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  • Romy Kraus

Sundance Winners: ‘In the Summers’ and ‘Porcelain War’ Lead Victories

'In the Sumers'

On Friday, the Sundance Film Festival introduced its latest group of emerging independent film talents, distributing its yearly accolades in Park City, Utah.

Alessandra Lacorazza Samudio's "In the Summers" captured the grand jury prize in the U.S. dramatic competition. This film narrates the story of two sisters growing up under the care of their emotionally complex yet affectionate father, set against the backdrop of their annual visits to his New Mexico residence. The U.S. Documentary competition saw "Porcelain War" triumph, offering a compelling depiction of artists who transform into soldiers amidst the conflict in Ukraine.

Internationally, the festival's highest honors were bestowed upon “A New Kind of Wilderness” in the documentary category, unraveling the journey of a family living in the wilderness who confront the challenges of reentering modern society after a sudden tragedy; and “Sujo,” a narrative feature winner, which delves into the life of a four-year-old orphan facing a potentially inescapable future in a drug cartel.

At the onset of the event, incoming Festival Director Eugene Hernandez set a contemplative tone by leading a collective deep breath. He commended his team's diligent efforts in curating the festival's significant 40th anniversary edition. He acknowledged the filmmakers, emphasizing that while some might leave with awards, all were selected from a vast pool of submissions and their films had made a significant impact.

Other notable winners included Sean Wang’s “Didi,” a story of growing up, and the inspirational documentary “Daughters.” Jack Begert, a music video director, received the NEXT Innovator Award for his film “Little Death,” starring David Schwimmer and Dominic Fike. Begert humorously referenced critiques on Letterboxd during his acceptance speech, joking about the unexpected win.

Full list of Sundance winners:


World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Craft“Nocturnes,” Director and Producer: Anirban Dutta, Director: Anupama Srinivasan

World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Cinematic Innovation“Soundtrack to a Coup d’Etat,” Director Johan Grimonprez

Directing Award: World Cinema Documentary“Ibelin,” Director Benjamin Ree

World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary“A New Kind of Wilderness”


World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Original Music“Handling the Undead,” Peter Raeburn

World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting Preeti Panigrahi, “Girls Will Be Girls”

Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic “In The Land Of Brothers,” Raha Amirfazli and Alireza Ghasemi

World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic“Sujo”


NEXT Special Jury Award“Desire Lines”

NEXT Innovator Award“Little Death”


Audience Award: NEXT“Kneecap”

Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary“Ibelin”

Audience Award: World Cinema Dramatic“Girls Will Be Girls”

Audience Award: U.S. Documentary“Daughters”

Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic“Didi”

Festival Favorite Award“Daughters”


U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Sound“Gaucho Gaucho”

U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for the Art Of Change“Union”

Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award: U.S. Documentary“Frida,” Carla Gutiérrez

Directing Award: U.S. Documentary“Sugarcane,” Julian Brave NoiseCat and Emily Kassie

U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary“Porcelain War”


U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Performance Nico Parker, “Suncoast”

U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Best Ensemble Izaac Wang, Joan Chen, Shirley Chen, Chang Li Hua, “Didi”

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: U.S. Dramatic Jesse Eisenberg, “A Real Pain”

Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic Alessandra Lacorazza, “In the Summers”

U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic“In the Summers”


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