Film Awards

The 2017 ceremony will take place on Tuesday, March 14 at the Paramount Theatre.

2016 SXSW Film Awards - Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images

2016 SXSW Film Awards - Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images

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About Film Awards


Taking place halfway through the 9-day SXSW Film Festival, the SXSW Film Awards Presented by FilmStruck honors the superlative creativity and talent demonstrated by filmmakers and designers in the SXSW program.

The 2017 ceremony will take place on Tuesday, March 14 at the Paramount Theatre and cover only juried competition awards. Audience Awards are always revealed later in the week on and social media channels. While the SXSW Film Awards are always a highlight, SXSW continues to screen films in the days after the ceremony.

SXSW is also proud to be an official qualifying festival for the Academy Awards® Short Film competition as well as a BAFTA-recognized festival for the purposes of eligibility for the Short Film category at the EE British Academy Film Awards. See more information on Oscars and BAFTA eligibility.

Learn more about Film Awards categories, view the 2016 SXSW Film Awards Winners, and stay tuned to SXSW News for the latest Film Festival updates throughout the season.

2016 SXSW Film Award Winners

More About FilmStruck

FilmStruck is a new streaming service for serious film fans, offering a comprehensive library including indie, contemporary and classic art house, foreign and cult films. It is the exclusive streaming home of The Criterion Collection.

Film Awards Donations

A special thank you for SXSW 2016 Film Awards graciously donated by: AudioBlocks, Audio-Technica, Bat City Awards, Blackmagic Design, The Criterion Collection, Digital Bolex, Gamechanger Films, GraphicStock, Hawaii Camera, Hive Lighting, Maxwell Locke & Ritter LLP, Mild2Wild Leather, MoviePass, olloclip, Panasonic, Panavision, Pond5, Technicolor, Time Warner|OneFifty, and VideoBlocks.

Film Awards Categories


Jury Awards

Feature films screening in the Documentary Feature and Narrative Feature categories are eligible for Jury Awards.

Short films screening in the Animated Shorts, Documentary Shorts, Midnight Shorts, Music Videos, Narrative Shorts, Texas Shorts, and Texas High School Shorts categories are eligible for Jury Awards.

The Shorts Program is presented by OneFifty, a new content incubator from Time Warner, home of Warner Bros., HBO, and Turner. Our projects and artists represent the future of storytelling, offering innovative and fresh perspectives that resonate with new and emerging audiences globally.

Audience Awards

In addition to Jury Awards, all feature films (excluding Special Events) are eligible for Audience Awards by screening section.

Special Awards

Special Awards include the Louis Black “Lone Star Award”, Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship, and the SXSW Gamechanger Award, which honors an outstanding woman director.

Design Awards

Each year SXSW Film celebrates the collaboration between filmmakers and designers through the SXSW Film Design Awards, which consists of the Excellence in Poster Design Award and Excellence in Title Design Award.

2016 Film Award Winners


SXSW Film Awards Presented by Panasonic - 2016 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival

SXSW Feature Film Jury Awards

Narrative Feature Competition

Grand Jury Winner: The Arbalest
Director: Adam Pinney

Special Jury Recognition for Best Actor: Andre Royo
Film: Hunter Gatherer

Special Jury Recognition for Best Actress: Lily Rabe
Film: Miss Stevens

Documentary Feature Competition

Grand Jury Winner: TOWER
Director: Keith Maitland

Special Jury Recognition for Portrait Documentary: Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America
Director: Matt Ornstein

Special Jury Recognition for Cinematography: The Seer
Cinematographer: Lee Daniel

SXSW Short Film Jury Awards

Presented by OneFifty, a content incubator from Time Warner Inc.

