2018 Sundance Film Festival Live Awards Updates

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The 2018 Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony at the Basin Recreation Fieldhouse in Park City, Utah. © 2018 Sundance Institute | Stephen Speckman

Updated 9:29 p.m MST

U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary

Kailash, directed by Derek Doneen

Doneen is thrilled and takes a moment to compose himself, and stands with his producer Sarah Anthony and editor Joshua Altman: “Oh my God! If you guys are like me you’re leaving this festival feeling more inspired and exhausted than you’ve ever felt in your entire life. Sarah and I made this movie for the last two years and have been through everything together. You have to give part of yourself to making a movie and it’s not always fun and easy, but everyone is here because they believe in the power of story. Kailash who gave his story to us and inspired us every day. My goodness, thank you so much.”

Mantzoukas returns to introduce Octavia Spencer, whose acclaimed performance as Minny in the DreamWorks film The Help won her an Academy Award, BAFTA, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, and Critics’ Choice Award, among numerous other accolades. She recently starred as mathematician Dorothy Vaughan in Hidden Figures which earned her a second nomination for both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe. She is currently nominated for the 2018 Academy Award for her work in Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy drama The Shape of Water.

Spencer, who’s wearing a long leopard print scarf: “Cinema's ability to educate, advocate, entertain, and inspire are all on display in this film –– delivered by an effortlessly diverse cast, representing a broad array of society struggling for acceptance and recognition…”

U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic

The Miseducation of Cameron Post, directed by Desiree Akhavan

Chloe Grace Moretz, dressed in a long black blazer-style coat and glittery leather boots, accepting for Akhavan: “Oh my gosh. Thank you Sundance for supporting this movie and allowing us to be in competition. We want to dedicate this award to the LGBTQ survivirors of conversion therapy.”

Updated 9:19 p.m. MST

Mantzoukas returns to the stage to introduce Ezra Edelman, director of O.J.: Made in America, which premiered at Sundance and won the 2016 Academy Award for best documentary feature.

Edelman presents:

“For a beautiful heartbreaking film that presents the journey of an extraordinary woman with the utmost care:”

Directing Award: U.S. Documentary

On Her Shoulders, directed by Alexandria Bombach

Bombach, who’s lost her voice: “Wow, there’s a lot of you. This film has been a very humbling experience and I’d just like to thank the jury at Sundance who gave us an opportunity to share it with the world. And my producers who trusted me to make this film. Thank you.”

Mantzoukas brings out Joe Swanberg, director, actor, writer and producer who has been at Sundance in all of these capacities. As a director, his films include Drinking Buddies, Happy Christmas, Digging For Fire and Win It All. His work in television includes episodes of HBO's Looking and Netflix's Love. He is the creator of the Netflix original series Easy, which he produces, writes, and directs.

Swanberg thanks Sundance for inviting him to be part of the process. “For diving into complicated territory with humor, compassion, intelligence, and subtlety…”

Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic

The Kindergarten Teacher, directed by Sara Colangelo

Colangelo via video: “Thank you so much for this incredible honor. It’s really unexpected. I want to thank my cast and crew. I couldn’t have made this without your cooperation. And thank you to Maggie Gyllenhaal, with whom I share this award. This is a film about the artistic process, and about a woman screaming into the void and wants to be heard. I hope it’s a timely story. Thank you to Sundance and the jury. I can’t tell you how much it means to be receiving this award.”

Producer: “This movie is for anyone out there who is made to feel it’s not OK to be the way they are This movie is to tell them it is OK. Thank you Sundance.”

Mantzoukas comes back to close things out. “I’m told that because it’s Sundance we have to do a 20 minute Q&A. No, I’m joking. Goodnight everybody!”

Updated 9:14 p.m. MST

Mantzoukas returns to the stage to introduce the U.S. Dramatic jury:

Michael Stuhlbarg, who can currently be seen in Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name which premiered at last year’s festival, as well as Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water and Steven Spielberg’s The Post. Also on the jury is Rachel Morrison, a cinematographer who has shot several Sundance favorites, the multiple award winner Fruitvale Station, indie breakout Dope, and the Oscar-nominated What Happened, Miss Simone? Earlier this week she became the first woman ever to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography. Her historic nod is for last years Sundance hit Mudbound. [Standing ovation from the audience.] Joining them is Jada Pinkett Smith, an actress and producer who has starred in films from the Matrix series to The Nutty Professor. Her most recent, Girls Trip, became the first film that was produced, directed, written by, and starring African Americans to break $100 million at the U.S. box office. The Will and Jada Smith Foundation supports diverse independent filmmakers including an initiative with the Sundance Institute Screenwriters Intensive.

