2023 Oscars: “Navalny” Wins Best Documentary Feature, Academy Honors Sundance Alums 

Photo of Alexei Navalny sitting at a table with his hands folded

As the 2023 awards season comes to a close, it’s been exciting to see so many Sundance-supported projects take center stage. From the Film Independent Spirit Awards to the Academy Awards, we’re thrilled to see these important, powerful stories recognized by audiences and fellow artists alike.  

That excitement continued at the 2023 Academy Awards last night as all eyes were on Everything Everywhere All At Once and several Sundance Institute alums, including the Daniels. A huge congratulations to director Daniel Roher, producers Odessa Rae, Diane Becker, Melanie Miller, and Shane Boris, and the rest of the filmmaking team of Navalny, which took home the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. Roher’s film captivated audiences across the country when it had its world premiere at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and nabbed an audience award and the Festival Favorite Award. 

“I would like to dedicate this award to Navalny, to all political prisoners around the world,” Roher said during his acceptance speech. “Alexei, the world has not forgotten your vital message to us all. We cannot, we must not be afraid to oppose dictators and authoritarianism wherever it rears its head.”    

A number of Sundance alums were honored, including Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, who took home the Oscars for Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture for Everything Everywhere All At Once; Sarah Polley, who won Best Adapted Screenplay for Women Talking; and Ruth Carter, who won the Achievement in Costume Design award for her work in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.  

“We are reshaping how culture is represented,” Carter said during her acceptance speech.   

Below, find the complete list of Sundance alums who took home an Oscar at the 2023 Academy Awards, and a special congratulations to all the sundance-supported artists and films that were honored this awards season! 

Achievement in Directing — Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Original Screenplay — Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All At Once

The Daniels at Sundance Institute’s Directors Lab

Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert made their feature directorial debut at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival with Swiss Army Man. In addition to receiving a Film Fund Grant in 2014, their film was supported by Sundance Institute’s Directors and Screenwriters Labs, Music and Sound Design Lab at Skywalker Sound | Feature Film, and Creative Producing Summit.

Best Picture — Everything Everywhere All At Once 

Before producing Everything Everywhere All At Once alongside the Daniels, Jonathan Wang produced Swiss Army Man (2016 Sundance Film Festival), Possibilia (2015 Sundance Film Festival), and The Death of Dick Long (2019 Sundance Film Festival). 

Best Documentary Feature — Navalny 

Navalny premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and won the U.S. Documentary Audience Award and the Festival Favorite Award.    

Diane Becker, a producer of Navalny, received support as a fellow of the 2017 Documentary Producers Lab and Fellowship as well as the 2017 Creative Producing Summit for Inventing Tomorrow (2018 Sundance Film Festival). The film was supported by the Science Sandbox Nonfiction Initiative and the Kendeda Fund Grant in 2018, the Kendeda Fund Grant in 2017, and the Catalyst Forum in 2016. Other Sundance-supported projects Becker produced include We Are X (2016 Sundance Film Festival) and Whirlybird (2020 Sundance Film Festival).

In addition to her work as a producer on these Sundance-supported projects, Becker was also a co-producer of Legion of Brothers (2017 Sundance Film Festival), a line producer for We Are The Giant (2014 Sundance Film Festival), and a grantee on King Coal (2020 Sundance Documentary Film Grant, 2023 Sundance Film Festival). 

Navalny producer Melanie Miller also worked with Becker as co-executive producer for Whirlybird and a producer for Inventing Tomorrow. And in 2020, both Miller and Becker were recipients of the Sundance Institute | Amazon Studios Producers Award.  

Shane Boris, another producer of Nalvany, has received support from Sundance Institute through programs and grants for five films: King Coal (2023 Sundance Film Festival, 2020 Sundance Documentary Film Grant), Fire of Love (2022 Sundance Film Festival, Documentary Film Program), The Edge of Democracy (2017 Sundance Documentary Film Grant, 2017 July Documentary Edit and Story Lab, 2017 Creative Producing Summit), The Seer and the Unseen (2018 Sundance Documentary Film Grant), and All These Sleepless Nights, for which he was an associate producer (2016 Sundance Film Festival, 2015 Creative Producing Summit, 2015 Sundance Documentary Film Grant).

Best Animated Feature Film — Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Director Guillermo del Toro was a fellow in Sundance Institute’s Guadalajara Mexican Screenwriters Lab, and his film Cronos screened at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival. Alex Bulkley, one of the producers of Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, was a key collaborator and executive producer for Kaiju Confidential, a VR exhibition within the New Frontier category at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.  

