Chinonye Chukwu is the first black woman to win biggest prize
Chinonye Chukwu filmmaker of “Clemency” has broken down a new barrier. Chukwu is the first black woman to win the festival’s biggest prize, the Brand Jury Prize for her U.S. Dramatic entry. Chukwu both wrote and directed the death row drama. The film is about prison warden (Alfre Woodard) struggling with the stressful demands of her job. “Alfre Woodard embodies the extraordinary challenges of a woman tasked with sending men to their death, while bottling up her emotions so tight she looks as if she might blow,” written by Eric Kohn from IndieWire’s review.
Chukwu joins Desiree Akhavan, Ryan Coogler, Debra Granik, Damien Chazelle, and many more big names as winning the Grand Jury Prize for their U.S. Dramatic entries. At this year’s festival, women directed 46 percent of the competition films, representing 56 films across four categories.