Narrative Shorts

Jury Award Winner: How Was Your Day?
Director: Damien O’Donnell

Special Jury Recognition for Acting: Jim Cummings
Film: Thunder Road

Special Jury Recognition for Writing: Jocelyn DeBoer & Dawn Luebbe
Film: Greener Grass

Documentary Shorts

Jury Award Winner: These Ccksucking Tears*
Director: Dan Taberski

Special Jury Recognition: Dollhouse
Director: Terri Timely

Midnight Shorts

Jury Award Winner: MANOMAN
Director: Simon Cartwright

Special Jury Recognition: Don’t tell Mom
Director: Sawako Kabuki

Animated Shorts

Jury Award Winner: Glove
Directors: Alexa Lim Haas & Bernardo Britto

Special Jury Recognition: Pombo Loves You
Director: Steve Warne

Music Videos

Jury Award Winner: Childish Gambino – “Sober”
Director: Hiro Murai

Texas Shorts

Jury Award Winner: The Send-Off
Director: Ivete Lucas & Patrick Bresnan

Special Jury Recognition for Acting: Lindsay Pulsipher
Film: 1985

Texas High School Shorts

Jury Award Winner: Lady of Paint Creek
Director: Alexia Salingaros

Special Jury Recognition: The Archer Hadley Story
Directors: Ben Root & Alex Treviño

SXSW Film Design Awards

Excellence in Poster Design

Jury Award Winner: Miss Me: The Artful Vandal
Designer: MissMe

Special Jury Recognition: Night Stalker
Designer: New Media Ltd

Special Jury Recognition: Eat My Shit
Designer: Octavio Terol

Excellence in Title Design

Jury Award Winner: Sunstone
Director: Aimée Duchamp

SXSW Special Awards

SXSW Gamechanger Award
Winner: Sophie Goodhart, My Blind Brother

Louis Black “Lone Star” Award
Winner: TOWER
Director: Keith Maitland

Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship
Presented to: Eileen Meyer

SXSW Audience Awards

Narrative Feature Competition: Transpecos
Director: Greg Kwedar

Documentary Feature Competition: TOWER
Director: Keith Maitland

Headliners: Demolition
Director: Jean-Marc Vallée

Narrative Spotlight: From Nowhere
Director: Matthew Newton

Documentary Spotlight: Mr. Gaga
Director: Tomer Heymann

Visions: Jules and Dolores
Director: Caito Ortiz

Midnighters: I Am a Hero
Director: Shinsuke Sato

Episodic: Vice Principals
Directors: Jody Hill, David Gordon Green, Danny McBride

24 Beats Per Second: Honky Tonk Heaven: Legend of the Broken
Directors: Brenda Greene Mitchell, Sam Wainwright Douglas

SXGlobal: Ghostland
Director: Simon Stadler

Festival Favorites: Gleason
Director: Clay Tweel

Excellence in Title Design: We Are X
Designer: Allison Brownmoore of Blue Spill

SXSW Film Design Awards


Honoring the long-time partnership between designers and filmmakers, the Film Design Awards will return for their 8th year at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival. View the 2016 Film Design Award Winners.

Excellence in Poster Design Award

The SXSW Excellence in Poster Design Award highlights outstanding work from international design and illustration talent. Each year, we curate the SXSW Film Poster Gallery at the Austin Convention Center with poster designs from films featured in the SXSW Film Program. Posters in this dedicated gallery are eligible for the Excellence in Poster Design Award.

Excellence in Title Design Award

The Excellence in Title Design Award was introduced to shine a much needed light on a part of the filmmaking ecosystem that often slips below the radar. These mini-masterworks stand on their own terms, and we’re proud to give this dedicated space alongside the many other facets of SXSW Film.

Shorts Programs: Oscars & BAFTA Eligibility


Having your Animated, Documentary or Narrative short film selected for SXSW is prestigious in its own right. In addition, we’re pleased to count ourselves among the festivals eligible for both Oscars Shorts and BAFTA qualification.

What does this mean for you, short filmmaker?


Winners of the SXSW Best Animated, Best Documentary and Best Narrative Short Film categories become eligible for Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awards.


Any British Short Film or British Short Animation that screens at SXSW is eligible for a BAFTA nomination.


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