U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic
Director: Nikyatu Jusu
Writer: Nikyatu Jusu
Cast: Anna Diop, Michelle Monaghan, Sinqua Walls, Morgan Spector, Rose Decker, Leslie Uggams.
Producer: Nikkia Moulterie, Ryan Heller, Sumalee Montano, Grace Lay, Rebecca Cammarata, Nikyatu Jusu.
Aisha is an undocumented nanny working for a privileged couple in New York City. As she prepares for the arrival of the son she left behind in Senegal, a violent supernatural presence invades her reality, threatening the American dream she is painstakingly piecing together.
Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic
Cha Cha Real Smooth
Director: Cooper Raiff
Writer: Cooper Raiff
Cast: Cooper Raiff; Dakota Johnson; Evan Assante; Vanessa Burghardt; Leslie Mann; Brad Garrett; Raúl Castillo; Colton Osorio; Amara Pedroso; Odeya Rush; Brooklyn Ramirez.
Producer: Dakota Johnson; Ro Donnelly; Erik Feig; Jessica Switch; Cooper Raiff.
Fresh out of college — but now what? Higher education failed to provide 22-year-old Andrew with a clear life path going forward, so he’s stuck back at home with his family in New Jersey. But if college did teach him one thing, it’s drinking and partying — skills that make him the perfect candidate for a job party-starting at the bar and bat mitzvahs of his younger brother’s classmates. When Andrew befriends a local mom, Domino, and her daughter, Lola, he finally discovers a future he wants, even if it might not be his own.
U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award: Uncompromising Artistic Vision
Director: Bradley Rust Gray
Writer: Bradley Rust Gray
Cast: Carla Juri; Takashi Ueno; Gustaf Skarsgård; Futaba Okazaki; Issey Ogata.
Producer: David Urrutia; Bradley Rust Gray; So Yong Kim; Elika Portnoy; Alex Orlovsky; Jonathon Komack Martin.
Widow Chloe (Carla Juri) travels to Japan for work where she is welcomed by an old friend, Toshi (Takashi Ueno). Sliding between the melancholy of loss and the awe of perspectives changed, Chloe wanders an unfamiliar landscape where love has carved all the guiding grooves.
Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic
Palm Trees and Power Lines
Director: Jamie Dack
Writer: Jamie Dack; Audrey Findlay.
Cast: Lily McInerny; Jonathan Tucker; Gretchen Mol; Emily Jackson; Quinn Frankel; Ping Wu; Timothy Taratchila; Auden Thornton; Armani Jackson; Rhied De Castro; Yolanda Corrales; Kenny Johnston.
Producer: Leah Chen Baker; Jamie Dack.
Increasingly dissociated from lazy, drunken hangouts and perfunctory hookups with her immature peers, bored, aimless 17-year-old Lea is intrigued by older-man Tom after he rescues her following a reluctant dine-and-dash at a local diner. Initially wary (he’s twice her age!), Lea finds that Tom’s focused attention fills a deep, unspoken need, and Lea’s investment in their relationship quickly supplants her already tenuous ties to her distracted single mom and loose-knit friend group. But Tom’s initial patience and willingness to let Lea take the lead gradually gives way to a dynamic in which his awareness of the power he holds is distressingly clear.
U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award: Ensemble Cast
Director: Abi Damaris Corbin
Writer: Abi Damaris Corbin; Kwame Kwei-Armah.
Cast: John Boyega; Michael Kenneth Williams; Nicole Beharie; Connie Britton; Olivia Washington; Selenis Leyva.
Producer: Ashley Levinson; Salman Al-Rashid; Sam Frohman; Kevin Turen; Mackenzie Fargo.
Living in a cheap motel in Atlanta and separated from his wife and child, former U.S. Marine veteran Brian Easley is desperate. Driven to the brink by forces beyond his control, the soft-spoken, kind man decides to rob a bank and hold hostages with a bomb. As police, media, and family members descend on the bank and Brian, it becomes clear he’s not after money — he wants to tell his story and have what is rightfully his, even if it costs him his life.
Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: U.S. Dramatic
Director: Carey Williams
Writer: K.D. Dávila
Cast: RJ Cyler; Donald Elise Watkins; Sebastian Chacon; Maddie Nichols; Madison Thompson; Sabrina Carpenter.
Producer: Marty Bowen; Isaac Klausner; John Fischer.
Straight-A college student Kunle and his laid-back best friend, Sean, are about to have the most epic night of their lives. Determined to be the first Black students to complete their school’s frat party legendary tour, the friends strap in for their ultimate assignment, Solo cups in hand. But a quick pit stop at home alters their plans when they find a white girl passed out on the living room floor. Faced with the risks of calling the police under life-threatening optics, Kunle, Sean, and their Latino roommate, Carlos, must find a way to de-escalate the situation before it’s too late.
Festival Favorite Award
Audience Award: U.S. Documentary
Director: Daniel Roher
Producer: Odessa Rae; Diane Becker; Melanie Miller; Shane Boris.
In August 2020, a plane traveling from Siberia to Moscow made an emergency landing. One of its passengers, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, was deathly ill. Taken to a local Siberian hospital and eventually evacuated to Berlin, doctors confirmed that he had been poisoned with Novichok, a nerve agent implicated in attacks on other opponents of the Russian government. President Vladimir Putin immediately cast doubt on the findings and denied any involvement.
U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary
Director: Ben Klein; Violet Columbus.
Producer: Maria Chiu; Ben Klein; Violet Columbus.
Brash and opinionated, Christine Choy is a documentarian, cinematographer, professor, and quintessential New Yorker whose films and teaching have influenced a generation of artists. In 1989 she and Renee Tajima-Peña started to film the leaders of the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests who escaped to political exile following the June 4 massacre. Though they never finished that project, Choy now travels with the old footage to Taiwan, Maryland, and Paris in order to share it with the dissidents who have never been able to return home.