Director Daniel Roher and Dasha Navalny attend a Q&A following the virtual premiere of Navalny, an official selection of the U.S. Documentary section at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. © 2022 Sundance Institute.

Canadian Talents Clean Up Among Sundance Award Winners

Navalny by Toronto's Daniel Roher named overall festival favourite as voted by the audience.

3 mins read

It was a good day for the Canadians! The Sundance Film Festival announced the winners for the 2022 event, and every feature doc with a Canadian director or producer won a prize. Chase Joynt kicked off the awards ceremony with a one-two punch by netting both the audience award and jury prize in the Next section for the collaborative creative doc Framing Agnes. The film explores the challenges of historical narratives that centre on singular voices. Midwives, produced by Montreal’s EyeSteelFilm, scored a special jury award for excellence in verité filmmaking. The doc is an intimate observation of two women in a makeshift Myanmar clinic. Fire of Love, produced by Montrealer Ina Fichman, won a special prize for editing. The film scored one of the bigger doc deals of the festival by nabbing distribution with National Geographic.

Toronto’s Daniel Roher captured the audience’s favour with his timely doc Navalny. The portrait of Russian politician/activist Alexei Navalny won the Audience Award in the U.S. Documentary Competition, but had the special distinction as overall vote getter with the Festival Favorite Award across every feature at Sundance. Navalny’s place in the competition was revealed just one day prior to its screening so Roher and his team could complete it in secret.


The full list of documentary winners at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival is as follows:


Festival Favorite Award – Navalny, Daniel Roher

U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary – The Exiles, Ben Klein and Violet Columbus

Audience Award: U.S. Documentary, presented by Acura – Navalny, Daniel Roher

Directing Award: U.S. Documentary – Reid Davenport, I Didn’t See You There

Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award: U.S. Documentary – Fire of Love, Erin Casper and Jocelyne Chaput

U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award: Impact for Change – Aftershock, Paula Eiselt & Tonya Lewis Lee

U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award: Creative Vision – Descendant, Margaret Brown

World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary – All that Breathes, Shaunak Sen

Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary – The Territory, Alex Pritz

Directing Award: World Cinema Documentary – Simon Lereng Wilmont, A House Made of Splinters

World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award: Documentary Craft – The Territory, Alex Pritz

World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award: Excellence in Verité Filmmaking – Midwives, Snow Hnin El Hlaing

Next Innovator Award, presented by Adobe – Framing Agnes, Chase Joynt

Audience Award: Next – Framing Agnes, Chase Joynt

Short Film Jury Award: Nonfiction, presented by XRM Media – Displaced, Samir Karahoda

Short Film Special Jury Award: Screenwriting, presented by XRM Media – Stranger than Rotterdam with Sara Driver, Sara Driver



Pat Mullen is the publisher of POV Magazine. He holds a Master’s in Film Studies from Carleton University where his research focused on adaptation and Canadian cinema. Pat has also contributed to outlets including The Canadian Encyclopedia, Paste, That Shelf, Sharp, Xtra, and Complex. He is the vice president of the Toronto Film Critics Association and an international voter for the Golden Globe Awards.

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