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Chinonye Chukwu is the First Black Woman to Win Sundance Biggest Prize

Nigerians are always ready to show their trailblazing spirit anywhere they go, today we are happy to celebrate a Nigerian-American filmmaker, Chinonye Chukwu, who emerged as the first Black woman to win the Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize for her U.S. Dramatic entry, “Clemency.’’
Chinonye who is a Nigerian-born, Alaskan-raised screenwriter, producer, and director, has received several recognitions, grants, and awards for her works.

She joins Desiree Akhavan, Ryan Coogler, Damien Chazelle, Rebecca Miller, and many more many more big names as winning the Grand Jury Prize for their U.S. Dramatic entries, says IndieWire online news platform.

PARK CITY, UTAH – FEBRUARY 02: Director Chinonye Chukwu speaks onstage during the Sundance Film Festival Awards Night Ceremony at Basin Recreation Field House on February 02, 2019 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Her film, “Clemency,” a gripping death row drama starring Alfre Woodard, as a prison warden struggling with the emotional demands of her job, won the festival’s biggest prize, the Grand Jury Prize for U.S. dramatic entry.

In 2012, Director Ava DuVernay became the first Black woman to win a directing award for her second narrative offering, “ Middle of Nowhere.’’

The filmmaker has also been tapped to direct,“ A Taste of Power’’, an adaptation of former Black Panther leader Elaine Brown’s memoir, the first and only female leader to lead the Black Panther Party.

According to Deadline, Chukwu will work with Blacklist scriptwriter, Alyssa Hill who will adapt the screenplay from the memoir, “A Taste of Power: a Black Woman’s Story.

Other notable Grand Jury Prize winners include Nanfu Wang’s “One Child Nation” (U.S. Documentary), Joanna Hogg’s “The Souvenir” (World Dramatic), and Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov’s “Honeyland” (World Documentary).

In 2018, four female directors took home the individual directing awards, including Sara Colangelo, Alexandria Bombach, Sandi Tan, and Isold Uggadottir.


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