Apple Original Film CODA From Filmmaker Siân Heder Wins 2021 Sundance Film Festival: London Award Presented By BIFA
Sundance Institute and Picturehouse announced tonight that Siân Heder’s CODA an Apple Original Film won the 2021 Sundance Film Festival: London Award presented by BIFA, voted for by 40 leading professionals from the British film industry assembled by the British Independent Film Awards.
As a CODA – Child of Deaf Adults – Ruby is the only hearing person in her Deaf family. When the family’s fishing business is threatened, Ruby finds herself torn between pursuing her love of music and her fear of abandoning her parents.
Directed and written by Siân Heder, CODA stars Emilia Jones, Eugenio Derbez, Troy Kotsur, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Daniel Durant, and Marlee Matlin, and is produced by Philippe Rousselet, Fabrice Gianfermi, Patrick Wachsberger. The film received its World Premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, U.S.A where it won Best Director U.S. Dramatic, U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic, Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic. Ferdia Walsh Peelo attended the London event with Siân Heder joining virtually for a Q+A. Apple Original Films’ CODA will debut in theaters and on Apple TV+ on Friday, 13 August.
Sundance Film Festival: London drew to a close on Sunday night with the Time Out Gala of Zola, attended by director Janicza Bravo; the festival opened four days earlier with the UK Premiere of The Sparks Brothers attended by director Edgar Wright and brothers Ron and Russell Mael.
The Festival, which included 15 feature films, two short film programmes, panel discussions and industry events took place between 29 July – 1 August, celebrating independent filmmaking back on the big screen at Picturehouse Central. It was presented in association with Adobe.
Other filmmakers and actors that attended the festival to present their films included director Prano Bailey Bond and actors Niamh Algar and Michael Smiley for Censor; director Sam Hobkinson, producer Poppy Dixon, editor Peter Norrey and composer Nick Foster, of Misha And The Wolves .
The Surprise Film was revealed as Herself by actress Harriet Walter, while director Phyllida Lloyd attended the London event for a Masterclass to discuss her long and successful career, placing women and their stories at centre stage. It was hosted by editor-in-chief of Empire magazine Terri White.
Other filmmaker events this year included the panels ‘Shaping The Truth - Discussing Documentary Ethics and Filmmaking’ with director Sam Hobkinson (Misha and the Wolves), Sundance veteran Kim Longinotto and filmmaker Brian Hill, hosted by festival producer Mia Bayes; and ‘Scare Tactics - Making Modern Horror’ with director Prano Bailey Bond (Censor) and filmmaker Rob Savage (Host), hosted by journalist and film festival consultant Wendy Mitchell.
Writer-in-Residence and poet Be Manzini returned to Sundance Film Festival: London, to create and share poetic responses to a selection of films online and through live readings during the festival. Those responses can be found gathered around the hashtag #FueledBySundance.
Over half of the Sundance Film Festival: London programme of screenings and events were made accessible to D/deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences through subtitled films and live captioned Q&As and panel discussions. There was also BSL translation for Deaf audiences attending the first CODA screening.
This year, Sundance Film Festival: London went on tour with screenings of Zola, The Nest and award-winning documentary Writing With Fire at 37 cinemas nationwide.
Sundance Film Festival: London 2021 was supported by: Presenting Partner – Adobe; Event partners - Argo, MUBI, Utah Office of Tourism and XRM; Media Partners: Time Out and Scala Radio.
All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of one-time reproduction and only when including proper image credits and/or ‘Courtesy of Sundance Institute.’ Unauthorized use, alteration or reproduction of logos and photos is strictly prohibited.
CODA ARRIVES ON APPLE TV+ ON AUGUST 13
About BIFA and BIFA Sundance London Award
The British Independent Film Awards highlight and celebrate the best independent British film and filmmakers and the best future prospects. We shine a light on and provide access to the best British independent film audiences have and haven’t heard of.
Nominees and winners are selected by the industry – every eligible film is watched and discussed by voters who have taken part in Unconscious Bias training, making BIFA the only truly credible source for the best in British independent film.
A pool of 40 BIFA voters formed a jury to select the winner of the Sundance Film Festival: London Award presented by BIFA. Each juror had to watch a minimum of 66% of the films in contention and asked to select five films in order of preference. Votes were then calculated by dividing the total number of votes by the number of views each film received.
About Sundance Institute
As a champion and curator of independent stories for the stage and screen, the nonprofit Sundance Institute provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, film composing, and digital media to create and thrive. Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, the Institute's signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs which are dedicated to developing new work and take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally, are supported largely through contributed revenue. Sundance Co//ab, a digital community platform, brings artists together to learn from each other and Sundance Advisors and connect in a creative space, developing and sharing works in progress. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences and artists to ignite new ideas, discover original voices, and build a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as Clemency, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Zola, On The Record, Boys State, The Farewell, Honeyland, One Child Nation, The Souvenir, The Infiltrators, Sorry to Bother You, Won't You Be My Neighbor?, Hereditary, Call Me By Your Name, Get Out, The Big Sick, Mudbound, Fruitvale Station, City So Real, Top of the Lake, Between the World & Me, Wild Goose Dreams and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
About Picturehouse Cinemas
Picturehouse is an award-winning UK film company incorporating cinema, distribution and home entertainment, formed in 1989 to challenge the multiplex model. Its flagship cinema Picturehouse Central is situated in the heart of London’s West End, with the rest of its 25 venues located across England and Scotland.
Picturehouse's architecturally-unique cinemas sit in the heart of local neighbourhoods and cater to a diverse and wide-ranging audience. They provide bespoke food and drink offerings across their cafés, bars, restaurants, and members bars. The programme is curated to champion films made for all ages, backgrounds and walks of life, from quality mainstream film through to foreign-language and documentary features, as well as live event cinema. 35mm and 70mm presentations are also offered in some locations. Finsbury Park Picturehouse, with 7 screens, a café, and a member’s bar, is due to open in London this summer.