2024 Sundance Film Festival names jury members
Park City, Utah—The nonprofit Sundance Institute announced today the 16 jurors granting awards for artistic and cinematic excellence at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival, along with the five jury members who present the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize. The 2024 Festival will take place January 18–28, 2024, in person in Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah along with a selection of films available online across the country from January 25–28, 2024. Films in competition categories awarded by the jury will be screened in person and via the online Festival platform from January 27-28. Both online and in-person Award Winners Packages, which include eight tickets for award-winner screenings, are on sale through January 5. Single film ticket sales begin on January 11 at 10 a.m. MT. This year marks the 40th edition of the Festival, bringing together audiences in Utah and beyond to celebrate Sundance’s rich history of supporting engaging new stories and groundbreaking independent artists.
The 16-member jury is composed of a diverse range of critical voices across film, art, and culture. In honor of the upcoming Festival marking the 40th edition, all 16 members are Festival alumni, who are returning not only to serve on the jury but also to partake in celebratory programming, ranging from talks and panels, to a special 40th edition trivia night, and party for artist alumni. The jury will announce the awards for feature films — across five competition sections — at an intimate award ceremony held at The Ray Theatre in Park City on Friday, January 26, 2024 and the short film jury winners will be announced at the Shorts Awards & Party presented by Argo and WeShort on Tuesday, January 23, 2024.
The 2024 Sundance Film Festival jury includes: Debra Granik, Adrian Tomine, and Lena Waithe for U.S. Dramatic Competition; Shane Boris, Nicole Newnham, and Rudy Valdez for U.S. Documentary Competition; Jennifer Kent, Mira Nair, and Rui Poças for World Cinema Dramatic Competition; Mandy Chang, Monica Hellström, and Shaunak Sen for World Cinema Documentary Competition; Christina Oh, Danny Pudi, and Charlotte Regan for Short Film Program Competition; and Zal Batmanglij for the NEXT competition section.
The jury for the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize deliberated ahead of the Festival and awarded the prize to Love Me, directed by Sam and Andy Zuchero. The jury, which includes both film and science professionals, presents the award to an outstanding feature film focusing on science or technology as a theme, or depicting a scientist, engineer or mathematician as a major character. This jury includes: Dr. Mandë Holford, Dr. Nia Imara, Matt Johnson, Theresa Park, and Courtney Stephens.
“The Sundance Film Festival is known for discovering and platforming visionary emerging artists. We cannot do this without our jury, who so thoughtfully help us recognize and amplify the next generation of independent storytellers,” said Eugene Hernandez, Festival Director. “We are thrilled to announce the talented, accomplished artists who comprise this year’s jury.”
“For our 40th Festival, the jury members this year are all artists who have had films at prior Festivals. They know what it is to introduce new work to the Sundance community and we are so pleased to be able to welcome them back to Sundance to take in the films our programming team has curated. We can’t wait to see what resonates with them,” said Kim Yutani, Director of Programming.
Festival audiences attending in person will have a role in voting for the 2024 Audience Awards, open to films in the U.S. Competition, World Competition, and NEXT categories. Attendees are also able to vote for the Festival Favorite, which is selected across all in-person eligible feature film screenings.
Following are the 2024 Sundance Film Festival Jury members and their respective sections:
U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION JURY
Debra Granik is the director and co-writer of Winter’s Bone, which was nominated for four Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. She also directed Down To The Bone, Stray Dog, and Leave No Trace. Her new six-part limited series documentary, Conbody VS Everybody, spanning eight years, follows the experiences of people reentering New York City after incarceration.
Adrian Tomine is the writer-illustrator of the graphic novels Shortcomings, The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist, and Killing and Dying. Since 1999, his illustrations have appeared on the cover and in the pages of The New Yorker. Tomine wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of Shortcomings (which premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival), and three other of his stories were the basis for the 2022 film Paris, 13th District.
Lena Waithe is an Emmy-winning writer, producer, actor, and founder of Hillman Grad, a media company providing opportunities for marginalized storytellers to access the industry. Known for Master of None, The Chi, and Queen & Slim, Waithe’s latest credits include the Emmy-nominated Being Mary Tyler Moore, A Thousand and One, Kokomo City, and the Tony-nominated Ain’t No Mo’.