Stuhlbarg: “This year we've seen several actors give outstanding performances in more than one film. Among them Josh Hamilton, Ann Dowd, Jennifer Ehle, Andrea Riseborough, Kelvin Harrison Jr., and John David Washington and Jasmine Cephas Jones. We've also been moved and delighted by the artistry of a new breed of young talented actors, all under the age of 18: Elsie Fisher, Parker Sevak, Isabelle Nélisse, and Ed Oxenbould. Among all of this talent, one performance stood out as a revelation…”

U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Achievement in Acting

Blaze, actor Benjamin Dickey

Dickey, after accepting a long hug from Ethan Hawke and Sibyl Rosen, widow of real-life singer-songwriter Blaze Foley, who Dickey plays in the film: “What the hell is going on? I have no earthly idea what to say. I feel like the luckiest duck around. Ethan Hawke asked me to do this deal with him and I felt lucky that that happened. This is an incredible place to stand if front of all these artists and storytellers. Memories are about the only thing humans have. All of you people are acting like the collective harddrive of these stories.”

Stuhlbarg: “And this next award goes to a feature we all felt very strongly about –– it combines so many elements of excellence in filmmaking - it's mastery in storytelling, combined with an extraordinary eye and ear to guide us along, its surprises and revelations gave us so much to intrigue us, entertain us, and move us –– which is why we've created a special jury prize for excellence in filmmaking for…”

U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Excellence in Filmmaking

I Think We're Alone Now, directed by Reed Morano

Screenwriter Mike Makowsky presents a video address from Morano: “She’s bar none the single most talented person I could hope to work with on this project.” Tech problems prevent us from hearing the address.

Jada Pinkett Smith: “For the delicate filmmaking around this difficult subject matter…”

U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Outstanding First Feature

Monsters and Men, directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green

Green, who kisses his small son on his way to the stage, and is followed by his son (who holds an iPhone, seemingly to film from the stage, and whose festival badge hangs down past his knees) as well as his team: “Thank you. My wife and brother and son, I love you guys. My producers, I couldn’t have done this without you. This was a Sundance [Screenwriters and Directors] Lab project. We shot this film in September. Robert Redford showed up on my set, which is crazy. Thank you Sundance. The other filmmakers, we do this together. We’ll have a drink after this. We had so much institutional support for this project when we started. Thank you so much. I love my incredible cast and crew. I couldn’t have done this without my actors.”

Morrison: “This film is original in a time when most everything has been tried. It's quirky and nuanced, unexpected and real, and manages weight while still infused with moments of levity…”

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: U.S. Dramatic

Nancy, Director/Screenwriter, Christina Choe

Choe, in a black leather jacket with fur-fringed shoulders and lace sleeves: “I definitely did not have anything planned. Wow. I want to thank everyone who believed in this when it was just me and Andrea Riseborough, who is the soul of Nancy. I want to thank my producers and my amazing cast and crew. We had an 80-percent female crew. Thank you.”

Updated 8:59 p.m. MST

Mantzoukas is back on stage to introduce the U.S. Documentary Competition Jury:

Chaz Ebert, the CEO of the movie-review site RogerEbert.com. Chaz heads the TV and movie production company Black Leopard Productions, and is the co-founder of Ebertfest –– Roger Ebert's Film Festival, now entering its 20th year. Barbara Chai, head of arts and culture coverage at Dow Jones Media Group, a suite of publications including Barron’s, Penta, MarketWatch, and the U.K.’s Financial News. Matt Holzman host and producer of the new KCRW show The Document, a mash-up of radio and documentaries.

Chaz Ebert: “Movies are said to be a machine that generates empathy. That was by a wise man, Roger Ebert, my husband. And i think that documentary movies are more than any others a way to put your shoes in someone else so that you can know what it’s like to be a person of another race, another gender, a person of another economic status. And when the stories are told right you have this connection to humanity.

