Marielle Heller, Andrew Haigh, Joey Soloway, and More to Lead Sundance 2022 Juries
Now that Sundance has answered the question looming over the 2022 festival by going all-virtual for the second year in a row, it’s full-steam ahead. And today the nonprofit Sundance Institute announced the members of its six juries, including Marielle Heller (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”), Andrew Haigh (“Weekend”), Joey Soloway (“Transparent”), and Payman Maadi (“A Separation”). The 16 jurors will bestow awards upon the festival’s winners January 28, with award-winning movies available for extended online viewing during the festival’s closing weekend.
“These exceptional individuals will come together to offer a collaborative lens on our program,” said Sundance’s Director of Programming Kim Yutani in an official statement. “Their diverse personal perspectives can elevate work above the sum of its parts.” As previously announced, the jury for Alfred P. Sloan jury (comprised of Dr. Heather Berlin, Dr. Mandë Holford, PhD, Tenoch Huerta, Lydia Dean Pilcher, and Shawn Snyder) deliberated in advance of the festival and awarded the prize to “After Yang,” directed by Kogonada.
And audiences will again be able weigh in on the 2022 Audience Awards, open to films in the U.S. Competition, World Competition, and NEXT categories, in addition to the Festival Favorite, chosen out of the full feature film program.
Check out the full list of jurors below, with all biographies provided by Sundance.
U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION JURY
Chelsea Barnard is a producer based in Los Angeles. She most recently produced Mike Mills’ “C’mon C’mon” and, prior to that, Olivia Wilde’s “Booksmart.” Barnard previously served as president of film and chief creative officer at Annapurna Pictures, overseeing films such as “Her,” “Foxcatcher,” “Wiener-Dog,” “20th Century Women,” “Phantom Thread,” “The Sisters Brothers,” and “If Beale Street Could Talk.”
Marielle Heller is an award-winning director, writer, and actor. Her humanistic directing style is depicted in her Academy Award–nominated films “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” and “Can You Ever Forgive Me?.” Her directorial debut, “The Diary of a Teenage Girl,” earned her an Independent Spirit Award. As an actor, her Alma Wheatley in “The Queen’s Gambit” made her an instant audience favorite. Heller’s production company, Defiant By Nature, was established in 2019.
Payman Maadi is one of the most important Iranian American actors, screenwriters, and directors working today. He is best known for starring in the Academy Award–winning film “A Separation” and “About Elly “by director Asghar Farhadi. For his role in “A Separation,” Maadi won the Silver Bear for Best Actor at the Berlin Film Festival. His recent film credits include “Night Shift,” “6 Underground,” “13 Hours,” “Camp X-Ray” and “Just 6.5,” and his recent TV credits include HBO’s T”he Night Of” and “Westworld.”
U.S. DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION JURY
Garrett Bradley works across narrative, documentary, and experimental modes of filmmaking to address themes such as race, class, familial relationships, social justice, Southern culture, and the history of film in the United States. In 2020, Bradley became the first Black American woman to receive the Directing Award in the U.S. Documentary Competition at the Sundance Film Festival for her debut feature-length documentary, Time, which was also nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 2021 Academy Awards.
Joan Churchill is dedicated to making experiential films. She endeavors to throw the viewer into a firsthand experience with a subjective camera style that actively participates in the story, yet takes second place to the participants themselves. The first pure documentary cinematographer to be accepted into the American Society of Cinematographers, Churchill’s accolades include DOC NYC Visionaries Tribute Lifetime Achievement Award, a BAFTA Award, duPont–Columbia University Award, Prix Italia, and the IDA Award for Outstanding Cinematography.
Peter Nicks is an award-winning cinematographer/director known for his immersive camerawork and cinema vérité style. He helmed the critically acclaimed feature documentary “The Waiting Room” and won the 2017 Sundance Film Festival’s U.S. Documentary Directing Award for “The Force.” “Homeroom” completes a trilogy of timely, immersive documentaries exploring the interconnected narratives of health care, criminal justice, and education in Oakland, CA. Nicks received his B.A. in English from Howard University and his master’s in journalism from UC Berkeley.
WORLD CINEMA DRAMATIC COMPETITION JURY
Andrew Haigh is a writer and director from the U.K. His award-winning films include “Weekend” (2011), “45 Years” (2015), and “Lean on Pete” (2017). His television work includes the HBO series “Looking,” and, most recently, “The North Water,” a five-part limited series for BBC/AMC+.
Mohamed Hefzy is an Egyptian screenwriter and producer with an evolving filmography of 35 features, including “Microphone” (2010), “Clash” (2016), “Sheikh Jackson” (2017), and “Luxor” (2020). He has served as a jury member for various international festivals and is the president of the Cairo International Film Festival. He is also the founder of Film Clinic, a pioneering production house in the MENA region, and its distribution arm Film Clinic Indie Distribution, and is the co-founder of Meem Creative Circle.
