The Sundance Film Festival brings together the most original storytellers and the most adventurous audiences for its annual program of dramatic, documentary, and short films; New Frontier films, performances, exhibitions, and virtual reality experiences; episodic storytelling; lively filmmaker conversations and panel discussions; and dynamic music events. Since 1985, hundreds of films launched at the Festival have gained critical recognition and reached worldwide audiences eager for fresh perspectives and new voices. The 2020 Sundance Film Festival will take place from January 23 to February 2, 2020.
A nonprofit organization, Sundance Institute provides and preserves the space for independent artists to create and present original, authentic new work. Founded by Robert Redford in 1981 in the mountains of Sundance, Utah, the Institute is an internationally recognized resource for thousands of artists. With its Sundance Film Festival and artistic development programs for film, theatre, and new media artists, the Institute seeks to advance the impact of independent storytelling throughout the world.
Awards & Prizes
U.S. Grand Jury Prizes
The ranking award is the Grand Jury Prize, which recognizes a film in both the U.S. Dramatic and U.S. Documentary Competitions as the best from the independent film community this year.
World Cinema Grand Jury Prizes
The highest award for international films, the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize recognizes the best dramatic and documentary work in international independent filmmaking this year.
The Directing Award honors directors in the U.S. Dramatic Competition, U.S. Documentary Competition, World Cinema Dramatic Competition, and World Cinema Documentary Competition.
Special Jury Prizes
Jurors give a number of Special Jury Prizes recognizing excellence in the craft of filmmaking. These prizes are chosen by their respective jury members as they deem appropriate. The Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award is given to a U.S. Dramatic film for excellence in screenwriting.
NEXT Innovator Prize
This award recognizes the most innovative and forward-thinking film screened in the NEXT category. The prize is awarded by an iconic figure regarded as an important innovator in their respective field. This single juror will choose one film that they believe to be the most innovative.
Audience Awards are chosen by Festivalgoers themselves through ballots cast at the theaters after screenings. Audience Awards are presented to films in the Festival’s U.S. Dramatic Competition, U.S. Documentary Competition, World Cinema Dramatic Competition, World Cinema Documentary Competition, and NEXT.
Festival Favorite Award
All feature films presented at the Festival are eligible for the Festival Favorite Award, which is determined by audience ballots across all Festival screenings. Similar to the Festival’s long-standing Audience Awards for each competition section, this award designates the feature film from any of the Festival’s sections that best connects with audiences.
Sundance Institute/NHK Award
This annual award was created to support the next generation of emerging directors.
Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize
Provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, this juried award is presented to the writer and director of an outstanding feature film focusing on science or technology as a theme or depicting a scientist, engineer, or mathematician as a major character.