I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore took home the top prize at the 2017 Sundance awards last night, leading a trio of Netflix prize winners at the fest.
After 10 days, 119 feature films and three feet of snow, Utah’s indie festival announced the winners chosen by a jury that included Julie Goldman (Weiner, Life Animated), Robert Greene (Kate Plays Christine), Gael García Bernal and Peter Dinklage. The ceremony was presented by The Daily Show’s Jessica Williams, who also starred in The Incredible Jessica James, which premiered at the festival before being snapped up at Netflix.
Indeed, the streaming giant has dominated the trade scene at this year’s event, acquiring a range of films across the last fortnight. I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore, the directorial debut of Blue Ruin and Green Room star Macon Blair, is one of them, with the movie set to premiere on Netflix in February – making this the first time that the US Grand Jury Prize winner from Sundance is available to stream worldwide within a month of the festival.
At an event that was overshadowed by the beginning of Donald Trump’s presidency, the film stars Melanie Lynskey as a nurse who takes control over her life after she is robbed, by tracking down the thieves, alongside her obnoxious neighbour.
Peter Dinklage, who presented the award, described it as “a brilliant and hilarious ride… a wholly original tumble down the rabbit hole”.
Blair said in his acceptance speech: “It’s surreal to be here. My mom and my dad had a small part in this movie, and last week dad had people over to protest in D.C., and here there was a rally too. These things made me hopeful amid all the craven bullshit going on. All this fucking nonsense. These things are probably not going to affect me that much, but for the folks it will, i’m with you. Thank you so much, this is a huge honor.”
Chasing Coral, Jeff Orlowski’s follow-up to Chasing Ice, was the second Sundance prize winner already snapped up by Netflix, taking home the Audience Award for US Documentary.
Orlowski, flanked by his team of collaborators, subjects and producers, said: “It is an honor to be here among talented filmmakers. I’m a newcomer to this community. Kudos to all of you. We’ve got the most amazing team in the world. Thank you guys so much. This project has been a joy to work on. Can we have a shout out for science? I don’t want this to be political because climate change should not be politicized. If you know anybody that’s skeptical of climate change, just show them this movie, please. We’ve seen the devastation happening to our planet. We don’t want to make these films. It’s something we feel we have to do. Show it to people who need to hear this message.”
The Audience Award for World Cinema Documentary was presented by Barbara Kopple to Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower, completing a hat-trick for Netflix, after the filmmakers signed a deal to be distributed on Netflix later this year.
Director Joe Piscatella said: “Whoa. Thank you. These films aren’t made without an amazing team… My hope for this film is that you people will be able to see it and take Joshua’s story to inspire people to stand up in their country when their government is oppressing them.”
I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore will be available on Netflix on 24th February. For more on what’s coming soon to Netflix, click here – or catch up with all the VOD acquisitions by Amazon and Netflix from Sundance here.