La Frances Hui is curator of film at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), where she has organized director retrospectives featuring Lee Chang-dong, Andrey Zvyagintsev, Federico Fellini, Tomu Uchida, and Tsai Ming-liang. She is a selection committee member for New Directors/New Films, and has been the festival’s co-chair since 2020. Hui has served on award juries for Busan International Film Festival, Udine Far East Film Festival, and Hong Kong International Film Festival, among others.
WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION JURY
Emilie Bujès is the artistic director of Visions du Réel, International Film Festival Nyon; artistic advisor for Cannes Film Festival Directors’ Fortnight; and expert for the film fund visions sud est. She previously was a curator at the Geneva Contemporary Art Center and contributed to festivals and art institutions such as the Contemporary Art Centre Vilnius, La-Roche-sur-Yon International Film Festival, and Transmediale (Berlin). She has been a guest lecturer at several art universities. In 2014, she received the Swiss Art Award for curators.
Patrick Gaspard is president and CEO of the Center for American Progress and CEO of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. As a key figure in President Obama’s administration, Gaspard held several prominent positions, including U.S. ambassador to the Republic of South Africa. A proud Brooklynite, Gaspard got his start as a union organizer. He attended Columbia University and was awarded the Spingarn Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the NAACP.
Dawn Porter is an award-winning filmmaker whose work has screened at two Sundance Film Festivals and has appeared on HBO, PBS, Netflix, and more. She recently directed and executive produced an Apple TV series on mental health with Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry. Recent credits include “Rise Again: Tulsa and the Red Summer” (National Geographic), “The Way I See It” (Focus Features), and “John Lewis: Good Trouble” (Magnolia Pictures). She is currently working on a documentary series with Showtime Networks about the United States Supreme Court.
Joey Soloway created “I Love Dick” and the Emmy- and Golden Globe–winning “Transparent. “Soloway is currently developing T”he South Commons Experiment,” about growing up in a “racial utopia”; a trans version of “Little Darlings” with Paramount; and a biopic of Sally Ride with Lionsgate. They won the Directing Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival for their first feature, “Afternoon Delight.” This year they will launch “The Amtlai Tapes,” a podcast unraveling the mysteries of Abraham’s mother.
SHORT FILM PROGRAM COMPETITION JURY
Penelope Bartlett is currently the director of programming for the Criterion Channel, an independent streaming service curated by the staff of the Criterion Collection. She previously held positions in programming for festivals in Chicago, California, and Glasgow.
Kevin Jerome Everson has made over 200 films, many of which have been shown at the Sundance Film Festival, the BlackStar Film Festival, the Berlin International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Venice International Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, and the New York Film Festival. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, a Heinz Award, a Creative Capital Fellowship, a Rome Prize, and a Berlin Prize. Everson is represented by Picture Palace Pictures New York and Andrew Kreps Gallery New York.
Blackhorse Lowe is a filmmaker from the Navajo Nation. His work has garnered accolades internationally at prominent festivals, including the Sundance Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival. Recently, he directed episodes for the groundbreaking series “Reservation Dogs,” created by Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi. Lowe is a current Tulsa Artist fellow and is in development for an epic feature, “Lords of the Earth.”
ALFRED P. SLOAN FEATURE FILM PRIZE JURY
Dr. Heather Berlin is a neuroscientist, clinical psychologist, and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. A passionate science communicator, Berlin has hosted series on PBS and the Discovery Channel and co-wrote and starred in the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway and Edinburgh Fringe Festival shows, “Off the Top” and “Impulse Control.” She appears regularly on “StarTalk” with Neil deGrasse Tyson, the History channel, Netflix, and National Geographic.
Dr. Mandë Holford, PhD is an Associate Professor at Hunter College and The CUNY Graduate Center, with scientific appointments at the American Museum of Natural History and Weill Cornell Medicine. Her interdisciplinary research examines venoms and venomous animals to study rapidly evolving genes and cellular physiology in pain and cancer. She co-founded Killer Snails, LLC, a learning games company. Honors include 2020 World Economic Forum Sustainability Pioneer, an Allen Distinguished Investigator, and California Academy of Sciences Fellow.
Tenoch Huerta is a Mexican actor, writer, and film producer. He’s best known for his performances in “Narcos: Mexico,” “The Forever Purge,” “Days of Grace,” “Sin Nombre,” and “Güeros,” for which he won the Ariel Award for Best Actor, presented by the Mexican Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences. Huerta combines his professional career with activism against racism and discrimination.
Lydia Dean Pilcher is a writer, director, and two-time Emmy-winning and Academy Award-nominated producer. Most recently, she directed the feature “A Call to Spy,” a female-driven World War II spy thriller based on the true stories of Noor Inayat Khan, Vera Atkins, and Virginia Hall. In 2018, she co-directed the feature “Radium Girls.” She has produced over 40 feature films, including 12 with internationally acclaimed director Mira Nair.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in Religion from Harvard, Shawn Snyder spent his 20s as an itinerant singer/songwriter. In 2015, he completed studies at NYU’s Graduate Film Program and in 2016 was named one of Filmmaker magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film.” “To Dust,” his Sloan-supported debut feature, won both Best New Director and the Narrative Audience Award at Tribeca in 2018, and was later nominated for Best Screenplay at the 2020 Independent Spirit Awards.
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