‘Taipei Suicide Story’ Sweeps Top Awards At Slamdance Film Festival

The Slamdance Film Festival unveiled winners for its 27th edition Thursday, with the compact drama Taipei Suicide Story directed by KEFF taking both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award for narrative features and the best actor prize during a virtual awards ceremony.

The drama is about a receptionist at a suicide hotel in Taipei who forms a friendship over the course of one night with a guest who can’t decide if she wants to live or die. The pic, which was also in the official Cinéfondation selection of the 2020 Cannes Film Festival, runs 45 minutes.

Tender Huang, who plays the hotel receptionist, was named best actor during the ceremony wrapping this year’s edition, which ran as a virtual edition February 12-25.

“For a film that is concise and emotionally effective as it portrays isolation with humanity and complex pathos,” the jury said in its comments about the pic today. The jury awarded honorable mention for the narrative prize to Jayden Stevens’ A Family.

Other juried winners in the selection of 15 world premieres in its 20-film competition lineup and 107 short films in eight categories included Code Name: Nagasaki directed by Fredrik S. Hana in the Documentary Features category and Simon Lavoie’s No Trace in the Breakout Features lineup. Also awarded was the first jury award in the Unstoppable lineup, which featured 22 short films that come from up-and-coming disabled filmmakers, feature actors with disabilities, and/or highlight the conversation of disabilities in today’s world. That prize went to Jocelyn Tamayao’s The Bin.

The winner of this year’s AGBO Fellowship, presented by Slamdance alumni Joe and Anthony Russo along with their colleagues, is Agnieszka Polska, director of Hurrah, We Are Still Alive! She received the $25,000 prize and will get mentoring support from the studio.

Here’s the full list of 2021 winners:

Jury Awards

Narrative Features

Grand Jury Prize: Taipei Suicide Story directed by KEFF (Taiwan)

Honorable Mention: A Family directed by Jayden Stevens (Australia)

Documentary Features

Grand Jury Prize: Code Name: Nagasaki directed by Fredrik S. Hana (Austria)

Breakout Features

Grand Jury Prize: No Trace directed by Simon Lavoie (Canada)

Honorable Mention: A Black Rift Begins to Yawn directed by Matthew Wade (USA)

Documentary Shorts

Grand Jury Prize: Unforgivable directed by Marlén Viñayo (El Salvador)

Honorable Mention: Ain’t No Time for Women directed by Sarra El Abed (Canada)

Unstoppable Shorts presented by Hulu

Grand Jury Prize: The Bin directed by Jocelyn Tamayao (Philippines)

Honorable Mention: Feeling Through directed by Doug Roland (USA), Full Picture directed by Jacob Reed (USA)

Narrative Shorts

Grand Jury Prize: In France Michelle is a Man’s Name directed by Em Weinstein (USA)

Honorable Mention: MADA (Mother) directed by Joseph Douglas Elmhirst (USA), Delimitation directed by Tereza Vejvodova (Czech Republic)

Experimental Shorts

Grand Jury Prize: Passage directed by Ann Oren (Germany)

Honorable Mention: Mountain Lodge directed by Jordan Wong (USA)

Animated Shorts

Grand Jury Prize: Return to the Peach Blossom Wonderland directed by Haomin Peng, Yue Huang, Yuchao Luo (China)

Honorable Mention: Lizard Ladder directed by Ted Wiggin (USA)

Slamdance Acting Award

Tender Huang, Taipei Suicide Story (Taiwan)

Honorable mention: Michelle Uranowitz, The Ultimate (by Lou Fescano) (USA)

The AGBO Fellowship Award

Agnieszka Polska, director of Hurrah, We Are Still Alive! (Poland)

Slamdance Founder Award

Tilane Jones, President of ARRAY (USA)

George Starks Spirit of Slamdance Award

Chelsea Christer, director of Bleeding Audio (USA)

Honorable Mention: Mohammad Mohammadian, director of LIFE (Iran)

CreativeFuture Innovation Award

● Opera by Erick Oh

Audience Awards

Narrative Feature

Taipei Suicide Story directed by KEFF (Taiwan)

Documentary Feature

Holy Frit directed by Justin Monroe (USA)


The Little Broomstick Rider directed by Matteo Bernardini (Italy).

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