Stories about connection, life and death were the big winners at this year’s Slamdance Film Festival.
Winners were announced Thursday, the last full day of the two-week festival, which bypassed Park City this year and went virtual because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The drama “Taipei Suicide Story” won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award for narrative features. Directed by the one-named filmmaker KEFF, the story centers on a receptionist at a “suicide hotel” in Taiwan, who strikes up a relationship with a guest who can’t decide if she wants to live or die.
Tender Huang, who plays the receptionist, also received the Slamdance Acting Award for his performance in the 45-minute drama.
The Grand Jury Prize for documentary features went to the Austrian-produced “Code Name: Nagasaki,” directed by Fredrik S. Hana. The movie shows Hana following his friend, Marius Lunde, who is trying to find his birth mother who abandoned him in Norway at age 5 to go back to her native Japan.
The Audience Award for documentary features went to Justin Monroe’s “Holy Frit,” which follows a Los Angeles artist who bluffs his way into getting a commission to make a massive stained-glass window, and then must figure out how to create it.
A “best of the fest” program will be available to stream through the weekend at slamdance.com. Among the offerings this weekend is the festival’s closing-night film, “18th & Grand,” a documentary about Los Angeles’ raucous Olympic Auditorium, a famous venue for boxing, wrestling and other events. A pass for the weekend’s screenings is $10.
Here is the full list of Slamdance winners:
Grand Jury Prizes
• Narrative Feature: “Taipei Suicide Story,” directed by KEFF (Taiwan); honorable mention to “A Family,” directed by Jayden Stevens (Australia).
• Documentary Feature: “Code Name: Nagasaki,” directed by Fredrik S. Hana (Austria).
• Breakout Features: “No Trace,” directed by Simon Lavoie (Canada); honorable mention to “A Black Rift Begins to Yawn,” directed by Matthew Wade (United States).
• Documentary Shorts: “Unforgivable,” directed by Marlén Viñayo (El Salvador); honorable mention to “Ain’t No Time for Women,” directed by Sarra El Abed (Canada).
• Unstoppable Shorts: “The Bin,” directed by Jocelyn Tamayao (Philippines); honorable mentions to “Feeling Through,” directed by Doug Roland (United States), and “Full Picture,” directed by Jacob Reed (United States).
• Narrative Shorts: “In France Michelle is a Man’s Name,” directed by Em Weinstein (United States); honorable mentions to “MADA (Mother),” directed by Joseph Douglas Elmhirst (United States), and “Delimitation,” directed by Tereza Vejvodova (Czech Republic).
• Experimental Shorts: “Passage,” directed by Ann Oren (Germany); honorable mention to “Mountain Lodge directed by Jordan Wong (United States).
• Animated Shorts: “Return to the Peach Blossom Wonderland,” directed by Haomin Peng, Yue Huang, Yuchao Luo (China); honorable mention to “Lizard Ladder,” directed by Ted Wiggin (United States).
Other jury prizes
• Slamdance Acting Award: Tender Huang, “Taipei Suicide Story” (Taiwan); honorable mention to Michelle Uranowitz, “The Ultimate (by Lou Fescano)” (United States).
• AGBO Fellowship Award Winner: Agnieszka Polska, director of “Hurrah, We Are Still Alive!” (Poland)
• Slamdance Founder Award Winner: Tilane Jones, President of ARRAY (United States).
• George Starks Spirit of Slamdance Award Winner: Chelsea Christer, director of “Bleeding Audio” (United States); honorable mention to Mohammad Mohammadian, director of “Life” (Iran).
• CreativeFuture Innovation Award: “Opera,” by Erick Oh.
Audience Awards winners
• Narrative Feature: “Taipei Suicide Story,” directed by KEFF (Taiwan).
• Documentary Feature: “Holy Frit,” directed by Justin Monroe (United States).
• Episodic: “The Little Broomstick Rider,” directed by Matteo Bernardini (Italy).