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Sundance Film Festival Awards 2021: The complete winners list


The 2021 Sundance Film Festival wrapped up on Tuesday evening, and it has been a time to remember for a series of filmmakers. Despite the festival held virtually, organisers still found a way to make sure the event went ahead and celebrate the best of independent cinema.

The film that had the finest night was CODA, a picture based on the tale of a high-school student who is the only non-deaf person in her family. The protagonist battles between continuing to help her family or following her passion for music. CODA became the first film in Sundance history to win all three top prizes in the U.S. dramatic category. These accolades came after Apple Studios had already snapped it up for $25million following a bidding war after it premiered on the festival’s opening night.

“This has been a singular Festival for a singular moment,” said Sundance Institute CEO Keri Putnam. “We’ve been able to elevate independent art and celebrate a wonderful slate of films by gathering in new ways, ways that worked thanks to adventurous audiences everywhere, eager to connect and engage with the work and with one another. Watching people come together to connect and discuss exciting new work has been incredibly rewarding – and a resounding confirmation that great independent storytelling inspires rich conversation.”

“This was not a ‘virtual’ festival, it was a real festival and the power of these artists and their work was what made it so,” added Sundance Film Festival Director Tabitha Jackson, “It has been a privilege to help this work meet new audiences and enter the culture with such fanfare, especially now, when breaking through the noise is harder than ever.”

Check out the full list of winners, below.

Full list of winners from Sundance Festival 2021:


Grand Jury Prize: CODA

Audience Award: CODA

Directing: Siân Heder, CODA

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: Ari Katcher and Ryan Welch, On the Count of Three

Special Jury Award for Best Actor: Clifton Collins Jr., Jockey

Special Jury Award for Best Ensemble: The cast of CODA (Emilia Jones, Eugenio Derbez, Troy Kotsur, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Daniel Durant, and Marlee Matlin)


Grand Jury Prize: Summer Of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

Audience Award: Summer Of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

Directing: Natalia Almada, Users

Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award: Kristina Motwani and Rebecca Adorno, Homeroom

Special Jury Award for Emerging Filmmaker: Parker Hill, Isabel Bethencourt, Cusp

Special Jury Award for Nonfiction Experimentation: Theo Anthony, All Light, Everywhere


Grand Jury Prize: Hive

Audience Award: Hive

Directing Award: Blerta Basholli, Hive

Special Jury Award for Acting: Jesmark Scicluna, Luzzu

Special Jury Award for Creative Vision: One for the Road, Baz Poonpiriya


Grand Jury Prize: Flee

Audience Award: Writing With Fire

Directing Award: Hogir Hirori, Sabaya

Special Jury Award for Vérité Filmmaking: Camilla Nielsson, President

Special Jury Award for Impact for Change: Rintu Thomas, Sushmit Ghosh, Writing With Fire


NEXT Audience Award: Marion Hill, My Belle, My Beauty

NEXT Innovator Award: Dash Shaw (director), Jane Samborski (animation director), Cryptozoo

Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize: Alexis Gambis, Son of Monarchs

Sundance Institute/Amazon Studios Producers Award for Narrative Features: Natalie Qasabian, Run

Sundance Institute/Amazon Studios Producers Award for Documentary Features: Nicole Salazar, Philly D.A.

Sundance Institute NHK Award: Meryam Joobeur, Motherhood

Sundance Institute/Adobe Mentorship Award for Editing Nonfiction: Juli Vizza,

Sundance Institute/Adobe Mentorship Award for Editing Fiction: Terilyn Shropshire.