Docs

Sundance ’20: “Giving Voice” wins audience vote

The 2020 Sundance Film Festival has feted James D. Stern and Fernando Villena’s feature-length documentary Giving Voice as the winner of this year’s Festival Favorite Award. The honor serves as the ...
February 4, 2020

The 2020 Sundance Film Festival has feted James D. Stern and Fernando Villena’s feature-length documentary Giving Voice as the winner of this year’s Festival Favorite Award.

The honor serves as the 29th and final recognition bestowed upon this year’s filmmakers. Juried prizes and category-specific Audience Awards were announced on Feb. 1.

The 87-minute Giving Voice (pictured) follows the lives of six high school students as they search for their own unique voice while competing against pupils from around the U.S. in New York’s August Wilson Monologue Competition.

Executive producers included Viola Davis, Julius Tennon, John Legend, Mike Jackson, Ty Stiklorius, Dan Cogan, Jenny Raskin, Geralyn White Dreyfous, Gretchen Stockdale and Nicholas Caprio. Jonah McMichael was co-executive producer.

The film was produced by James D. Stern, Karen Bove, Fernando Villena, Schoen Smith and Craig Piligian.

Runners-up, as ballots were counted, include Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine’s Boys State, which was acquired by Apple for a reported US$12 million, and Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering‘s controversial music-focused sexual assault doc On The Record, which has since been acquired by HBO Max.

Additional close contenders for the Festival Favorite Award included Frederike Migom’s Binti; Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht’s Crip Camp; Elyse Steinberg, Josh Kriegman and Eli Despres’ The Fight; Jerry Rothwell’s The Reason I Jump; Sam Soko’s Softie; Alan Ball’s Uncle Frank; and David France’s Welcome to Chechnya.

The 2021 Sundance Film Festival will run from January 21 to 31 at various venues in Park City, Salt Lake City and Sundance, Utah.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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