2015 Sundance Film Festival Awards Honors ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,’ ‘The Witch,’ and More
While we didn’t make it over to Park City this year for the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, we’ve definitely been keeping track of the reactions to this year’s lineup from our critics and colleagues. The Sundance awards were announced last night, and as many predicted, the big winner of the evening was ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,’ from director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon.
Gomez-Rejon’s film, about a teen boy asked to befriend a girl dying of leukemia, won the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury prize as well as the audience award in the same category. The film also sold to Fox Searchlight for $12 million—a record at the festival. Previous films that took home the award in this category include Oscar winner ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ and last year’s ‘Whiplash.’ This signals big things for ‘Me and Earl,’ as well as Gomez-Rejon, whose work you might be familiar with from episodes of ‘American Horror Story’ and the recent remake of ‘The Town That Dreaded Sundown.’
Another film that’s had everyone talking for the last week is Robert Eggers’ ‘The Witch,’ a moody horror film/fairy tale about a Christian family in New England in the 1630s facing unspeakable terror in the neighboring woods as their daughter is accused of witchcraft. Eggers received the U.S. Dramatic Directing award, presented to him by ‘Jane Eyre’ and ‘True Detective’ helmer Cary Fukunaga. A24 picked up the rights to ‘The Witch,’ which we’ll hopefully see released sometime this year.
A24's ‘Slow West,’ starring Michael Fassbender, won the World Cinematic Grand Jury prize. That film follows a 16 year-old boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) as he travels across the frontier in the 19th century in search of the girl he loves, accompanied by a mysterious companion named Silas.
Picking up the audience award in the Next category was Josh Mond’s much-discussed ‘James White,’ starring former ‘Girls’ actor Christopher Abbott. Mond is part of the production crew behind previous fest favorites ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene’ and ‘Simon Killer,’ and he’s definitely following in the footsteps of his filmmaking buddies Sean Durkin and Antonio Campos.
For more winners (and more films to keep an eye out for in the next year or so), visit the Sundance Film Festival official site.