U.S. DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION JURY
Shane Boris is an Academy Award–winning and two-time Academy Award–nominated producer and writer, working on films that push the boundaries of conventional form in order to tell timeless stories. His films have premiered at festivals like Sundance and Venice, screened in museums including the Louvre and MoMA, and have won BAFTA and Peabody Awards. Recent films include Hollywoodgate, King Coal, Navalny, Fire of Love, Stray, The Edge of Democracy, and The Seer and the Unseen.
Nicole Newnham is an Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning documentary producer and director, five-time Sundance Film Festival alum, and six-time Emmy nominee. She directed the critically acclaimed 2023 film The Disappearance of Shere Hite. Newnham also co-directed and produced the 2021 Academy Award–nominated, Sundance Audience Award–winning documentary Crip Camp with Jim LeBrecht. Her other acclaimed documentaries include the Emmy-nominated films The Revolutionary Optimists, Sentenced Home, and The Rape of Europa.
Rudy Valdez is a two-time Emmy Award–winning filmmaker. His directorial debut, The Sentence (HBO, 2018), premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, winning the U.S. Documentary Audience award, and went on to win the primetime Emmy for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking. His most recent projects include We Are: The Brooklyn Saints (Netflix, 2021), Breakaway (ESPN, 2021), Reopening Night (HBO, 2022), Carlos (Sony Picture Classics, 2023), and the upcoming six-part series, Choir (Disney+ 2024).
WORLD CINEMA DRAMATIC COMPETITION JURY
Jennifer Kent graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (alums include Cate Blanchett and Mel Gibson) and has worked extensively as an actor in Australia. The Babadook premiered at Sundance in 2014 and received over 100 nominations and awards internationally. Kent’s second film, The Nightingale, won the Jury Prize and the Marcello Mastroianni award at the Venice Film Festival in 2018. Recently, she wrote and directed an episode of Cabinet of Curiosities for Netflix. Her third feature, Alice + Freda Forever,is slated to shoot in 2024.
Mira Nair is an Academy Award–nominated director best known for her visually dense films that pulsate with life: Salaam Bombay! (1988), Monsoon Wedding (2001), The Namesake (2006), Mississippi Masala (1991), and A Suitable Boy (2020). Her most recent endeavor was Monsoon Wedding: The Musical, which opened in New York City in spring 2023 and is bound for Broadway. Her next film will be AMRI, an experimental portrait of Amrita Sher-Gil. An activist by nature, Nair founded the Salaam Baalak Trust in 1988 and the Maisha Film Lab in 2004. In 2012, she was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian honor.
Rui Poças is a Portuguese award-winning cinematographer who earned an international reputation for his breathtaking images and fluid storytelling in a versatile range of genres. Poças’ work is behind several groundbreaking films such as O Fantasma and The Ornithologist by Joao Pedro Rodrigues, Tabu by Miguel Gomes, Zama by Lucrecia Martel, The Good Manners by Marco Dutra and Juliana Rojas, and Frankie by Ira Sachs. He is also teaching and mentoring at several international film universities and film labs.
WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION JURY
Mandy Chang is the creative director of Fremantle’s premium documentary strand, Undeniable. Previously an award-winning documentary producer-director, Chang was commissioning editor at ABC TV and head of BBC Storyville – the BBC’s legendary international documentary strand. At Storyville, she created a slate of much-talked-about documentaries, among them Collective, Welcome to Chechnya, The Mole: Infiltrating North Korea, and Writing with Fire, while extending Storyville’s breadth and diversity and guiding new talent into the field.
Monica Hellström is a three-time Oscar nominee for producing Flee (nominated for Best Documentary Feature and Best Animated Feature, in 2022) and A House Made of Splinters (nominated for Best Documentary Feature, in 2023). She’s a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was selected for Producer on the Move, Cannes 2020. She started her company Ström Pictures in May 2022, and before that had been a producer at Final Cut for Real for 12 years.