“Sometimes truth seems stranger than fiction. A story about three people whose lives were affected by an experiment was done, whose lives were torn apart but came back together again.” She presents:

U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Storytelling

Three Identical Strangers, directed by Tim Wardle

Wardle: “Bloody hell. First off, this is a film about storytelling on one level and it wouldn’t have happened with the person who found it. Without you there would be no story.”

Chai presents:

U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Filmmaking

Minding the Gap, directed by Bing Liu

Liu, holding the award: “This thing is heavier than it looks. Is this real? I’ll make this quick, there are so many people to thank. My cast, my mom, my brother and everyone who gave such vulnerability to this story.”

Holzman thanks all of the documentary filmmakers for “destroying us.” Then presents.

U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Creative Vision

Hale County This Morning, This Evening, directed by RaMell Ross

Ross, rocking a double-denim button-up and blue jeans outfit: “I actually did prepare something because I won’t remember the people to thank. [rapidly thanks cast, crew, producers] and my dad. If I had a stage which is what everyone wants in someone, the language for cinema has for too long excluded black subjectivity. The film is supposed to be an exploration of the historic south and it’s not too historic to be readdressed.”

Chaz goes over the people they got to meet through the films in competition. Then presents:

U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Social Impact

Crime + Punishment, directed by Stephen Maing

Maing comes to the stage with the police officers and private detectives featured in his film: “Last weekend I had no idea how you’d feel about us bringing a dozen cops to the party but these are good guys. It’s been an incredible honor to get to know these guys. This is an amazing room of people who believe in cinema and storytelling and how we can change the world. I hope you guys go out and talk about what they’ve gone through. This is real life. Some of them are going back to fight the good fight. Thank you.”

Sergeant Edwin Raymond: “We jumped without a parachute and landed in Utah. We’re hoping to start a ripple starting in NYC and spreading throughout the nation to get rid of this cancer.”

Updated 8:45 p.m. MST

Mantzoukas returns to the stage and welcomes back Hearts Beat Loud stars Kiersey Clemons and Nick Offerman to introduce the Audience Awards.

Offerman: “Good evening. And thank you. Keirsey and I are extremely chuffed to present the Audience Awards for 2018. And here we go, it’s just that easy.”

Offerman presents:

Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary

This is Home, directed by Alexandra Shiva

Shiva, in a glittery top with tassled sleeves: “I have very little to say except I’m so happy and thank you so much. Thank you to Sundance and the audiences and Sundance Catalyst and the subjects who let us share their stories. Without them this would not be possible.”

Clemons presents:

Audience Award: World Cinema Dramatic

The Guilty, directed by Gustav Möller

Möller, excited, dressed in a black jacket over a black shirt and jeans, and flanked by his producer and lead actor: “This was our first film and I didn’t think anyone would see this film when we started out. Thank you to Sundance... The idea of the film is it would be created by the audience. If you haven’t seen the film this doesn’t make sense at all. It’s very special to get this award.”

Offerman apologizes for the fact that the bar is closed, then presents a montage of the U.S. Competition films.

Offerman introduces:

Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic

Burden, directed by Andrew Heckler

Heckler, with the poise of the experienced actor he is: “Wow. First I’d like to thank my family because they’re here and the Burden team. I wrote the first draft of this in 1998. I told the story These are very brave people. I think we could really change the world if we just pay attention... I just want to say one thing, a quote I use that defines the movie. You can not turn an enemy into a friend through hate. You can only turn an enemy into a friend through love”

Clemons announces:

Audience Award: U.S. Documentary

The Sentence, directed by Rudy Valdez

Valdez, overcome, and with a halting but urgent voice: “I don’t even know where to begin. This film on paper started 10 years ago but in reality it started longer. All my life I felt like I didn’t have a voice. I felt like my family and community were underserved. My sister was given a sentence –– I got a punch in the gut and decided I wasn’t going to wait any longer for someone to give me a voice. I was going to be that voice and I was going to give her a voice. I thank my family for being honest in front of me for a decade while I make this film.”

Offerman and Clemons spent the acceptance speeches listening intently and peeking from behind the central screen with their arms on each other’s shoulders.

