Sundance Film Festival

Sundance short-film winners: Goldfish, ghosts, and more

First Published      Last Updated Jan 27 2017 12:39 pm

The story of four Japanese girls and 400 goldfish was the big winner among short film at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

Jurors selected Japanese writer-director Makoto Nagahisa's "And so we put goldfish in the pool" for the festival's Short Film Grand Jury Prize, it was announced Tuesday at an awards ceremony and party at Park City's Jupiter Bowl.

The festival's synopsis for the short reads: "One summer day, 400 goldfish were found in the swimming pool of a secondary school. This is a story about the four 15-year-old girls who put them there."

The Short Film Jury Award for U.S. fiction went to writer-director Anu Valia's "Lucia, Before and After." It's about a young woman who travels 200 miles across Texas to get an abortion, but then must fulfill the state's mandatory 24-hour waiting period.

The Short Film Jury Award for international fiction goes to a Chilean/U.S. production, "And the Whole Sky Fit in the Dead Cow's Eye," by writer-director Francisca Algeria. It centers on Emeteria, who is visited by the ghost of patron, Teodoro. She thinks Teodoro is taking her to the afterlife, but he has more devastating news.

The Short Film Jury Award for Non-fiction went to director Garrett Bradley's "Alone," an examination (originally released as a New York Times "Op Doc") of one New Orleans single mom's view of mass incarceration and the modern black family.

The Short Film Jury Award for Animation goes to "Broken - The Women's Prison at Hoheneck," a monochrome animated look at the main women's prison in the former East Germany, a look at political imprisonment, forced labor and big profits on both sides of the Iron Curtain. It's directed by Volker Schlecht and Alexander Lahl, and written by Lahl and Max Mönch.

A Special Jury Award for Cinematography was given to Chintan Rajbhandari, for his work on the short "Dadyaa - The Woodpeckers of Rotha." The French/Nepalese production is written and directed by Pooja Gurung and Bibhusan Basnet.

A Short Film Special Jury Prize for Editing was given to Blair McClendon, for her work on "Laps," written and directed by Charlotte Wells. The short depicts a woman on a crowded New York subway being sexually assaulted in plain sight.

The Short Film jury consisted of filmmaker David Lowery ("A Ghost Story," "Pete's Dragon"), comedian Patton Oswalt, and costume designer and wardrobe stylist Shirley Kurata.