“Hannah Ha Ha,” “Forget Me Not,” “Straighten Up and Fly Right,” and “Killing the Eunuch KHAN” take home Grand Jury Prizes

Audience Awards went to“The Civil Dead,” “Iron Family,” and “The Ember Knight Show: “Getting Mad”

Ethan Eng, Director of “Therapy Dogs” is awarded the AGBO Fellowship including a $25,000 prize and mentorship from Joe and Anthony Russo

The 28th Slamdance Film Festival announced the winners of their annual Sparky Awards in Audience, Jury, and Sponsored categories for 2022. In addition, the festival also announced the recipients of their AGBO Fellowship from Slamdance alumni Joe and Anthony Russo, the CreativeFuture Innovation Award, and a curated Acting Award. All winners were announced during the virtual awards ceremony.

We congratulate the winners of Slamdance 2022 and everyone of our filmmakers who together created a showcase that pushes the boundaries of what’s possible in storytelling ”, said President and Co-founder Peter Baxter. “The future of film depends on these unique voices who defy simple classification and transcend analytics. Key to supporting this endeavor is accessibility and the major growth of our online audience who’ve tuned into the new Slamdance Channel.”

2022 Audience Awards were given to two films and one episodic that captured the hearts of audiences around the globe. The Civil Dead (USA), directed by Clay Tatum, took home the Audience Award for Narrative Feature, while Iron Family (USA) directed by Patrick Longstreth won the 2022 Audience Award for Documentary Feature. The Ember Knight Show: “Getting Mad” (USA) directed by Bobby McCoy took home the Audience Award for Episodes.

The AGBO Fellowship, presented by Slamdance alumni Joe and Anthony Russo along with their colleagues at their AGBO production company, was awarded to Ethan Eng, director of Therapy Dogs (Canada). The $25,000 prize is designed to enable a deserving filmmaker the opportunity to continue their journey with mentorship from Joe and Anthony as well as development support from their studio.

“We are delighted to announce the AGBO Fellowship 2022 winner is Ethan Eng, whose passion for storytelling is evident in this year’s standout Therapy Dogs. Ethan’s ability to connect with the audience in a personal and profound way is effortless while his commitment and work ethic as a filmmaker is inspiring. The fact that this marks Ethan’s first feature as a director shows incredible promise for a bright future ahead, and we look forward to working with and championing him as he continues on this exciting filmmaking journey,” stated Angela Russo-Otstot, President of Creative at AGBO.

Juries of esteemed filmmakers and industry professionals determined the Slamdance Jury Awards, which are given to films and filmmakers in four categories: Narrative Features, Documentaries, Narrative Shorts, and Animated/Experimental Shorts. The Feature Awards Jury consists of Steve Way, Merawi Gerima, and Erica Jordan. The Shorts Awards Jury consists of Lori Felker, Dominique Oneil, and Kristian Mercado. The Unstoppable Jurors were Asha Chai-Chang, Michael McNeely, Julia Muniz, Cameron S. Mitchell, Juliet Romeo, Catriona Rubenis-Stevens, Bernadette Speakes

The Narrative Feature Grand Jury prize was awarded to Hannah Ha Ha (USA) directed by Joshua Pikovsky and Jordan Tetewsky, with an Honorable Mention given to Ultrainocencia (Spain) directed by Manuel Arija de la Cuerda. About the section’s winning films, the jury stated: “A beautiful film in the vein of the American working-class cinema from the ‘70s and ‘80s. This film was chosen for its incredible lead actor and its sensitive portrayal of the quiet eradication of a community by powers beyond their control. Ultrainocencia by Manuel Arija earned honorable mention for its artful blend of surrealism, physical comedy and science fiction which captivates the imagination and feeds the senses.”

The Documentary Feature Grand Jury Prize was awarded to Forget Me Not (USA) directed by Olivier Bernier. An Honorable Mention was awarded to Fury (Poland) directed by Krzysztof Kasior. The jury stated: “Forget Me Not was enthusiastically selected by the jury to win best documentary. This important film draws the audience into a compelling story, which moves from personal, intimate moments in a family’s life to national sociopolitical issues around inclusion in public schools. Fury earned our special mention for its visceral portraiture of a woman driven to physical, psychological and moral extremes by her desire to be the best.”

The 2022 Slamdance Unstoppable Grand Jury Prize was awarded to Straighten Up and Fly Right (USA) by Directors Steven Tanenbaum and Kristen Abate. The Honorable Mention goes to Selahy (My Weapon) (Yemen) directed by Alaa Zabara. Of Straighten Up and Fly Right, the Jury stated the following: “Straighten Up and Fly Right is a universal story everyone can connect with that is unlike any film we have seen before. It’s a unique portrayal of how relatable isolation, depression and acceptance are while navigating the world with a disability.” Regarding Selahy (My Weapon), the Jury stated: “Selahy is an utterly poignant film that spotlights an often forgotten community in a war zone and the ramifications that War has on the disability community.”

