The Best of Sundance 2019: Solzy Awards Edition

Kara Hayward and Liana Liberato appear in To The Stars by Martha Stephens, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute. Photo by Andrew Reed.

The 2019 Sundance Film Festival has come and gone but some films and performances have left a lasting impression on my mind.


  1. Brittany Runs A Marathon
  2. Late Night
  3. To The Stars
  4. Little Monsters
  5. Corporate Animals
  6. The Report
  7. Greener Grass
  8. Blinded by the Light
  9. Adam
  10. Luce


  1. Apollo 11
  2. Sea of Shadows
  3. Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins
  4. Stieg Larsson: The Man Who Played With Fire
  5. Mike Wallace Is Here


  1. Bootstrapped
  2. Work In Progress


  1. The Rat
  2. Sundowners


While I enjoyed the use of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” in Little Monsters and the David Bowie-heavy soundtrack of Troop Zero, Blinded by the Light takes home the honors here.  The Gurinder Chadha-directed film takes the prize here with a film that perfectly weaves in the music of the great New Jersey rabbi, Bruce Springsteen.

All of this said, my award for Best Original Song goes to “Teddy’s Lament” in Little Monsters.  The song is performed by Josh Gad & Gareth Davies and written by Josh Gad, Piers Burbrook de Vere & Abraham Forsythe.


  • Best Actor
    • Kelvin Harrison Jr., Luce
    • Adam Driver, The Report
    • Viveik Kalra, Blinded by the Light
    • Noah Jupe, Honey Boy
  • Best Actress
    • Alfre Woodard, Clemency
    • Emma Thompson, Late Night
    • Jillian Bell, Brittany Runs A Marathon
    • Kara Hayward; To The Stars
    • Lupita Nyong’o, Little Monsters
    • Wendi McLendon-Covey, Imaginary Order
  • Best Supporting Actor
    • Shia LeBeouf, Honey Boy
    • Tony Hale, To The Stars
    • Shea Whigham, To The Stars
    • Walter Goggins, Them That Follow
  • Best Supporting Actress
    • Jordana Spiro, To The Stars
    • Annette Bening, The Report
    • Demi Moore, Corporate Animals
    • Octavia Spencer, Luce
    • Naomi Watts, Luce


To The Stars continued to grow on me during Sundance with the black and white photography.  As such, this award is going to Andrew Reed.


While most people will expect a narrative feature here, this one is going to a documentary that blew me away: Todd Douglas Miller for Apollo 11.  Today marks four weeks since sitting down for the world premiere and I can’t stop thinking about this film.  It isn’t just the 65mm footage that was discovered but the 11,000 hours of audio recordings that help bring this film to life.  You read that correctly: 11,000 hours of audio recordings.

The 2019 Sundance Film Festival was held January 24-February 3, 2019.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.