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I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore wins top prize at Sundance (2017)

I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore

Story by Jack Foley

MACON Blair’s crime thriller I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore took home the top prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

The film, which follows a depressed woman as she finds new purpose by tracking down the thieves who burglarized her, took home the Grand Jury Prize at the end of festival awards ceremony.

Accepting his prize, filmmaker Blair leapt at the opportunity – taken by many of the winners before him – to add some political commentary on Donald Trump’s presidency into his speech.

He said that winning the prize made him feel “good in the face of all of this craven, repressive, cruel bullshit that’s going on… Registries and border closings and defunding Planned Parenthood and all this f—king nonsense.”

Eliza Hittman won the US directing award for Beach Rats, a drama about an aimless teen in Brooklyn struggling with issues of identity.

She commented: “Nothing is more taboo in this country than a woman with ambition.”

The prize for best US documentary went to Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini’s Dina, which chronicles the relationship of an eccentric suburban woman and a Walmart door-greeter.

While Peter Nicks landed the top US directing documentary award for his film, The Force, which focuses on the Oakland Police Department. Nicks said he was inspired by the critically-acclaimed HBO series The Wire when making it.

The politics of America were also present when Matt Ruskin’s Crown Heights won the US Dramatic Audience Award. The drama follows a wrongful murder conviction and was bought during the festival by Amazon.

This year’s Sundance awards ceremony took place on the very same day that US President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning refugees and some migrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the US.

It meant the shadow of America’s new political landscape loomed very much over proceedings, particularly as many within the US artistic community are already aggrieved by the new presidency.

And Trump’s latest outcry was addressed head on by Sundance Institute executive director Keri Putnam, who said in her speech: “I want to take a moment to acknowledge the artists and documentary subjects who are from Muslim-majority countries who joined us at this year’s festival to share their work.

“We know that closing our borders to these and other international artists stops the flow of ideas and inspiration that are so vital to the global community. We stand with you, and we stand with all people risking their lives for their values or seeking refuge from violence or persecution who are now denied entry to our county.”

Her comments prompted an extended standing ovation from the likes of juror Peter Dinklage.