Two female directors have scored two of the three major short film prizes at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Anu Valia won the Jury Award for U.S Fiction for Lucia, Before and After. Francisca Alegría picked up the international equivalent award for her short And The Whole Sky Fit In The Dead Cow’s Eye. The main Grand Jury Prize was won by Japanese newcomer Makoto Nagahisa for And So We Put Goldfish In The Pool. His film, which won the main award among 68 short films selected from 8900 submissions, is about “One summer day, 400 goldfish were found in the swimming pool of a secondary school. This is a story about the four 15-year-old girls who put them there. “
Anu Valia’s 15-minute short is about a young woman who must wait out Texas’s state-mandated 24-hour waiting period before her abortion can proceed. Her previous short film Drifters earned Valia a Special Jury Award at the New Orleans Film Festival and Best Experimental Short at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival in the UK.
Chilean filmmaker Francisca Alegria’s short film, which follows a woman who was visited by a ghost with unexpected intentions, was nominated this year at the Oldenburg Film Festival and screened as part of Toronto International Film Festival’s Shortcuts Program.
A major Sundance short award is known to kick off the careers of emerging directors, most recently Damian Chazelle who won for his short Whiplash in 2013, setting him up to develop the feature version the next year.
Follow Anu Valia on Twitter @anuvalia
Follow Francisca Alegria on Twitter @falegriaz
SUNDANCE SHORT FILM AWARDS 2017
THE SHORT FILM GRAND JURY PRIZE
And So We Put Goldfish In The Pool, Director and screenwriter: Makoto Nagahisa
THE SHORT FILM JURY AWARD: U.S. FICTION
Lucia, Before and After, Director and screenwriter: Anu Valia
THE SHORT FILM JURY AWARD: INTERNATIONAL FICTION
And The Whole Sky Fit In The Dead Cow’s Eye, Director and screenwriter: Francisca Alegría)
THE SHORT FILM JURY AWARD: NON-FICTION
Alone, Director: Garrett Bradley
THE SHORT FILM JURY AWARD: ANIMATION
Broken – The Women’s Prison at Hoheneck, Directors: Volker Schlecht, Alexander Lahl, Screenwriters: Alexander Lahl, Max Mönch
SHORT FILM SPECIAL JURY AWARD FOR CINEMATOGRAPHY
Dadyaa – The Woodpeckers of Rotha, Directors and Screenwriters: Pooja Gurung, Bibhusan Basnet, Cinematographer: Chintan Rajbhandari
SHORT FILM SPECIAL JURY AWARD FOR EDITING
Laps, Director and Screenwriter: Charlotte Wells, Editor Blair McClendon