Updated 8:32 p.m. MST

Mantzoukas returns to introduce the World Cinema Dramatic jury:

Hanaa Issa, who has been with the Doha Film Institute in Qatar since its inception –– currently serves as its Director of Strategy and Development heading film funding and programming. The Institute-supported films include the Academy Award-winning The Salesman by Ashgar Farhadi and the Academy Award nominee Loving Vincent by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman.

She is joined by Michael J. Werner, an American-born, Hong Kong-based producer and strategic consultant whose resume includes over 30 high profile independent films including Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmaster and Gregg Araki’s Mysterious Skin.

Also on the jury is Ruben Östlund, a Swedish director and screenwriter whose Force Majeure won the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize in Cannes in 2014. His latest film, The Square, won the Palme d’Or; and is currently nominated for the 2018 Academy Award.

Issa: “We were so impressed by the wide spectrum of expressions and ideas and bold and innovative storytelling. So these were tough decisions to make.” She presents:

World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Ensemble Acting

Dead Pigs

Director Cathy Yan accepts for her cast: “Wow, thank you. Definitely did not think I’d be up here tonight and did not prepare a speech. It was an absolute pleasure to be here. My actors are incredible and really believed in this crazy film and thank you for believing in it too.”

Werner, in a long black leather jacket takes the podium:

World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Screenwriting

Time Share (Tiempo Compartido), written by Julio Chavezmontes and Sebastián Hofmann

Hofmann: “Mexico is going through a civil war and we are the culture makers and we combat horrific things that are happening.”

Issa comes back to present:

World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting

The Queen of Fear, actress Valeria Bertuccelli

Bertuccelli, via video and in Spanish: “Thank you so much, thank you jury. It’s a great honor to receive this award. I’m very excited. Thank you so much.”

Werner back again:

Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic

And Breathe Normally, directed by Ísold Uggadóttir

Uggadóttir, in a long white jacket: “I never would imagine I’d win best director at Sundance. It’s kind of crazy actually. I wasn’t nervous earlier. Pardon me if I say nothing of Sundance. Thank you Sundance for having me and introducing me to all these filmmakers. The first evening I was here I was in awe of being around this talent. I have to share this with my cast...”

Ostlund announces, before tucking the oversized envelope into his suit jacket:

World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic

Butterflies, directed by Tolga Karaçelik

Karaçelik, with glasses tucked atop his curly hair, flanked by three of his collaborators: “I think it’s better for me to just stand here and act like a clever man. If I open my mouth I’ll say stupid things. We shot this film in 18 days. I hope my next film we’ll have six weeks at least. Give a big clap for my producer and make her realize we need six weeks to make a film. I want to thank all the film agents. They decide which films we’ll be seeing... In 15 days I got this [holds up award] and I got myself a wife. Thank you very much.” Karaçelik and Ostlund exchange a medium-5 and walk off together.

Updated 8:21 p.m. MST

Mantzoukas presents a montage of the two World Cinema competitions.

Mantzoukas introduces the World Cinema Documentary jury, which includes Paulina Suárez, the director of Ambulante, a non-profit organization that supports and promotes documentary cinema culture across Mexico. Also on the jury are Billy Luther, the director and producer of two award-winning documentaries Miss Navajo, and Grab both of which premiered at Sundance, as well as Joslyn Barnes, a renowned producer who has had numerous films at Sundance including Hale County This Morning, This Evening which is playing in U.S. Documentary Competition this year. She is currently nominated for the 2018 Academy Award for Best Documentary feature for Strong Island, which premiered at last year’s festival.

Paulina Suarez: “For its lucid portrayal of a perverse and infectious phenomenon that is an increasing threat to democratic culture worldwide; the world cinema documentary special jury award for editing goes to…”

World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Editing

Our New President, edited by Maxim Pozdorovkin and Matvey Kulakov

Pozdorovkin: “Thank you so much. This is totally unexpected. I want to thank the people who helped us make this film. Mostly I want to thank Sundance for embracing this crazy, crazy film. This film has generated so much argument and conversation and I’m grateful this will continue thanks to this [holds up award].”

Kulakov doesn’t have much to say, but he works an ace pidgin-style Yankee/Slavic James Dean mumble to shrug and thank his family.

