The horror film ‘Nanny’ and actress Dakota Johnson, winners at Sundance



The Sundance Film Festival is coming to an end, where a range of independent titles have been shown that will give a lot to talk about in the coming months. Virtual for the second consecutive year, Sundance retracts its sails in the hope of going face-to-face, Covid through, in 2023. Via Twitter, the jury and the audience voted for their favorite films among the 87 that were presented, turning the horror film ‘Nanny ‘, by debutant director Nikyatu Jusu, in the winner of the competition. The film tells the story of a Senegalese immigrant without papers in today’s New York. The Alfred P. Sloan Award, a special award given to a feature film focused on science or technology, went to Kogonada’s After Yang.

The winners also included, in the documentary section ‘The Exiles’, by Christine Choy, which won as best non-fiction film, where three dissidents exiled from the Tiananmen massacre are sought. Bolivian director Alejandro Loayza Grisi won the award for best international film for the brilliant echo parable Utama. The narrative follows a couple of Quechua elders whose peaceful life on the high plateau of Bolivia is interrupted by a drought. The Audience Award went to ‘Cha Cha Real Smooth’, an endearing film directed, starring and written by Cooper Raiff, who shares the screen with Dakota Johnson to tell the story of a man trying to figure out what to do with his life.

The winning film chosen as the Festival’s Favorite went to ‘Navalny’ by Daniel Roher, a documentary added at the last minute to the program which follows the politician Alekséi Navalni before, during and after being poisoned by the Russian Kremlin. The audience prize was divided between the documentary ‘Navalny’ and the film by promising filmmaker Cooper Ralf ‘Cha Cha Real Smooth’, which has been bought by Apple + for 15 million dollars.

With the success of ‘Cha Cha Real Smooth’, the protagonist, Dakota Johnson, became the queen of the 2022 Sundance festival. The daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson presented two films in this edition: ‘Cha Cha Real Smooth’ and ‘I am Ok’, a film where, in addition to starring, she debuts as a producer. Johnson is off to a great start to the year, both on the one hand in awards season, thanks to the Maggie Guyllenhaal-directed Netflix film The Lost Daughter, and on the other with several very different up-and-coming projects. In the film she produces, ‘I am Ok’, she plays a young woman who questions her sexuality trying to discover existential questions while in the comedy ‘Cha Cha Real Smooth’ she is the mother of a teenager with adjustment problems about to get married.

Johnson spoke during the Festival with ABC via Zoom explaining the sweet moment in which he is in his career. “I am delighted to have gone to Sundance with two films, it is something really exceptional. Premiering my production company’s first project at Sundance makes me feel especially happy because I know how difficult it has been to get here in a year marked by the pandemic.”

From the queen of the festival to celebrating another of the contest’s great winners, the documentary ‘Descendants’ by director Margaret Brown, which has been bought by the producer of Barack and Michelle Obama, ‘Higher Ground’, and which will be released by Netflix later this year. ‘Descendants’ tells the story of a small African community in the state of Alabama.

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