The Sundance Institute has announced the 24 jury members that will participate in the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, bestowing 28 prizes on the titles in competition. The awards ceremony will be held Saturday, January 27th, and will be livestreamed at sundance.org and on YouTube. Short Film Awards will be announced at a separate ceremony on Tuesday, January 23rd and will also be livestreamed. The Festival takes place January 18-28 in Park City, Salt Lake City and Sundance, Utah.
The awards, which recognize standout artistic and story elements, are voted on by each of seven section juries, including, in the case of the new-this-year NEXT Innovator's Award, a jury of one. As in years past, festival audiences have a role in deciding the 2018 Audience Awards, which will recognize five films in the U.S. Competition, World Competition and NEXT categories; new this year, audiences will vote on a Festival Favorite film across categories, which will be announced the week following the festival.
On this year's U.S. Documentary jury are: Chaz Ebert, publisher and CEO of RogerEbert.com; Barbara Chai, head of arts and culture coverage at Dow Jones Media Group; Simon Chinn, producer of the Oscar-winning documentary, "Man on Wire"; Ezra Edelman, Oscar-winning director of "O.J.: Made in America"; and Matt Holzman, host and producer of The Document.
The U.S. Dramatic jury is comprised of "Mudbound" cinematographer Rachel Morrison, A.S.C.; "Girls Trip" star Jada Pinkett Smith; Oscar-winning star of "The Help," Octavia Spencer; Spencer's "Shape of Water" co-star, Michael Stuhlbarg; and the creator of Netflix's "Easy," Joe Swanberg.
The World Cinema Dramatic Jury includes Hanaa Issa, director of strategy and establishment at the Doha Film Institute in Qatar; Ruben Östlund, director of the Palme d'Or winner, "The Square"; and Michael J. Werner, producer of "Mysterious Skin".
On the World Cinema Documentary Jury are Joslyn Barnes, producer of "Strong Island"; Billy Luther, director of "Miss Navajo"; and Paulina Suárez, director of Ambulante, a non-profit organization that supports and promotes documentary cinema culture across Mexico. The Short Film Jury features "Amreeka" director Cherien Dabis; Garbage lead vocalist Shirley Manson; and Building Stories author Chris Ware.
The Emmy-winning host of "RuPaul's Drag Race," RuPaul, is the sole jury member in the NEXT competition, while the Alfred P. Sloane Feature Film Jury includes Dr. Robert Benezra, a member of the Cancer Biology and Genetics Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Dr. Heather Berlin, a cognitive neuroscientist and assistant professor of psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; "Argo" star and science enthusiast Kerry Bishé, and Nancy Buirski, director/producer/writer of "The Rape of Recy Taylor."
Photo credit for Chaz Ebert: Joe Arce.