“Clemency” Filmmaker Chinonye Chukwu Is the First Black Woman to Win Festival’s Biggest Prize

Nigerian writer and movie director, Chinonye Chukwu has become the first black woman to ever win the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival for her film, “Clemency.

Chukwu joins the likes of Desiree Akhavan, Ryan Coogler, Damien Chazelle, Rebecca Miller, and other big names in winning the Grand Jury Prize for their U.S. Dramatic entries.

Her film, “Clemency,” is a gripping death row drama starring Alfre Woodard, as a prison warden struggling with the emotional demands of her job.

The full list of festival winners below.

Grand Jury Prize
Clemency, director: Chinonye Chukwu

The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Joe Talbot

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award
Share, Pippa Bianco

Special Jury Award – Vision and Craft
Honey Boy, Alma Har’el

Special Jury Award – Creator Collaboration
The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Joe Talbot

Special Jury Award – Acting
Rhianne Barreto, Share

U.S. Documentary 
Jury: Yance Ford, Rachel Grady, Jeff Orlowski, Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Alissa Wilkinson

Grand Jury Prize
One Child Nation, Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang

American Factory, Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert

Special Jury Award – Emerging Filmmaker
Jawline, Liza Mandelup

Special Jury Award – Moral Urgency
Always in Season, Jacqueline Olive

Special Jury Award – Editing
Apollo 11, Todd Douglas Miller

Special Jury Award – Cinematography
Midnight Family, Luke Lorentzen

Audience Awards 

U.S. Dramatic
Brittany Runs a Marathon, Paul Downs Colaizzo

U.S. Documentary
Knock Down the House, Rachel Lears

World Cinema Dramatic
Queen of Hearts, May el-Toukhy

World Cinema Documentary
Sea of Shadows, Richard Ladkani

Audience Award: NEXT
The Infiltrators, Cristina Ibarra, Alex Rivera

World Cinema Competition 

Grand Jury Prize
The Souvenir, Joanna Hogg

The Sharks, Lucia Garibaldi

Dramatic – Special Jury Award
Monos, Alejandro Landes

Special Jury Award for Originality
We Are Little Zombies, director Makoto Nagahisa

Special Jury Prize – Acting
Krystyna Janda, Dolce Fine Giornata


Grand Jury Prize
Honeyland, Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov

Cold Case Hammarskjold, Mads Brugger

Special Jury Award – No Borders
Midnight Traveler, Hassan Fazili

Special Jury Prize – Impact for Change
Honeyland, Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov

Special Jury Award – Cinematography
Honeyland, Fejmi Daut, Samir Ljuma

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