beijing, China. She was raised there and also in Brighton, England. After moving to the US, she studied political Science at Mount Holyoke College and film production at NYU. Songs My Brothers Taught Me, her debut feature film as a writer, director, and producer, premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and screened in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the Cannes Film Festival, receiving a nomination for the Caméra d’Or Award for best first feature. Her sophomore feature, The Rider, an impressionistic drama about a South Dakota cowboy, premiered at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight in 2017 and won the Art Cinema Award. The film went on to receive critical acclaim, with Zhao nominated for Best Director at the INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS and won Best Feature at the IFP Gotham Awards. Zhao’s upcoming film Nomadland, which explores the vast landscape of the American West, stars Frances McDormand, David Strathairn, Linda May, and Charlene Swankie. The film will screen at TIFF and will be released by Searchlight Pictures this fall. Zhao’s other upcoming feature is The Eternals from Marvel Studios.

Mira Nair

Vicente said Nair’s brilliant adaptation of A Suitable Boy acts as a testament to her extraordinary talent for authentic storytelling. “Mira’s passion for creating impact through film and storytelling, coupled with her masterful cinematic style, extends far beyond the screen; and resonates through her deep commitment for talent development in the US, East Africa, and India.”

Nair is an Academy Award- and BAFTA-nominated filmmaker who has directed numerous films, including Mississippi Masala, the Venice Golden Lion-winning Monsoon Wedding, The Namesake, and Queen of Katwe. Her first film, Salaam Bombay!, won the Caméra d’Or at Cannes in 1988, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and won the BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language. She was awarded the Laura Ziskin Lifetime Achievement Award at the Athena Film Festival, a Tribute at the IFP Gotham Awards, and a Muse Award from NYWIFT. Nair’s production company, Mirabai Films, specializes in creating films about the world, for the world. In 1998, Nair used the profits from Salaam Bombay! to create Salaam Baalak Trust, which works with street children in India, and in 2005, she established Maisha Film Lab in Kampala, Uganda, a non-profit training initiative for emerging East African filmmakers. In 2012, Nair was awarded the Padma Bhushan – India’s second-highest civilian honour – by the president of India. Nair’s six-part miniseries A Suitable Boy will screen at TIFF.

Last year the inaugural TIFF Tribute Gala celebrated the remarkable talents and contributions of Meryl Streep, Taika Waititi, Mati Diop, and Joaquin Phoenix, among others.


Robbie Robertson Doc ‘Once Were Brothers’ to Open 2019 Toronto International Film Festival

admin   July 23, 2019

The Toronto International Film Festival has announced the world premiere of Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band will be the opening night gala presentation for the 44th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on September 5 (Thursday), at Roy Thomson Hall.

TIFF Co-Heads Cameron Bailey and Joana Vicente has announced that Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band, Daniel Roher’ s touching tale of Robertson’s young life as the creation of one of the most enduring groups in the history of popular music, The Band. The premiere marks the first time a Canadian-made documentary to open the Toronto International Film Festival. The first Canadian opening-night film Score: A Hockey Musical was screened in TIFF 2010.

The documentary film, directed by Daniel Roher ( Ghosts of Our Forest), inspired by Robertson’s 2016 memoir, Testimony , tells the moving story of Robertson’s personal journey as he overcame adversity and found camaraderie alongside the four other men who would become his brothers in music, and who together made their mark on music history.

Once Were Brothers : Robbie Robertson and The Band blends rare archival footage, photography, iconic songs, and interviews with many of Robertson’s friends and collaborators, including Martin Scorsese, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Peter Gabriel, Taj Mahal, Dominique Robertson, and Ronnie Hawkins. The Band was known as Bob Dylan’s back-up band. Their final performance was filmed by Martin Scorsese in 1976 in The Last Waltz. Robertson.

“This is one of Toronto’s great stories of a hometown hero,” said Bailey, Artistic Director & Co-Head of TIFF. “From his early years in this city, to the inspiration he took from life on the Six Nations reserve, to the impact he’s had on generations of music lovers, Robertson emerges in Roher’s film as a truly Canadian-made superstar. In our first year as TIFF’s Co-Heads, Joana and I are thrilled to open the Festival with a Canadian story that speaks to the world.”

“This stirring documentary takes audiences on a musical journey and shows us just what it takes to build one of the most significant groups in rock history,” said Vicente, Executive Director & Co-Head of TIFF. “Robertson is a Canadian music icon, and his moving story of persistence and passion is the perfect way to begin Festival 2019 for both Cameron and me. We’re eager to share the excitement of Opening Night with Toronto’s film lovers, and audiences can expect some very special guests joining us to help celebrate.”

“Robertson’s tale is a remarkable reminder of how vision, ambition, and hard work can empower one’s wildest dreams,” said director Daniel Roher. “Robbie took a chance on me, and I will be forever grateful that he rolled the dice on a kid from Toronto to helm his story. Opening the Toronto International Film Festival is beyond some wildest dreams of my own and I am thankful for everyone who believed in me.”

“I’m so tremendously honoured that the premiere of Once Were Brothers, inspired by my memoir Testimony, will be the opening movie at TIFF this year, in my hometown of Toronto, Ontario, Canada,” said Robertson. In a career spanning six decades, Robbie Robertson has continued to create as a songwriter, producer, performer, actor, author, and film composer. His raw talent thrust him into the spotlight and put him at the centre of a cultural revolution, backing Bob Dylan on his notorious 1966 electric world tour and later collaborating with Dylan on the groundbreaking Basement Tapes , then as a member of The Band, inventing the musical hybrid known as Americana with songs like “The Weight,” “Up on Cripple Creek, ” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.” Of late, Robertson has been working on a new solo album, due this fall.

Made in conjunction with Imagine Documentaries, White Pine Pictures, Bell Media Studios and Universal Music Canada’s Shed Creative, the project is executive produced by Martin Scorsese, Imagine Entertainment Chairmen Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, Justin Wilkes and Sara Bernstein for Imagine Documentaries; White Pines Pictures’ president Peter Raymont, and COO Steve Ord; Bell Media president, Randy Lennox; Jared Levine; Michael Levine; Universal Music Canada president and CEO Jeffrey Remedios; and Shed Creative’s managing director Dave Harris. The film was produced by Andrew Munger, Stephen Paniccia, Sam Sutherland and Lana Belle Mauro.

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band will stream on Crave in Canada later this year.

The 44th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 5–15, 2019.