Winners of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival jury prizes in short filmmaking were announced today by Sundance Institute at a ceremony in Park City, Utah. The Short Film Grand Jury Prize, awarded to one film in the program of 73 shorts selected from 9,443 submissions, went to Aziza, directed by Soudade Kaadan and co-written by Kaadan and May Hayek. Full video of the ceremony is at youtube.com/sff. The Short Film program is presented by YouTube, as part of their ongoing support for emerging storytellers, unique voices and independent artists. 2019 marks the seventh year Youtube has been the official sponsor of the Sundance Film Festival Shorts program.
This year’s Short Film jurors are Sheila Vand, Young Jean Lee, and Carter Smith.
The short film program at the Festival is the centerpiece of Sundance Institute’s year-round efforts to support short filmmaking. Select Festival short films are presented as a traveling program in over 70 cities in the U.S. and Canada each year, one of the few theatrical releases of short films in North America. Short films and filmmakers also take part in regional Master Classes geared towards supporting emerging shorts-makers in cities around the country.
Of the seven short films selected for awards this year, four projects (57% percent) were directed by women, two were directed by people who identify as LGBTQ, and six (85.7%) were directed by people of color.
2019 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Jury Awards:
The Short Film Grand Jury Prize was awarded to Aziza / Syria, Lebanon (Director: Soudade Kaadan, Screenwriters: Soudade Kaadan, May Hayek) – A dynamic take on the life of Syrian refugees, told through black comedy.
The Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction was presented to Green / U.S.A. (Director: Suzanne Andrews Correa, Screenwriters: Suzanne Andrews Correa, Mustafa Kaymak) – Green, an undocumented Turkish pedicab driver, unwittingly draws police attention, endangering his brother, his community, and himself.
The Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction was presented to Dunya’s Day / Saudi Arabia, U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Raed Alsemari) – Abandoned by her domestic help, Dunya fights to throw the perfect graduation soirée.
The Short Film Jury Award: Non-fiction was presented to Ghosts of Sugar Land / U.S.A. (Director: Bassam Tariq) – In Sugar Land, Texas, a group of young Muslim-American men ponders the disappearance of their friend “Mark,” who is suspected of joining ISIS.
The Short Film Jury Award: Animation was presented to Reneepoptosis / U.S.A., Japan (Director and screenwriter: Renee Zhan) – Three Renees go on a quest to find God, who is also Renee. As they traverse the mountains and valleys of Renee, they discover all the great joys, sorrows, and mysteries of being Renee.
A Special Jury Award for Directing was presented to FAST HORSE / Canada (Director and screenwriter: Alexandra Lazarowich) – The Blackfoot bareback horse-racing tradition returns in the astonishingly dangerous Indian Relay. Siksika horseman Allison Red Crow struggles with second-hand horses and a new jockey on his way to challenge the best riders in the Blackfoot Confederacy.
SOURCE: HOLLYWOOD REPORTER