Best Actor in a Leading Role — Brendan Fraser, The Whale

Brendan Fraser starred in Twenty Bucks (1993 Sundance Film Festival), The Twilight of the Golds (1997 Sundance Film Festival), and Gods and Monsters (1998 Sundance Film Festival). 

Best Actress in a Supporting Role — Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All At Once

Jamie Lee Curtis starred in the 1990 Sundance Film Festival premiere Blue Steel.  

Best Adapted Screenplay — Women Talking, Sarah Polley

In addition to acting in eight films that have screened at the Sundance Film Festival, Sarah Polley directed and wrote Don’t Think Twice (2000 Sundance Film Festival), I Shout Love (2002 Sundance Film Festival), and Stories We Tell (2013 Sundance Film Festival). She directed and co-wrote Away From Her (2007 Sundance Film Festival), and she is the co-director of Hey Lady! (2020 Sundance Film Festival). 

Achievement in Film Editing — Paul Rogers, Everything Everywhere All At Once 

Best International Feature Film of the Year — All Quiet on the Western Front


Producers Daniel Dreifuss and Malte Grunert both produced Sundance Film Festival screenings. Dreifuss produced No (2013 Sundance Film Festival) and Sergio (2020 Sundance Film Festival), and Grunert produced A Most Wanted Man (2014 Sundance Film Festival).Paul Rogers was the editor for The Death of Dick Long (2019 Sundance Film Festival) as well as an editor for The Pound Hole (2016 Sundance Film Festival) and BLKNWS (2020 Sundance Film Festival).

Achievement in Music (Original Score) — Volker Bertelmann, All Quiet on the Western Front

Volker Bertelmann was the composer for The Perfect Candidate (2020 Sundance Film Festival) and Downhill (2020 Sundance Film Festival). 

Achievement in Costume Design — Ruth Carter, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever 

Ruth Carter was the costume designer for Black Dynamite, which screened at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. 

Best Documentary ShortThe Elephant Whisperers 

Guneet Monga co-produced Gangs of Wasseypur (2013 Sundance Film Festival) and The Lunchbox (2014 Sundance Film Festival). 

Other Sundance-supported projects that took home awards this awards season:

Directors Guild of America Awards

Michael Apted Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-Time Theatrical Feature Film Director — Charlotte Wells, Aftersun

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary — Sara Dosa, Fire of Love 

Cinema Eye Honors

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking — All That Breathes 

Outstanding Achievement in Editing — Erin Casper and Jocelyne Chaput, Fire of Love 

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography — Ben Bernhard and Riju Das, All That Breathes

Outstanding Achievement in Production — Odessa Rae, Diane Becker, Melanie Miller, and Shane Boris, Navalny

Outstanding Achievement in Original Score — Nicolas Godin, Fire of Love

Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design — Lucy Munger, Kara Blake, and Rui Ting Ji, Fire of Love

Outstanding Achievement in a Debut Feature Film — The Territory

Audience Choice Prize — Navalny

Outstanding Achievement in Editing in a Nonfiction Film or Series for Broadcast — Meg Ramsay | Showtime, We Need to Talk About Cosby

Heterodox Award — Aftersun

IDA Documentary Awards

Best Feature Documentary — All That Breathes 

Best Director — Shaunak Sen, All That Breathes

Best Editing — Charlotte Munch Bengtsen and Vedant Joshi, All That Breathes

Best Multi-Part Documentary — We Need to Talk About Cosby

Best Cinematography — Maurice Krafft, Katia Krafft, and Pablo Alvarez-Mesa, Fire of Love

Best Writing — Sara Dosa, Erin Casper, Jocelyne Chaput, and Shane Boris, Fire of Love

ABC News VideoSource Award — Riotsville, U.S.A.

Pare Lorentz Award — All That Breathes

Producers Guild of America Awards 

Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Motion Picture — Odessa Rae, Diane Becker, Melanie Miller, and Shane Boris, Navalny

Film Independent Spirit Awards 

Best First Feature — Aftersun

John Cassavetes Award — The Cathedral

Best First Screenplay — John Patton Ford, Emily the Criminal

Someone to Watch Award — Nikyatu Jusu, Nanny

Truer than Fiction Award — Reid Davenport, I Didn’t See You There

BAFTA Film Awards

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer, Best Actor, Best British Film, Best Casting — Charlotte Wells, Aftersun

Best Documentary — Navalny

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