‘A Thousand and One’ and ‘Going to Mars’ win top prizes at Sundance

A woman hugs a young boy on a couch.
Teyana Taylor and Aaron Kingsley Adetola in A.V. Rockwell’s “A Thousand and One,” which won the U.S. dramatic grand jury prize at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.
(Focus Features)

As part of its first in-person event in three years, the Sundance Film Festival announced its awards on Friday. A.V. Rockwell’s “A Thousand and One” took the grand jury prize in the U.S. dramatic competition, while Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson’s “Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project” won the grand jury prize in the U.S. documentary competition.

In the world cinema competitions, Charlotte Regan’s “Scrapper” won the dramatic grand jury prize, while Maite Alberdi’s “The Eternal Memory” won the documentary competition.

The festival favorite award, selected by audience voters from feature films across sections in the festival, went to Christopher Zalla’s “Radical.” Other audience awards went to Maryam Keshavarz’s “The Persian Version” for U.S. dramatic, Madeleine Gavin’s “Beyond Utopia” for U.S. documentary, Noora Niasari’s “Shayda” for world cinema dramatic and Mstyslav Chernov’s “20 Days in Mariupol” for world cinema documentary.

In the Next section, both the audience award and the innovator award, bestowed by juror Madeleine Olnek, went to D. Smith’s “KOKOMO CITY.”


The jury for this year’s U.S. dramatic competition were actor Marlee Matlin, screenwriter and playwright Jeremy O. Harris and filmmaker Eliza Hittman. Other jury prizes in the section included the directing prize to Sing J. Lee for “The Accidental Getaway Driver,” the Waldo Salt screenwriting award to Keshavarz for “The Persian Version,” a special ensemble award for Molly Gordon and Nick Lieberman’s “Theater Camp,” an award for creative vision to Elijah Bynum’s “Magazine Dreams” and an acting award to Lío Mehiel for Vuk Lungulov-Klotz’s “Mutt.”

The jury for the U.S. documentary competition were comedian and director W. Kamau Bell, filmmaker Ramona S. Diaz and editor Carla Gutiérrez. Other prizes in the section went to Luke Lorentzen for directing for “A Still Small Voice,” the Jonathan Oppenheim editing award to Daniela I. Quiroz for “Going Varsity in Mariachi,” an award for clarity of vision to Kristen Lovell and Zackary Drucker’s “The Stroll” and a freedom of expression award to Rebecca Landsberry-Baker’s “Bad Press.”

Additional prizes in the world cinema section went to Marija Kavtaradze for “Slow” for directing, a creative vision award to Sofia Alaoui’s “Animalia,” a cinematography award to Lílis Soares for C.J. “Fiery” Obasi’s “Mami Wata” and a performance award to Rosa Marchant for Veerle Baetens’ “When It Melts.”

In the world cinema documentary section, the directing prize went to Anna Hints for “Smoke Sauna Sisterhood,” while additional prizes went to Axel Danielson and Maximilien Van Aertryck’s “Fantastic Machine” for creative vision and Sarvnik Kaur’s “Against the Tide,” for vérité filmmaking.