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John Boyega and castmates win best ensemble at Sundance film festival 2022

John Boyega and castmates win best ensemble at Sundance film festival 2022 (Ian West/PA)
John Boyega and castmates win best ensemble at Sundance film festival 2022 (Ian West/PA)

John Boyega and his castmates including the late Michael K Williams have been awarded the jury prize for best ensemble cast at the 2022 Sundance film festival.

The cast, which also included Nicole Beharie, Connie Britton, Olivia Washington and Selenis Leyva, received the US Dramatic Special Jury Award: Ensemble Cast for performances in thriller drama film 892.

The film is based on the true story of Lance Corporal Brian Brown-Easley and his difficult transition back to civilian life.

When the veteran’s disability check fails to materialise from Veterans Affairs, he finds himself on the brink of homelessness and breaking his daughter’s heart.

With no other options he walks into a Wells Fargo Bank and declares “I’ve got a bomb”.

“These actors represent the best of their craft, bringing their humanity required to tell Lance Corporal Brian Brown-Easley’s heartbreaking story to the screen,” said Sundance juror Payman Maadi.

The film was directed by Abi Damaris Corbin, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Kwame Kwei-Armah.

Star Wars star Boyega said previously he had “personally requested” to work with Williams in the film, and the experience had been “incredible”.

He said The Wire actor, who died last year, brought “good energy” to the project and he was “extremely appreciative” to be involved.

This year’s Sundance film festival has been held completely online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Other top jury prizes were given to Nanny (US dramatic film), The Exiles (US documentary), All That Breathes (world cinema documentary) and Utama (world cinema dramatic film).

US documentary Navalny, a fly-on-the-wall documentary thriller about anti-authoritarian Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, won the audience documentary award and the festival favourite award.

“The 2022 Sundance Film Festival once again met our audience wherever they happened to be,” added Sundance Film Festival director Tabitha Jackson.

“Whether you watched from home or one of our seven satellite screens, this year’s Festival expressed a powerful convergence; we were present, together, as a community connected through the work.

“And it is work that has already changed those who experienced it.”

Sundance Institute president Joana Vincente added: “Today’s awards represent the determination of visionary individuals, whose dynamic work will continue to change the culture and create discourse throughout the year.

“This year’s entire program has proven that no matter the context, independent storytelling remains a pivotal tool in expanding critical dialogues, and these stories will and must be shared.”

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