Sun Valley Film Festival 2023 Winners Include ‘Wild Life,’ ‘Fancy Dance’

The Sun Valley Film Festival announced their 2023 award winners, with National Geographic’s Documentary “Wild Life” taking home the audience award, “Fancy Dance” winning best narrative and “Nascondino” earning the documentary feature film prize. The annual Idaho Awards Bash took place from March 29 to April 2 at Whiskey Jacques.  

In addition to the film awards, the festival hosted a performance by Blair Gun and Variety honored this year’s 10 Producers to Watch. Other highlights include Josh Brolin receiving the Vision award, Emilio Estevez receiving the Pioneer award, Sophie Thatcher receiving the Rising Star award and Nina Yang Bongiovi receiving the Creative Impact Honoree in Producing. 

Since 2012, each spring has brought another SVFF celebration of groundbreaking new films and television premieres, with opportunities for filmmakers to connect with one another and find mentorship through industry panels, coffee talks and screenwriting workshops. SVFF also works year-round to bring special projects to Sun Valley. SVFF is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization. 

See below for a full list of this year’s winners. 

Audience Award – “Wild Life” directed by E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin  

Best Narrative Feature Film – “Fancy Dance” directed by Erica Tremblay and Produced by Variety’s Creative Impact in Producing Award recipient Nina Yang Bongiovi.  

(Jury members were Tucker Gates, Ali Larter and Valerie Steinberg) 

Best Documentary Feature Film – “Nascondino” directed by Victoria Fiore  

(Jury members were Jamie Gonçalves, Liza Richardson and Jessica Sanders) 

One in a Million Awards – The One in a Million Awards honor feature length stories made for under one million dollars. One narrative and one documentary film were each awarded.  

Narrative Winner: “Fremont” directed by Rachael Fung  

Documentary Winner: “Bad Press” directed by Joe Peeler  

The SV Shorty Award – The best short film across all categories. All shorts are eligible for this award.  

Winner:  “Walk of Shame” directed by Dane Ray  

Special Mention: “A Folded Ocean” directed by Ben Brewer  

The Gem State Award – The best short film made in Idaho.  

Winner: “A Parent” directed by Eve Weston and Martin McGreevy  

(Jury members were Araceli Lemos, Marc Mounier and Edson Oda) 

SVFF Film & Screenwriting Competition Winners  

High Scribe Award – The High Scribe honors an emerging voice in screenwriting with Academy Award Winning screenwriter Will McCormack and co-writers of Fancy Dance, Miciana Alise and Erica Tremblay.  

Winner: “The First Michael” written by Michael Buonocore  

Sun Valley Junior Filmmaker Awards – Showcases student-made films and encourages students in their craft, storytelling and self-expression.  

Hot Shot Winner:Clairvoyant” written by Elijah Anthony Feigner  

Second Place: “Room 101” written by Jerad Monasch  

Third Place: Tie between “Ovaryacting” written by Jordan Held and “Hard Core” written by Madeleine Case  

The Gem State Jr. Award – The best short film made in Idaho by a Junior Filmmaker. The films in the Idaho Shorts program are eligible for this award.  

Winner: “Pong” written by Fynn Erman  

(Jury members were Richard Chew, Mort Nathan, David Friendly and Priscilla Nedd-Friendly) 

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