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SUNDANCE 2016 Awards

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Europe makes it to the Sundance Film Festival winners list

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- Sonita, Belgica, The Lure, All These Sleepless Nights and The Land of the Enlightened receive accolades

Europe makes it to the Sundance Film Festival winners list
Sonita by Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami

On Saturday night, the 2016 Sundance Film Festival announced its prizes for feature filmmaking. The ceremony, the culmination of the 2016 festival (which presented 123 feature-length and 72 short films – selected from among 12,793 submissions – to audiences in Park City, Utah), saw a raft of European films win awards in their respective sections. 

Most notably, Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami’s Sonita [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award in the World Cinema Documentary section. The story of an 18-year-old Afghan refugee who has found a sort of refuge in a community centre for children in Tehran, where she screams out her rebellion through the notes of her hip-hop compositions, was one of the main winners at this edition.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)Cine Iberoamericano Int

Also in the World Cinema Documentary Section, two other European films were awarded. Polish filmmaker Michal Marczak won the Directing Award for his portrait of the euphoria and uncertainty of youth, All These Sleepless Nights [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, and Belgian director and cinematographer Pieter-Jan De Pue won the Special Jury Award for Cinematography for his film The Land of the Enlightened [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, a trip to a forsaken territory in Afghanistan filled with explosive mines and lapis lazuli, seen through the eyes of local children. Stephen Kijak’s We Are X [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, a UK-US-Japanese co-production, won the Special Jury Award for Editing.

In the meantime, French-Israeli co-production Sand Storm [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, directed by Israel's Elite Zexer was the winner of the Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema Dramatic section, which also saw wins for Felix van Groeningen, who took home the Directing Award for his latest work, Belgica [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Artemio Benki, Sylvie Leray
interview: Felix Van Groeningen
film profile
]
– which follows two brothers who start up a bar and get swept up in its success in the midst of Belgium's nightlife scene - as well as Agnieszka Smoczyńska, who took home the Special Jury Award for Unique Vision and Design for The Lure [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Agnieszka Smoczyńska
film profile
]
, a tale of two mermaid sisters who also end up performing at a nightclub, facing cruel and bloody choices.

The festival also granted a Global Filmmaking Award to duo Antonio Piazza and Fabio Grassadonia for their project in development Sicilian Ghost Story (read more).

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