Billy Luther introduces: “For its capacity to compare the ways of life, people, and distinct light of the Siberian landscape, the world cinema documentary special jury award goes to…”

World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Cinematography

Genesis 2.0, shot by Maxim Arbugaev and Peter Indergand

Arbugaev apologizes for his limited English before beginning his thank yous: “I thank my protagonists for their kindness and trust. For doc filmmakers it’s important to have the trust from their protagonists. I think my family who has always supported me. Thanks to the audience, the jury, and everyone who has supported our film. Finally I want to thank producer Christian Frye. In this film I found a friend and Christian you are my friend. Thank you very much.”

Suarez returns: “For its revealing juxtaposition of intimate, performative, political registers; for electrifying complexity and the fraught relationship between the filmmaker and protagonist which resulted in a vibrant collaboration. The world cinema documentary special jury award goes to…”

World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award

MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A., directed by Stephen Loveridge

Award presented to M.I.A. and Stephen Loveridge

Producers accept for Loveridge: “Our fabulous director is out with the flu at the condo and is so disappointed to not be here. Thanks to Sundance, the jurors and M.I.A.”

Suarez: “For its recuperation of women's creative labor, bringing to light an alternate history of independent cinema, for subverting patriarchal sadism, (pause) and for its multi-layered use of sound, the directing award for world cinema documentary goes to..”

Directing Award: World Cinema Documentary

Shirkers, directed by Sandi Tan

Tan, who is out of breath and animated behind the podium: “I wish I had something to read but I guess I have to improvise. Making a film is like keeping a secret for a very long time. For me it was 25 years. I’m whispering in your ear 25 years later and it’s magic. Making this film is me finding collaborators from around the world. Two years ago I was here and [Sundance Documentary Film Program team members] Tabitha Jackson and Kristin Feeley believed in me from the start and here I am with the finished project. Cinereach believe in crazy stories and people. Thank you my Shirkers family. We pieced this movie together and put them up in a condo and they love each other and it’s fabulous. We’re all here for this crazy movie. I think cinema is magic and you just have to keep believing in it.” Tan tries to run off and grab her prize at the same time, creating a charming in-between moment, not knowing where to go.

Joslyn Barnes takes the mic: “For confronting and embracing profound fear in the service of revealing a destroyed world, the terrifying experience of war, and the even more terrifying ways in which we as human beings adjust to it - or the idea of it, for walking both literal and political minefields with discerning intelligence and restraint; for reminding us of what is at stake and in its intimate portrayal of the forces competing for the futures of the next generation and, from our hearts, for getting those tattoos, the world cinema grand jury prize goes to…”

World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary

Of Fathers and Sons, directed by Talal Derki

Derki, with some of the tattoos visible that Barnes refers to –– tattoos he got so that he’d never again be tempted to go through hiding his liberal self like he had to go through to make the movie: “Sundance is my family and cinema is my division. I want to to thank… everyone who without this film could not be with you. I’m so honored to dedicate this film to the city of Berlin. The city of love and peace. I’m honored to be here. Thank you.” He stops at the edge of the stage to dance and hold his prize above his head.

Updated 8:06 p.m. MST

Mantzoukas introduces RuPaul, actor, musician, writer, and the Emmy-winning host and executive producer of RuPaul’s Drag Race. RuPaul is the single juror for the all new NEXT INNOVATOR AWARD, which recognizes the most innovative and forward-thinking film screened in the NEXT category.

RuPaul’s wearing a dark suit over an unbuttoned white shirt with a pronounced high collar over a dark ascot, and carrying a black leather backpack: “I brought my purse ‘cause I don’t trust no bitches. I carry my purse with me. I had so much fun watching these films. I watched 10 films. The truth is, you’re all winners. Do you know how hard it is to make a movie? Even a terrible movie. It’s so difficult to do and then get people to watch it, it’s amazing. It was an honor to be judge and jury. I feel like Judge Judy.”

There is a tie between two winners: “I fought long and hard with myself over this.”

Night Comes On, directed by Jordana Spiro

Spiro, accepting remotely by video: “This is incredible. I’m so bummed I can’t be there. I want to say thank you so much. My awesome, talented, generous crew and producers. Thank you so much for giving me your love and support and generosity.” Her child appears on camera and yells “Thank you RuPaul!” RuPaul goes closer to the screen and mimes kissing the girl on the cheek.