Miami-based nonprofit ASFI and the White Elephant Group film collective are partnering with Slamdance Unstoppable to create the ASFI Slamdance Unstoppable Short Film Commission. This commission will be awarded to Slamdance Unstoppable Co-Founder and Miami native Juliet Romeo as well as Miami-based filmmaker Elizabeth Burbano. Both creators are notable disabled filmmakers and this commission will total $10,000 ($5,000 per award) in addition to production support provided by the White Elephant Group film collective for the production of original short films. This award seeks to encourage and support the production of original works by visibly and non-visibly disabled filmmakers in an effort to address the lack of representation and misrepresentation of the disabled community in the film industry.

The Breakouts Feature Grand Jury Prize is awarded to Abed Abest’s Killing the Eunuch KHAN (Iran) with the Honorable Mention going to Retrograde (Canada) by Adrian Murray. The Breakouts jury stated the following about the winners: “Killing the Eunuch KHAN was chosen for presenting, with monumental cinematography, the socio-psychological ramifications of a great historic tragedy whose consequences reverberate throughout the world to this day. Retrograde by Adrian Murray, earned honorable mention for its skillfully crafted script, beautifully realized by Molly Reisman. The director masterfully deconstructs how obsession can unravel a young person’s life.”

The 2022 Narrative Shorts Grand Jury Prize is given to Ratking (USA), directed by Eric Colonna. See You, Garbage! (Canada), directed by Romain Dumont, was awarded the Honorable Mention. The jury stated the following regarding Ratking, “This hauntingly funny film delivers feelings of paranoia, frustration, and fear that feel relevant to our times. Natasha Sills delivers a captivating performance that balances humor and drama perfectly.” The jury also said the following about See You Garbage!: “The jury was captivated by this well-orchestrated and performed short film that provided a nuanced look into class structures, behavior, and essential work.”

The Documentary Short Grand Jury Prize went to The Ritual To Beauty (USA) directed by Shenny de Los Angeles and Maria Marrone while Walls Cannot Keep Us From Flying (USA) directed by Jonathan Haff Mehring was awarded the Honorable Mention. The jury stated: “We wish to recognize Shenny de Los Angeles and Maria Marrone’s poetic and uniquely positioned documentary which provides a vital look into the Afro-Latina point of view and honors their Dominican and maternal lineage. Walls Cannot Keep Us From Flying conveys the resilience of Palestinian youth in the face of occupation and the freedom that skating represents. We are grateful to the filmmakers especially for introducing us to Yasmeen Foqha!”

The Experimental Short Grand Jury Prize was awarded to Chameleon (USA) by Ima Iduozee and Jaamil Olawale Kosoko with an honorable mention going to Compositions for Understanding Relationships (USA) by David De La Fuente. Regarding Chameleon, the Jury stated: “We’ve never experienced anything quite like Chameleon before; its words and images are inventive, refreshing, intimate, and unforgettable. We found it to be a moving hybrid of performance, documentation, poetry and set design.” They also said the following regarding Compositions for Understanding Relationships, “This beautifully crafted animation presents an earnest view of love and romance that is both meticulously structured and vibrantly chaotic as it takes us from fashion to the bedroom to video game fantasy.”

The Animated Shorts Grand Jury prizes went to I’m Here (Poland) directed by Julia Orlik with an honorable mention awarded to Oldboy’s Apples (USA) directed by Brad Hock. Of I’m Here the Jury stated: “A powerful contemplation of mortality and time, this haunting animated film kept us suspended in the smaller moments and hit us in an intimate way few films do.” Regarding Oldboy’s Apples, the Jury said: “Delightfully odd, whimsical in the most subversive way, Oldboy’s Apples is a bold piece of animation that hypnotizes the viewers with its curiously wonderful characters and setting.”

The 2022 CreativeFuture Innovation Award went to My Parent, Neal (USA) directed by Hannah Saidiner. Slamdance and CreativeFuture have partnered for years to support new talent in the world of film and to educate creatives on the importance of protecting their work. This award is given to an emerging filmmaker who exhibits the innovative spirit of filmmaking.

CreativeFuture shared the following statement on behalf of the Innovation Award “Filmmaker Hannah Saidliner has created an intimate portrait of parent and daughter with My Parent, Neal. A look at the complex and loving relationship between a parent and their child, the film evokes the innocence of youth, employing crayons and watercolors for a distinct visual style. For its creativity and incredible heart, it deserves the CreativeFuture Innovation Award.”

