TV/Film

Questlove's 'Summer of Soul' Takes Top Documentary Prizes at Sundance

Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson
2021 Sundance Film Festival/Sundance Film Festival via Getty Images

In this Screengrab filmmaker Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson speaks at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival - Cinema Cafe: Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson And Shaka King on Jan. 29, 2021.

"Summer of Soul" took both the audience prize & grand jury prize in the U.S. documentary section.

CODA has won the top award at the Sundance Film Festival, taking this year's U.S. Grand Jury prize, while Questlove's Summer of Soul won both the audience and grand jury prize in the U.S. documentary section.

CODA, which made headlines earlier in the fest for its record-breaking $25 million sale to Apple, took the dramatic audience award with Sian Heder taking the directing award for U.S. dramatic competition. "I hope that this opened the door to people getting that audiences want to see these kinds of stories," said Heder of the title, which centers on a hearing teenage girl that is a child of deaf adults. "I hope that this means that more stories that center on deaf characters and characters with disability get put front and center."

"I really wish there was a Sundance this year if only to watch the war between the Pfizer and Moderna suites trying to woo all the cool celebs to use their vaccine," joked ceremony host Patton Oswalt to open the virtual ceremony. Sundance Institute director Keri Putnam offered words on the pandemic and Sundance's place within it. "We have been able to gather in new ways that we weren't sure to work but did," said Putnam. "After a year that has been exceptionally difficult for artists and the arts. It is inspiring to this community rally so fiercely around both." Newly instated director Tabitha Jackson followed Putnam and gave out thanks, concluding with the filmmakers for "trusting us with your work and going along with us on this crazy experiment of a journey."

The 2021 festival ceremony did not take place in snowy Park City, but was instead hosted online via YouTube, with jurors and presenters tuning in from their respective living rooms and backseats of cars around the world. The latter was the case for Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, who took both the audience prize and grand jury prize in the U.S. documentary section and accepted the awards via a video call from a car in New York on the "way to work" at The Tonight Show. "It's always been my dream to tell stories," he said of the process behind his movie Summer of Soul. "As a creator and storyteller, my purpose and goal was to not drop the ball."

Patton Oswalt hosted the virtual ceremony from his home, joking, "I really wish there was a Sundance this year if only to watch the war between the Pfizer and Moderna suites trying to woo all the cool celebs to use their vaccine." Sundance Institute director Keri Putnam offered her own thoughts on Sundance's place amid the ongoing pandemic, saying, "We have been able to gather in new ways that we weren't sure [would] work but did. After a year that has been exceptionally difficult for artists and the arts. It is inspiring to this community rally so fiercely around both." Newly instated director Tabitha Jackson added to the sentiments, thanking the filmmakers for "trusting us with your work and going along with us on this crazy experiment of a journey."

See the full list of the 2021 Sundance Film Festival winners below.

GRAND JURY PRIZES

U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary: Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson for Summer Of Soul (...Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic: Siân Heder for CODA

World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary: Jonas Poher Rasmussen for Flee

World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic: Blerta Basholli for Hive

AUDIENCE AWARDS

Audience Award: U.S. Documentary: Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson for Summer Of Soul (...Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic: Siân Heder for CODA

Audience Award: World Cinema Dramatic: Blerta Basholli for Hive

Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary: Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh for Writing With Fire

Audience Award: NEXT: Marion Hill for Ma Belle, My Beauty

DIRECTING, SCREENWRITING AND EDITING AWARDS

Directing Award: U.S. Documentary: Natalia Almada for Users

Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic Siân Heder for CODA

Directing Award: World Cinema Documentary: Hogir Hirori for Sabaya

Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic: Blerta Basholli for Hive Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award:

U.S. Dramatic: Ari Katcher and Ryan Welch for On the Count of Three

Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award: U.S. Documentary: Kristina Motwani and Rebecca Adorno for Homeroom

SPECIAL JURY AWARDS

U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Ensemble Cast: the cast of CODA

U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Best Actor: Clifton Collins Jr. for Jockey

U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award: Emerging Filmmaker: Parker Hill and Isabel Bethencourt for Cusp

U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award: Nonfiction Experimentation: Theo Anthony for All Light, Everywhere

World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award: Vérité Filmmaking: Camilla Nielsson for President

World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award: Impact for Change: Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh for Writing With Fire

World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award: Acting: was Jesmark Scicluna for Luzzu

World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award: Creative Vision: Baz Poonpiriya, for One for the Road

NEXT INNOVATOR PRIZE PRESENTED BY ADOBE

NEXT Innovator Prize: Dash Shaw for Cryptozoo

SHORT FILM AWARDS PRESENTED BY SOUTHWEST AIRLINES®

Short Film Grand Jury Prize: Lizard

The Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction: The Touch of the Master's Hand

The Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction: Bambirak

The Short Film Jury Award: Nonfiction: Don't Go Tellin' Your Momma

The Short Film Jury Award: Animation: Souvenir Souvenir

Short Film Special Jury Award for Acting: Wiggle Room

Short Film Special Jury Award for Screenwriting: The Criminals

This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.