Nate Parker's 'The Birth Of A Nation' Wins Sundance's Top Drama Awards

Coming away from this year's Sundance Film Festival, a couple of things were apparent. The first was that Nate Parker's The Birth of a Nation was the most obviously buzzed-about film at the festival, selling for a whopping $17.5M to Fox Searchlight, a festival record by a wide margin. And second, that there were no clear-cut Best Picture contenders. But there were some obvious audience and critical favorites that emerged at Park City, and tonight as the festival came to a close the award winners were announced.

Unsurprisingly, it was The Birth of a Nation which came away with the two biggest prizes, the Audience and Jury awards for best drama. Some films which were high on my list also came away with victories, such as the coming-of-age comedy, Morris from America, which won two awards, one for Chad Hartigan's screenplay and another for Craig Robinson's performance. And my favorite win of the night went to Melanie Lynskey for her scene-stealing, downright hilarious performance in Clea Duvall's The Intervention

My WAFCA buddy Eli Savada worked on the documentary, Nuts!, which came away with a special editing prize, while the Anthony Weiner doc took home the Grand Jury Prize. In a little bit of a surprise, the fart-tastic Swiss Army Man earned awards for co-directors Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan, but nothing for stars Daniel Radcliffe (who plays a corpse) and Paul Dano (who drags the corpse around). 

Check out the full list of winners below. You can also find our reviews of many of these films here!

Audience Award
Birth Of A Nation
Nate Parker
Grand Jury Prize
Birth Of A Nation
Nate Parker
Daniel Scheinert, Daniel Kwan
Swiss Army Man
Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award
Chad Hartigan
Morris From America
Special Jury Award – Individual Performance
Melanie Lynskey
The Intervention
Special Jury Award – Individual Performance
Craig Robinson
Morris from America
Special Jury Award – Breakthrough Performance
Joe Seo
Spa Night
Special Jury Award
As You Are
Miles Joris-Peyrafitte
Grand Jury Prize
Elyse Steinberg, Josh Kriegman
Audience Award
Jim: The James Foley Story
Brian Oakes
Roger Ross Williams
Life, Animated
Special Jury Award – Vérité Filmmaking
The Bad Kids
Keith Fulton, Lou Pepe
Special Jury Award – Writing
Kate Plays Christine
Robert Greene
Special Jury Award – Social Impact Filmmaking
Dawn Porter
NEXT Audience Award
First Girl I Loved
Kerem Sanga
Audience Award
Between Sea and Land / Colombia
Directors: Manolo Cruz, Carlos del Castillo
Grand Jury Prize
Sand Storm / Israel
Director: Elite Zexer
Directing Award
Belgica / Belgium-France-Netherlands
Felix van Groeningen
Special Jury Award – Unique Vision and Design
The Lure / Poland
Director: Agnieszka Smoczyńska
Special Jury Award – Screenwriting
Mi Amiga Del Parque / Argentina-Uruguay
Screenwriters: Inés Bortagaray, Ana Katz
Special Jury Award – Acting
Vicky Hernandéz, Manolo Cruz
Between Sea and Land / Colombia
Grand Jury Prize
Sonita / Germany-Iran-Swizerland
Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami
All These Sleepless Nights / Poland
Michal Marczak
Special Jury Award – Best Editing
We Are X / UK-U.S.-Japan
Editors: Mako Kamitsuna, John Maringouin
Special Jury Award – Best Cinematography
The Land Of The Enlightened / Belgium
DP: Pieter-Jan De Pue
Special Jury Award – Best Debut Feature
When Two Worlds Collide / Peru
Directors: Mathew Orzel, Heidi Brandenburg
Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize
(announced Wednesday)
Embrace of the Serpent
Directed by Ciro Guerra
(announced Wednesday)
Short Film Grand Jury Prize
Thunder Road / U.S.
Director and screenwriter: Jim Cummings
Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction
The Procedure / U.S.
Director and screenwriter: Calvin Lee Reeder
Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction
Maman(s) / France
Director and screenwriter: Maïmouna Doucouré
Short Film Jury Award: Non-fiction
Bacon & God’s Wrath / Canada
Director: Sol Friedman
Short Film Jury Award: Animation
Edmond / UK
Director and screenwriter: Nina Gantz
Short Film Special Jury Award for Outstanding Performance
Grace GlowickiHer Friend Adam
Short Film Special Jury Award for Best Direction
Peacock / Czech Republic
Director: Ondřej Hudeček, Screenwriters: Jan Smutny, Ondřej Hudeček