Sundance Announces 2021 Film Festival Jury, Cynthia Erivo, Julie Dash Among the Jurors

Cynthia Erivo attends the 73rd Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 09, 2019 in New York City.
Cynthia Erivo attends the 73rd Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 09, 2019 in New York City.
Photo: Nicholas Hunt (Getty Images)

Sundance has announced their Film Festival Jury for 2021, highlighting some of the best and brightest across film, art, and culture.


In a press release sent to The Root, over 20 tastemakers make up this year’s jury and will have the honor of presenting both feature-length and short films with the coveted award.

“Our jurors have reached a high level of achievement in their individual fields, and can bring their unique perspective to the process of analyzing and evaluating films,” said the Festival’s Director of Programming Kim Yutani. “We’re pleased to bring this accomplished, creative group together, and look forward to hearing their thoughts.”

As usual, the awards will be decided upon by six section juries, with the Festival audiences helping to determine who will take home the Audience Award. Those six section juries include U.S. Dramatic, U.S. Documentary, World Cinema Dramatic, World Cinema Documentary, Next Jurors, Short Film jury, and the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize. Julie Dash, who took home the 1991 Sundance Film Festival Award for Best Cinematography for Daughters of the Dust, will judge in the U.S. Dramatic jury along with Tony-award winning singer and actress Cynthia Erivo and The New York Times Style Magazine Editor-in-Chief Hanya Yanagihara.

Jurors for the U.S. Documentary section include Criterion Collection curatorial director Ashley Clark, BAFTA-winning director Joshua Oppenheimer, and Emmy-winning director Lana Wilson, whose latest film Miss Americana premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Cannes Film Festival winner Zeynep Atakan, along with Isaac Julien and Daniela Vega will judge for the World Cinema Dramatic section.

As for the World Cinema Documentary Jury, Kim Longinotto, Mohamed Said Ouma, and 2018 Sundance Film Festival Award-winner Jean Tsien are among the selected. Next and Short Film Jurors include Kate and Laura Mulleavy, Raúl Castillo, Tacita Dean, and Inge de Leeuw, respectively. Rounding off the Alfred P. Sloan Film Prize Jury are: Joy Buolamwini, founder of the Algorithmic Justice League; Aneesh Chaganty, whose second film Run is currently streaming in Hulu; Dr. Mandë Holford, associate professor of chemistry at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York; Academy Award-nominated director Lydia Dean Pilcher; and Lena Vurma, a Film Independent and Tribeca Film Institute fellow and previous Alfred P. Sloan grant winner.


The 2021 Sundance Film Festival will be fully available online starting January 28 due to the ongoing pandemic. To purchase tickets, visit their website.