30 Years Of Oscar Winners Who Went Through The Sundance Film Festival

Sundance Films Have Won A Lot More Oscars Than You Thought

What do Woody Allen, Cher, Hilary Swank and Kevin Spacey have in common? They have all won Oscars for films that screened at the Sundance Film Festival.

Two of 2014's most critically acclaimed films, both of which premiered at Sundance, garnered a combined 11 Oscar nominations: "Boyhood" for Best Picture, Best Director (Richard Linklater), Best Supporting Actor (Ethan Hawke), Best Supporting Actress (Patricia Arquette), Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing; "Whiplash" for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (J.K Simmons), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing and Best Sound Mixing. (Other Sundance selections up for Oscars this year include "Last Days in Vietnam" and "Ida.")

The version of the Sundance Film Festival that we know today began in 1985, and has funneled films into the Academy Awards with remarkable frequency. Since a comprehensive look at all nominations was far too long, we decided to highlight Oscar winners (both films and performances) that traveled through Sundance on their way to glory. We call it the Sundance Effect:

86th Academy Awards (2014)

20 feet
Jo Lawry, Judith Hill and Lisa Fischer in "20 Feet From Stardom."

Documentary Feature: "20 Feet From Stardom," Morgan Neville

85th Academy Awards (2013)

sugar man
An undated photo of musician Sixto Rodriguez, the focus of the award-winning film "Searching for Sugar Man."

Documentary (Feature): "Searching for Sugar Man," Malik Bendjelloul and Simon Chinn

83rd Academy Awards (2011)

in a better world

Foreign Language Film: "In a Better World," Denmark, Susanne Bier

82nd Academy Awards (2010)

Mo’Nique with her Oscar at the 2010 Academy Awards.

Actress in a Supporting Role: Mo’Nique, "Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire"

Documentary (Feature): "The Cove," Louie Psihoyos and Fisher Stevens

Short Film (Animated): "Logorama," Nicolas Schmerkin

81st Academy Awards (2009)

man on wire james marsh
French high wire artist Philippe Petit walks across a tightrope suspended between the World Trade Center's Twin Towers in New York in 1974.

Documentary (Feature): "Man on Wire," James Marsh

80th Academy Awards (2008)

academy award statue

Documentary (Short): "Freeheld," Cynthia Wade and Vanessa Roth

79th Academy Awards (2007)

little miss sunshine

Actor in a Supporting Role: Alan Arkin, "Little Miss Sunshine"

Best Original Screenplay: Michael Arndt, "Little Miss Sunshine"

Documentary (Feature): "An Inconvenient Truth," Davis Guggenheim

Music (Original Song): "I Need to Wake Up," "An Inconvenient Truth", Melissa Etheridge

Short Film (Live Action): "West Bank Story," Ari Sandel

78th Academy Awards (2006)

hustle and flow
Jordan Houston, Paul Beauregard and Cedric Coleman of Three 6 Mafia with their Oscars.

Music (Original Song): “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp," "Hustle and Flow," Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman, Paul Beauregard

77th Academy Awards (2005)

born into brothels

Documentary (Feature): "Born Into Brothels," Ross Kaufman and Zana Briski

Music (Written for Motion Picture, original song): “Al Otra Lado Del Rio,” "The Motorcycle Diaries," Jorge Drexler

Short (Animated): "Ryan," Chris Landreth

Short (Live Action): "Wasp," Andrea Arnold

76th Academy Awards (2004)

harvie krumpet

Short Film (Animated): "Harvie Krumpet," Adam Elliot

75th Academy Awards (2003)

twin tower attack

Documentary (Short): "Twin Towers," Bill Guttentag and Robert David Port

72nd Academy Awards (2000)

hilary swank boys dont cry

Actress in a Leading Role: Hilary Swank, "Boys Don’t Cry"

71st Academy Awards (1999)

james coburn affliction

Actor in a Supporting Role: James Coburn, "Affliction"

Adapted Screenplay: "Gods And Monsters," Bill Condon

70th Academy Awards (1998)

the full monty

Music (Original Music or Comedy Score): "The Full Monty," Anne Dudley

69th Academy Awards (1997)

Leon Gast and David Sonenberg with their Oscars backstage at the 69th Annual Academy Awards.

Documentary (Feature): "When We Were Kings," Leon Gast, David Sonenberg

Documentary (Short Subject): "Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O’Brien," Jessica Yu

68th Academy Awards (1996)

the usual suspects Kevin Spacey and his mother Kathleen at the 68th Annual Academy Awards.

Actor in a Supporting Role: Kevin Spacey, "The Usual Suspects"

Original Screenplay: "The Usual Suspects," Christopher McQuarrie

67th Academy Awards (1995)

academy award statue

Short Film (Live Action): Tie between two films
"Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life," Peter Capaldi, Ruth Kenley-Letts
"Trevor," Peggy Rajski, Randy Stone

66th Academy Awards (1994)

black rider

Short Film: "Black Rider (Schwarzfahrer)," Pepe Danquart

65th Academy Awards (1993)

mona lisa descending a staircase

Short Film (Animated): "Mona Lisa Descending A Staircase," Joan C. Gratz

64th Academy Awards (1992)

irving saraf
Producer Allie Light and producer Irving Saraf attend the 64th Annual Academy Awards.

Documentary (Feature): "In The Shadow Of The Stars," Allie Light and Irving Saraf

Short Film (Live Action): "Session Man," Seth Winston, Rob Fried

63rd Academy Awards (1991)

american dream

Documentary (Feature): "American Dream," Barbara Kopple and Arthur Kohn

62nd Academy Awards (1990)


Foreign Language Film: "Cinema Paradiso," Italy, Giuseppe Tornatore

60th Academy Awards (1988)

cher moonstruck
Cher at the 1986 Academy Awards.

Actress in a Leading Role: Cher, "Moonstruck"

Actress in a Supporting Role: Olympia Dukakis, "Moonstruck"

59th Academy Awards (1987)

michael caine hannah and her sisters
Michael Caine And Barbara Hershey In "Hannah And Her Sisters"

Actor in a Supporting Role: Michael Caine, "Hannah And Her Sisters"

Actress in a Supporting Role: Dianne Weist, "Hannah And Her Sisters"

Original Screenplay: "Hannah And Her Sisters," Woody Allen

58th Academy Awards (1986)

geraldine page the trip to bountiful
William Hurt, Anjelica Huston, Geraldine Page and director and producer Sidney Pollack pose with their Oscars.

Actress in a Leading Role: Geraldine Page, "The Trip To Bountiful"

57th Academy Awards (1985)

the times of harvey milk
Harvey Milk poses in front of his camera shop in San Francisco in 1977.

Documentary (Feature): The Times Of Harvey Milk," Robert Epstein and Richard Schmiechen

Original Screenplay: "El Norte," Gregory Nava, Anna Thomas

Before You Go

Angelina Jolie in Elie Saab

Oscars Red Carpet 2014

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