Winners of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival

02.20.2017 Industry

The Sundance Film Festival is the biggest independent film festival in the United States, held every year since 1978. Although initially for American independent films, during its history, the festival has expanded to include international independent films and documentaries. The festival, founded by Wildwood, a company owned by Robert Redford, is now one of the biggest draws in international film-making. Its Grand Jury Prize is the big success on offer. Here are some of this year’s big hits of the festival that concluded 29th January.

I Don’t Feel at Home in The World Anymore

This year’s big winner in the U.S Dramatic competition came from debutant director Macon Blair. Blair, known for his roles in independent hits Blue Ruin and Green Room, brings together stars Elijah Wood and Melanie Lynskey for this comedy thriller about a woman fighting her own demons. She attempts to find help in the form of her neighbour, the increasingly off-centre and surprising Wood. The film, which you’ll be able to catch on Netflix later this month (Netflix was one of the biggest spenders at 2017 Sundance), has received an almost unanimous approval from critics, meaning a successful debut for Blair.


The winner of the U.S Documentary competition this year was the romantic tearjerker Dina. Dina covers the story of a 49-year-old lady with a mental disability, who has been searching her life for her one true love. It’s a story that starts with her about to get married. Critics raved about this documentary directed by Mala Mala’s Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles. Its daring take on a rarely covered topic won over this year’s Sundance Doc judges. General release of the film isn’t slated as yet, so it may be a little while before you see it.

The Nile Hilton Incident

This international film is set in the events directly before the 2011 Egyptian revolution. It’s a fictitious film about a cop trying to unravel a murder mystery. Thrillers make for great award-winners, because they allow actors to mine their serious sides. Star Fares Fares gave an amazing performance. Directed by Swedish filmmaker Tarik Saleh, who has been at the helm for such acclaimed films as Tommy and Metropia, the synopsis for this film is simple: corrupt cop is put on the case of a murdered singer, with the body found in the Nile Hilton. This film does not yet have a release date, but keep an eye out. It’s definitely not one to miss.

Looking Forward to a New Year of Film

Other standouts from the 2017 Sundance Film Festival include Patti Cake$, following a plus-sized female rappers battle against insurmountable odds; Call Me by Your Name, a gay love story from director Luca Guadagnino; and Mudbound, chronicling the struggle of two families one white, one black, in Mississippi after WWII. There were many more incredible films debuted during the festival, and we can’t wait to see what else is in store for the rest of the year.


Author of the Article: Parlay Studios

Parlay Studios is a 50,000 sf. photography and digital media production campus serving leading creatives and brands from around the world. Our state-of-the-art photography and video production complex is home to a selection of versatile studios and environments.

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