The George Starks Spirit of Slamdance Award, voted on by filmmakers and given to the filmmaker who best embodies the spirit of the Festival, went to Sasha Levinson, director of Sylvie of the Sunshine State (USA). The festival’s Outstanding Acting Award, which is curated by the Slamdance team, went to Hannah Lee Thompson of Hannah Ha Ha (USA) with the honorable mention going to Batel Moseri of Bracha (Israel).

Dedicated to fostering a community for independent emerging artists, Slamdance’s 2022 feature competition lineup boasted 23 premieres, including 13 World, 6 North American, and 4 U.S. debuts. Chosen from over 8,000 submissions, this year’s lineup hailed from all corners of the globe, including Germany, Australia, Iran, Canada, China, Italy, Poland, and the UK among others. All competition films were feature-length, directorial debuts without U.S. distribution, with budgets of less than $1 million USD.

This year’s festival award sponsors include Blackmagic Design, CreativeFuture, Final Draft, Media Services, and Pierce Law Group LLP.

A full list of winners is below:


Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize: Hannah Ha Ha (Dir: Jordan Tetewsky and Joshua Pikovsky)

Honorable Mentions: Ultrainocencia (Dir: Manuel Arija)

Documentary Feature Grand Jury Prize: Forget Me Not (Dir: Olivier Bernier)

Honorable Mention: Fury (Dir: Krzysztof Kasior)

Breakouts Feature Grand Jury Prize: Killing the Eunuch KHAN (Dir: Abed Abest)

Honorable Mentions: Retrograde (Dir: Adrian Murray)

Unstoppable Feature Grand Jury Prize: Straighten Up And Fly Right (Dir: Kristen Abate and Steven Tanenbaum)

Honorable Mentions: Selahy (My Weapon) (Dir: Alaa Zabara)


Narrative Shorts Grand Jury Prize: Ratking (Dir: Eric Colonna)

Honorable Mention: See You, Garbage! (Dir: Romain Dumont)

Documentary Short Grand Jury Prize: The Ritual to Beauty (Dir: Shenny de Los Angeles and Maria Marrone)

Honorable Mention: Walls Cannot Keep Us From Flying (Dir: Jonathan Haff Mehring)

Experimental Shorts Grand Jury Prize: Chameleon (Dir: Ima Iduozee and Jaamil Olawale Kosoko)

Honorable Mention: Compositions for Understanding Relationships (Dir: David De La Fuente)

Animated Shorts Grand Jury Prize: I’m Here (Dir: Julia Orlik)

Honorable Mention: Oldboy’s Apples (Dir: Brad Hock)


The AGBO Fellowship, presented by Joe and Anthony Russo, Award Winner: Ethan Eng, director of Therapy Dogs

Slamdance Acting Award: Hannah Lee Thompson of Hannah Ha Ha

Honorable Mention: Batel Moseri of Bracha

George Starks Spirit of Slamdance Award Winner: Sasha Levinson, director of Sylvie of the Sunshine State

CreativeFuture Innovation Award: My Parent, Neal (Dir: Hannah Saidiner)


Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature: The Civil Dead (Dir. Clay Tatum)

Audience Award for Documentary Feature: Iron Family (Dir. Patrick Longstreth)

Audience Award for Episodes: The Ember Knight Show: “Getting Mad” (Dir. Bobby McCoy)



The mission of Slamdance is to champion emerging artists who in turn will shape our cultural future.

Slamdance has successfully discovered and supported independent artists since 1995. Though Slamdance has greatly evolved since the early years, its spirit remains the same. Slamdance is a community, a year-round experience, and a statement in which everyone is invited to take part. As an artist-led group Slamdance has been able to thrive working outside the system to create a disruptive co-operative run ”by filmmakers, for filmmakers.” Slamdance continues to discover and nurture diverse, international creators through new programs like Slamdance Unstoppable, which focuses on creators with visible and nonvisible disabilities, existing programs like the Screenplay Competition, DIG (digital, interactive and gaming), grants and mentorships, and of course, its namesake film festivals: Slamdance Miami, which first took place in October 2021, and the festival that started it all, Slamdance Film Festival, which is currently presented its 2022 edition on the new Slamdance Channel until February 6th.

Slamdance conducts business as a Non-Profit Organization under U.S. Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3).

For more information on Slamdance, visit: https://www.slamdance.com

For year-round Slamdance programming visit https://www.slamdancechannel.com

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Additional References: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slamdance_Film_Festival