We the Animals, directed by Jeremiah Zagar

Zagar, kisses RuPaul: “Jordana and I lived together at Sundance, so it’s so serendipity there.” RuPaul screams: “Take off your clothes!” Zagar removes his outer shirt. “I want to thank Cinereach. Everyone there who helped us make this movie. I want to thank my wife and child. My wife catered the movie and my child is in the movie.” Ru asks, “Do you know who the father is?” Zagar: “I want to thank this unbelievable cast. They are unbelievable. I just thank you so much for all of this.”

Updated 7:59 p.m. MST

Festival Director John Cooper takes the stage.

He thanks the staff of the Sundance Film Festival. And the volunteers, 2,200 strong.

Cooper announces the 100 Club, those volunteers who donated 100 hours of their time during the festival. Their names scroll on the screen behind him. Then he presents the annual Gayle Stevens Volunteer Award, given to a volunteer who has demonstrated a long-standing passion and commitment to the work of the Institute. This year’s award was given at the start of the Festival and it went to William “Eagle” Polleys who has been a volunteer for 20 years.

He also thanks the jurors, “who taught me a lot about what we do.”

Discussing the slogan of the festival, “the story lives in you,” he addresses the filmmakers and how, “Now your stories live in all of us.”

Cooper introduces Director of Programming Trevor Groth. Groth, easily the snazziest dresser of the programming team, is wearing a three-piece blue plaid suit.

Groth then announces the Short Film Award winners, which were announced earlier this week.

Jason Mantzoukas is back on stage. He presents a montage of the films in the Next section.

“This is where you watch me read off a teleprompter badly,” he says.

Mantzoukas introduces Ethan Hawke to announce the NEXT Audience Award. Hawke is in full-on indie/folk rock star mode, wearing a workingman’s shirt, baseball cap, goatee, and spectacles.

NEXT Audience Award Presented by Adobe

Search, directed by Aneesh Chaganty

Chaganty, who’s extremely excited and voluble: “I had some rough idea of what I was going to say then it went away as I walked up This movie was made in a tiny edit room in five years with people arguing and editing and creating. To be in a much larger room and getting an award for it is crazy. Thank you to the programmers and thank you to the audience for lining up and walking through a blizzard to get here. This is so awesome. Thank you guys.”

Updated 7:49 p.m. MST

The Voice of God introduces our host for the evening:

“He’s an actor and comedian currently playing Derek Hofsteler in the NBC comedy The Good Place. His many recurring roles include Dr. Steve in Transparent, Rafi in the FX comedy series The League, Dennis Feinstein on Parks and Recreation and Adrian Pimento on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. He co-starred as Nadal in the film The Dictator. He also co-hosts the popular film discussion podcast How Did This Get Made? He was at Sundance in 2015 in Leslye Headland’s Sleeping with Other People, and he’s back this year, starring in Hannah Fidell’s hilarious film The Long Dumb Road. Please welcome the host of tonight’s awards ceremony, Jason Mantzoukas.”

Mantzoukas, with his trademarked curly hair and salt and pepper beard, dressed in a blue blazer and blue jeans over an unbuttoned white shirt and beige boots: “Here we go! How are doing Sundance? They read so many credits of mine. Thank you man for reading my IMDb. Much appreciated. Who’s been here all 10 days? Brutal! How many of you are sick? Raise your hands. If you’re sick please stop shaking my hands, and then telling me ‘oh man I’m sick.’ Ten days is too much I think. I was going to get a chant started of ‘10 more days.’ If this goes one more day I genuinely believe the snow will run red with the blood of filmmakers. I was playing racquetball with Robert Redford and he said Zouks –– he calls me Zouks –– I want you to host the awards this year. ‘Bobby Reds,’ I said. ‘I don’t know that I can do that. We call him Bobby Reds.’ He looked me in the eyes and said Zouks, ‘you’re my best friend in the whole world...’"

"...We’re gonna get started and hand out some awards. Keep your speeches short. I’ve been powered to sing you off stage if necessary, using Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It.”

Mantzoukas introduces Sundance Executive Director Keri Putnam.