Shaunak Sen is a filmmaker and scholar from Delhi. His film All That Breathes earned Academy Award, BAFTA, and Directors Guild of America nominations and won over 25 awards, including the Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema Documentary competition at the Sundance Film Festival and the Golden Eye at Cannes. His first documentary, Cities of Sleep, was shown at various festivals and won six international awards. Sen is the recipient of grants from Sundance, Catapult, Tribeca, and IDFA.
SHORT FILM PROGRAM COMPETITION JURY
Christina Oh is an Academy Award–nominated producer. She worked on Bong Joon Ho’s Okja and Joe Talbot’s feature film debut, The Last Black Man in San Francisco. Most recently, she produced Minari, written and directed by Lee Isaac Chung, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to receive six Academy Award nominations — and Youn Yuh-jung won Korea’s first-ever Best Supporting Actress Oscar. Oh’s past television credits include LEGO Masters and Paper Girls. In late 2023, she partnered with Academy Award–nominated Steven Yeun to head his production company, Celadon Pictures.
Danny Pudi is an actor, writer, and director currently starring in AppleTV+’s Mythic Quest. Pudi’s breakout role was on Community, which earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the Critic’s Choice Awards. Other notable credits include Somebody I Used to Know (Amazon), The Tiger Hunter (Netflix), Strange Planet (Apple TV+), and Netflix’s upcoming Avatar: The Last Airbender. Pudi recently directed an episode of Mythic Quest and his ESPN 30 for 30 short Untucked premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
Charlotte Regan is a British film director. She started her career directing rap music videos and short films. Her first short, Standby, was nominated for a BAFTA, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, and was part of Sundance Ignite. In 2023, her debut feature film, Scrapper, won the Grand Jury Prize for the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival.
Zal Batmanglij is a writer, director, and showrunner. He made his debut at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival with the micro-budget Sound of My Voice, co-written by and starring Brit Marling, which was picked up by Searchlight Pictures. The two went on to collaborate on The East, about climate activists and starring Marling, Elliot Page, and Alexander Skarsgård, and to create The OA, a long-form odyssey about near-death experiences that debuted on Netflix during the streamer’s pioneering phase. Batmanglij and Marling’s most recent collaboration, FX’s A Murder at the End of the World, is a reimagining of the whodunit genre starring Emma Corrin, Marling, Harris Dickinson, and Clive Owen.
ALFRED P. SLOAN FEATURE FILM PRIZE JURY
Dr. Mandë Holford is marine chemical biologist at Hunter College and The CUNY Graduate Center, with scientific appointments at the American Museum of Natural History and Weill Cornell Medicine. Her mollusks to medicine research uses venoms and venomous marine animals to study rapidly evolving genes and cellular communication in pain and cancer. She co-founded Killer Snails, LLC, a learning games company. Honors include a Distinguished Investigator Award from Allen Institute, an E.E. Just Fellow by the Marine Biological Laboratory, and a Sustainability Pioneer by the World Economic Forum.
Dr. Nia Imara is an astrophysicist and artist whose body of work reflects her love for vibrant color, people, and their stories. Dr. Imara is a professor of astronomy at UC Santa Cruz, where she explores how stars are born in the Milky Way and galaxies throughout the universe. Imara is the founding director of Onaketa, a nonprofit that
provides free STEM tutoring and other educational resources for BIPOC children.
Matt Johnson was born in Toronto and directed The Dirties (2013), Operation Avalanche (2016), and BlackBerry (2023). He is also co-creator of the cult comedy series Nirvanna the Band the Show (2017-2019). As an actor he has appeared in Anne at 1,300 Feet (2020) and Matt and Mara (2023). He teaches in the film department at York University alongside his producing partner, Matthew Miller.
Theresa Park is the founder and president of Per Capita Productions, developing TV shows at Apple and Amazon Studios, as well as feature films with A24, Universal, and other producing partners. Park was a producer on the feature films The Best of Me, The Longest Ride, Bones and All, and After Yang, which had its US debut at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and won the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize.
Courtney Stephens is a writer/director of nonfiction and experimental films. The American Sector, her documentary about fragments of the Berlin Wall, was named one of the best films of 2021 in The New Yorker. Her essay film, Terra Femme, comprised of amateur travel footage shot by women in the early 20th century, was a New York Times critic’s pick. Stephens is the recipient of a 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship and a Fulbright Scholarship to India.
