Birth of a Nation Wins 2016 Sundance

Nate Parker’s racial drama “The Birth of a Nation” took both the top honors of the grand jury prize and the audience award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival which held its ceremony tonight.

The film, a drama about the life of Nat Turner and the slave rebellion he led in antebellum Virginia, made headlines several days ago when it was acquired by Fox Searchlight for a record-shattering $17.5 million.

It also marks the fourth year in a row where one film has taken the top two prizes in U.S. dramatic competition following 2013’s “Fruitvale Station,” 2014’s “Whiplash” and last year’s “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”. The U.S. documentary grand jury prize was awarded to “Weiner,” a behind-the-scenes portrayal of disgraced politician Anthony Weiner’s mayoral campaign.

In the World Cinema dramatic competition the grand jury prize went to Elite Ziker’s “Sand Storm” which deals with women’s issues in a Bedouin desert village, while the audience award and a special jury prize went to Manolo Cruz and Carlos del Castillo’s drama “Between Sea and Land” about a mother raising a son with muscular dystrophy along the Colombian coast.

Here’s the full list of winners:


Grand Jury Prize: “The Birth of a Nation”
Audience Award: “The Birth of a Nation”
Directing: Daniel Scheinart and Daniel Kwan, “Swiss Army Man”
Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: Chad Hartigan, “Morris From America”
Special Jury Award (SJA): Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, “As You Are”
SJA for Breakthrough Performance: Joe Seo, “Spa Night”
SJA for Individual Performance: Markees Christmas, “Morris From America”
SJA for Individual Performance: Melanie Lynskey, “The Intervention”


Grand Jury Prize: “Weiner”
Audience Award: “Jim: The James Foley Story”
Directing Award: Roger Ross Williams, “Life, Animated”
SJA for Editing: Penny Lane and Thom Stylinski, “NUTS!”
SJA for Social Impact: Dawn Porter, “Trapped”
SJA for Writing: Robert Greene, “Kate Plays Christine”
SJA for Verite Filmmaking: Keith Fulton and Lou Pepe, “The Bad Kids”


Grand Jury Prize: “Sand Storm”
Audience Award: “Between Sea and Land”
Directing Award: Felix van Groeningen, “Belgica”
Screenwriting: Ana Katz and Ines Bortagaray, “Mi amiga del parque”
SJA for Acting: Vicky Hernandez and Manolo Cruz, “Between Sea and Land”
SJA for Unique Vision and Design: Agnieszka Smoczynska, “The Lure”


Grand Jury Prize: “Sonita”
Audience Award: “Sonita”
Directing Award: Michal Marczak, “All These Sleepless Nights”
SJA for Editing: Mako Kamitsuna and John Maringouin, “We Are X”
SJA for Cinematography: Pieter-Jan De Pue, “The Land of the Enlightened”
SJA for Debut Feature: Heidi Brandenburg and Mathew Orzel, “When Two Worlds Collide”


Next Audience Award: “First Girl I Loved”
Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize: “Embrace of the Serpent”