Putnam: “It’s great to be here celebrating closing night of Sundance 2018. I want to thank the incredible Sundance audiences. I love how everyone is curious, adventurous, and willing to engage with one another. I’d like to encourage each of us to continue to advocate as a community. I’d like to think of us amplifying these voices that we’ve heard."

Putnam introduces the Sundance Institute Global Filmmaking Awards, which were announced earlier in the week.

The winners are:

From Syria, Talal Derki for Of Fathers and Sons.

From India, Chaitanya Tamhane for his untitled follow-up to his acclaimed film, Court.

From Mexico, Tatiana Huezo for Night On Fire.

We also announced the Sundance Institute / NHK Award, which went to Remi Weekes from the UK, for His House.

And last Sunday we announced the Sundance Institute / Amazon Studios Producers Awards.

The award for documentary feature producer went to Katy Chevigny and Marilyn Ness from Big Mouth Productions for Dark Money.

The award for narrative feature producer went to Sev Ohanian for Search.

“The Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize, provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, is a juried award presented to an outstanding film focusing on science or technology as a theme. The prize-winning creative team will receive a cash award of 20 thousand dollars.

“For its gripping and original interrogation of our evolving relationship with technology, and for its rigorous formal experimentation with narrative, the 2018 Sloan Feature Film Prize was presented to...”

Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian’s Search.

Jason Mantzoukas hosts the Awards Ceremony. © 2018 Sundance Institute



Updated 7:15 p.m. MST

Hi everyone, and welcome to the live blog for the 2018 Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony. For the sixth consecutive year, we’re Eric Hynes, Jeremy Kinser, and Nate von Zumwalt, and we’ll be your eyes and ears for tonight’s festivities. We’re stationed to the right of the stage, alongside the hundreds of white folding chairs awaiting filmmakers, artists, industry professionals, members of the press, and fortunate gawkers. Once things get underway, we’ll be listening, typing, and posting as fast as we can to update you on all of the winners and presenters, and give you a sense of what’s going on.

Once again the Awards Ceremony takes place at the Basin Recreation Fieldhouse at Kimball Junction, which is about a 15-minute drive from Main Street in downtown Park City. The Fieldhouse is a vast rectangular space, built primarily for athletics, with an elevated running track affixed to the perimeter of the structure. Festival staff and volunteers are going over their protocols, tech people are laying down wires and searching for power outlets, cameras are being set up behind us, and food is being put out for the first wave of attendees that will arrive at 6:00 PM Mountain Time. The stage this year is again unadorned save for three rectangular LED screens extolling this year’s logo and base colors of royal blue and bright orange.

As the Festival comes to a close, our minds cast back over the past ten days of screenings, panels, and special events. To weather that spanned from balmy, snowless days earlier in the festival to a blizzard on opening weekend, to more dry, cold but manageable days to close things out. To a second annual Women’s March on the first Saturday of the Festival, to actresses and directors and other leading voices in the film industry pressing forward with the #MeToo movement, calling for greater representation, control, and equal pay for women, condemning the history of sexual harassment and assault in the industry, and in particular reflecting on the Festival’s first year since the 1980s without the disgraced Harvey Weinstein present. To more voices calling for greater diversity and representation not just in terms of gender but also in terms of race, sexual orientation, and class.

When actress Andrea Riseborough spoke to us earlier in the Festival, she declined to use the time to talk up her four films in the Festival, but instead made a prolonged and committed plea for getting outside of ourselves to seek out, experience, and foster other perspectives in the movies we make. “I’m kind of sick of seeing it from the same perspective all the time,” she said. “I’m a white woman. I’ve spent so much time in my body. I’ve known enough of that. I go to the cinema and I want to see other people. I want to see other walks of life. Different perspectives.”

A good many perspectives were offered at this year’s slate of 120 features, but rather than pat ourselves on the back for such breadth of offerings, perhaps it’s best to take the note and agree that we continue to need more diversity, to recognize truly singular perspectives and more daring artistry, to push for greater access to resources, and to continue to listen to those who’ve been heard not nearly enough.

And with that, let’s pause for just a few minutes and wait for the 2018 Awards Ceremony to begin.

Lead photo:

The 2018 Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony at the Basin Recreation Fieldhouse in Park City, Utah. © 2018 Sundance Institute | Stephen Speckman