SUNDANCE: days 9-11

The Sundance Film Festival officially ends today, and awards were given out last night.  I’m encouraged that so many women received such international recognition for their films — see below for the list of winning films by women (as directors and writers).

Days 9-11


Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic & Excellence in Cinematography – U.S. Dramatic

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD (co-writer Lucy Alibar)*

U.S. Directing Award: Documentary

THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES (director Lauren Greenfield)*

U.S. Directing Award: Dramatic

MIDDLE OF NOWHERE (writer-director Ava DuVernay)*

World Cinema Screenwriting Award

YOUNG & WILD (director & co-writer Marialy Rivas)

U.S. Documentary Editing Award

DETROPIA (directors Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady)

World Cinema Documentary Editing Award

INDIE GAME: THE MOVIE (directors & editors Lisanne Pajot & James Swirsky)*

World Cinema: Documentary Special Jury Prize

AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY (director Alison Klayman)

World Cinema Cinematography Award: Dramatic

MY BROTHER THE DEVIL (writer-director Sally El Hosaini; cinematographer David Raedeker)

U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Prize for Excellence in Independent Film Producing

NOBODY WALKS (director & co-writer Ry Russo-Young; co-writer Lena Dunham; producers Jonathan Schwartz, Andrea Sperling, Alicia Van Couvering)*

World Cinema Cinematography Award: Documentary

PUTIN’S KISS (director Lise Birk Pedersen; cinematographer Lars Skree)*

U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Prize for Excellence in Independent Film Producing

SMASHED (co-writer Susan Burke; producers Jennifer Cochis, Jonathan Schwartz, Andrew Sperling)

See the slideshow of all winning titles on the Sundance Channel website.

*Films have been picked up during the festival for theatrical or VOD distribution, except Indie Game which will be adapted into a fictional half-hour series for HBO.


Writer-director Julie Delpy’s film 2 Days in New York has been picked up by Magnolia Pictures.  Delpy also stars in the film opposite Chris Rock.  Magnolia will release the film via VOD (Video On Demand) as well as in theatres.  No word yet on which territories this covers (I’m assuming at least North America), or a firm release date.  Read the story over at Nikkie Finke’s Deadline Hollywood.

Magnolia has also picked up director & co-writer Ry Russo-Young’s feature film Nobody Walks which she co-wrote with Lena Dunham (most well-known for her film Tiny Furniture and her upcoming HBO series “Girls” which will premiere at SXSW in March, then on HBO in April).  Check out the story over at Reuters (incl. information on 2 Days in New York).

Check out all the distributors that picked up films at Sundance this year in this indieWIRE story.

I’m expecting more acquisitions to happen in the next few days and weeks and will try to update the Sundance film acquisitions list to include those titles.

SUNDANCE: days 1-3


Below is a list of all the women filmmakers whose films screened during the first three days of Sundance (from January 19-21).  I am including feature films, documentaries and shorts which were directed, written or filmed by women.  Credits will also include co-writers, co-directors and cinematographers (sole or one of a group).

To read about one filmmaker’s experience at Sundance this year, take a look at director Kat Candler’s “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” blog where she’s writing about taking her film Hellion to the festival.


DAY 1 (Opening night)

Director Lauren Greenfield’s The Queen of Versailles (U.S. documentary category) was one of four films in the festival’s opening night lineup. (In fact, Greenfield was the only female director of the bunch.) Word is that the film was a big hit, and reports were quickly released that Magnolia Pictures had picked up Greenfield’s film for North American distribution.  Ann Thompson of “Thompson on Hollywood” writes about it here.  Watch a Sundance Channel interview with Greenfield done during this year’s festival here.

Writer Sarah Koskoff’s Hello I Must Be Going (filmed by Julie Kirkwood) also joined the opening night lineup.



Writer-director Ava DuVernay’s eagerly awaited narrative feature Middle of Nowhere screens at Sundance.  DuVernay describes the film as an “…unconventional love story that explores a woman who’s lost her husband to incarceration and how she maintains her marriage from behind bars and what that’s like for her, and that struggle.” (Watch the Middle of Nowhere premiere party video and hear more about the film by clicking here.)

Among the films by women screened at Sundance on day two were the following titles.  Check out the trailers for the films by clicking on the highlighted links:

The Ambassador (co-writer Maja Jul Larsen)

Beasts of the Southern Wild (co-writer Lucy Alibar)

Big Boy Gone Bananas (co-cinematographer Kiki Allgeier)

Celeste and Jesse Forever (co-writer Rashida Jones)

Declaration of War (director & co-writer Valerie Donzelli)

The D Word (co-writer Jen Bradwell)

Father’s Chair (co-writer Elena Soarez)

Escape Fire (co-director Susan Froemke)

Indie Game (co-director, co-writer, one of cinematographers, editors and producers Lisanne Pajot)

The Invisible War (co-cinematographer Kirsten Johnson)

Madrid, 1987 (cinematographer Leonor Rodriguez)

Middle of Nowhere (writer-director Ava DuVernay)

Payback (director Jennifer Baichwal)

Putin’s Kiss (writer-director Lise Birk Pedersen)

That’s What She Said (director Carrie Preston, writer Kellie Overbey)

Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie (cinematographer Rachel Morrison)

West of Memphis (writer-director Amy Berg)



Black Rock (director Katie Aselton, cinematographer Hillary Spera)

(Update: Aselton’s Black Rock was just picked up by LD Distribution according to a Jan. 22 report from indieWIRE.)

Detropia (directors Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady)

For Ellen (writer-director So Yong Kim, cinematographer Reed Morano)

ME at the ZOO (co-director & producer Valerie Veatch)

Wuthering Heights (director Andrea Arnold)