The Sundance Film Festival®
The Sundance Film Festival, a program of the nonprofit, Sundance Institute, is the pre-eminent gathering of original storytellers and audiences seeking new voices and fresh perspectives. Since 1985, hundreds of films launched at the Festival have gone on to gain critical acclaim and reach new audiences worldwide. The Festival has introduced some of the most groundbreaking films and episodic works of the past three decades, including Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie, Fair Play, A Thousand and One, Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields, Rye Lane, Navalny, Fire of Love, Flee, CODA, Passing, Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), Minari, Clemency, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Zola, O.J.: Made in America, On the Record, Boys State, The Farewell, Honeyland, One Child Nation, The Souvenir, The Infiltrators, Sorry to Bother You, Top of the Lake, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Hereditary, Call Me by Your Name, Get Out, The Big Sick, Mudbound, Fruitvale Station, Whiplash, Brooklyn, Precious, The Cove, Little Miss Sunshine, An Inconvenient Truth, Napoleon Dynamite, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Reservoir Dogs, and sex, lies, and videotape. The program consists of fiction and nonfiction features and short films, series and episodic content, innovative storytelling, and performances, as well as conversations, and other events. The Festival takes place in person in Utah, as well as online, connecting audiences to bold new artists and films. The 2024 Festival will be held January 18–28, 2024. Be a part of the Festival at festival.sundance.org and follow the Festival on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, X (formerly Twitter), and YouTube.
The Festival is a program of the nonprofit Sundance Institute. To date 2024 Festival sponsors include: Presenting Sponsors – Acura, AMC+, Chase Sapphire®, Adobe; Leadership Sponsors – Audible, DIRECTV, Hulu, Ketel One Vodka, Omnicom Group, Shutterstock, United Airlines; Sustaining Sponsors – Canon U.S.A., Inc., Cotopaxi, DoorDash, Dropbox, Element[AL] Wines, World of Hyatt®, IMDb, MACRO, Rabbit Hole Bourbon & Rye, University of Utah Health, White Claw Hard Seltzer; Media Sponsors – Deadline Hollywood, IndieWire, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, NPR, Variety, Vulture. Sundance Institute recognizes critical support from the State of Utah as Festival Host State. The support of these organizations helps offset the Festival’s costs and sustain the Institute’s year round programs for independent artists. Please visit festival.sundance.org for more.
As a champion and curator of independent stories, the nonprofit Sundance Institute provides and preserves the space for artists across storytelling media to create and thrive. Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, the Institute’s signature labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. Sundance Collab, a digital community platform, brings a global cohort of working artists together to learn from Sundance advisors and connect with each other in a creative space, developing and sharing works in progress. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences and artists to ignite new ideas, discover original voices, and build a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Through the Sundance Institute artist programs, we have supported such projects as Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Big Sick, Bottle Rocket, Boys Don’t Cry, Boys State, Call Me by Your Name, Clemency, CODA, Drunktown’s Finest, The Farewell, Fire of Love, Flee, The Forty-Year-Old Version, Fruitvale Station, Get Out, Half Nelson, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Hereditary, Honeyland, The Infiltrators, The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Little Woods, Love & Basketball, Me and You and Everyone We Know, Mudbound, Nanny, Navalny, O.J.: Made in America, One Child Nation, Pariah, Raising Victor Vargas, Requiem for a Dream, Reservoir Dogs, RBG, Sin Nombre, Sorry to Bother You, The Souvenir, Strong Island, Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), Swiss Army Man, Sydney, A Thousand and One, Top of the Lake, Walking and Talking, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, and Zola. Through year-round artist programs, the Institute also nurtured the early careers of such artists as Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, Gregg Araki, Darren Aronofsky, Lisa Cholodenko, Ryan Coogler, Nia DaCosta, The Daniels, David Gordon Green, Miranda July, James Mangold, John Cameron Mitchell, Kimberly Peirce, Boots Riley, Ira Sachs, Quentin Tarantino, Taika Waititi, Lulu Wang, and Chloé Zhao. Support Sundance Institute in our commitment to uplifting bold artists and powerful storytelling globally by making a donation at sundance.org/donate. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, X (formerly Twitter), and YouTube.