presented by Brightcove

2021 Film Awards

The Film Awards honor the superlative creativity and talent demonstrated by filmmakers and designers in the SXSW Film Festival program.



2021 Winners


Destin Cretton and Kaitlyn Dever for Short Term 12 World Premiere – 2013 – Photo by Michael Buckner

Destin Cretton and Kaitlyn Dever for Short Term 12 World Premiere – 2013 – Photo by Michael Buckner

About Film Awards

 

The 2021 Film Festival program included 75 features with 57 World Premieres, 3 International Premieres, 4 North American Premieres, 1 U.S. Premieres, 8 Texas Premieres and 53 films from first-time filmmakers + 84 Short Films including Music Videos, 5 Episodic Premieres, 6 Episodic Pilots, 20 Virtual Cinema projects, 14 Title Design entries, plus 34 Special Events.

“We are so honored by the 2021 filmmakers who entrusted their work to us for this online version of our event, and joined us on this new adventure in such a beautiful way. We are thrilled we could launch great new projects and talent in this pandemic year, and hope the films, sessions, music and gatherings online and in virtual reality, showcased the resilience, perseverance and creativity of our community.” – Janet Pierson, Director of Film

Feature films receiving Jury Awards were selected from the Narrative Feature and Documentary Feature Competition categories. Also included are Shorts, Design, Virtual Cinema, and the following Special Awards: Louis Black “Lone Star” Award; Adobe Editing Award; Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award; Final Draft Screenwriters Award; ZEISS Cinematography Award; the Mailchimp Support the Shorts Award; and the Brightcove Illumination Award which honors a filmmaker on the rise, celebrating the innovation and creativity of new artists within the SXSW Film Festival official selections.

All films, except Special Events, were eligible for the SXSW Film Festival Audience Awards voting which took place following the SXSW Online event on Sunday, March 21. Votes were calculated and then certified by the accounting firm of Maxwell Locke & Ritter. View the 2021 Audience Awards Winners.

Explore the 2021 SXSW Film Festival Awards winners by category below with comments from the Juries and winner acceptance videos below. Congrats to all recipients!

Watch the 2021 Film Awards Ceremony

2021 Juries

  • Narrative Feature Competition: Amanda N’Duka, Jake Coyle, Joanna Robinson
  • Documentary Feature Competition: Jacqueline Coley, Sean Fennessey, Steven Zeitchik
  • Louis Black “Lone Star”: Joe Gross, Ann Hornaday, Stephen Saito
  • Brightcove Illumination Award: Clayton Davis, Kate Erbland, Inkoo Kang
  • Narrative Shorts Program: Janicza Bravo, Karen Han, Ina Pira
  • Documentary Shorts: Opal H. Bennett, Omid Fatemi, Sheila Nevins
  • Animated Shorts: Bryan Dimas, Chris Prynoski, Taylor K. Shaw
  • Midnight Shorts: Jason Blum, Arbi Pedrossian, Kristy Puchko
  • Music Videos: Hugo Burnham, Michael Kauffman, Kristian Mercado
  • Texas Shorts: Sarah Green, Paula Mejía, Monique Walton
  • Texas High School Shorts: Laura Kincaid, Hans-Martin Liebing, Cooper Raiff
  • Episodic Pilots: Jessica Derschowitz, Yassir Lester, Ben Wasserstein
  • Excellence in Title Design: Brian Mah, Brian Merrell, Erin Sarofsky
  • Excellence in Poster Design: Damon Nelson, Yen Tan, Erica Williams
  • Virtual Cinema Competition: Myriam Achard, Jesse Damiani, Liz Rosenthal

Awards Eligibility

SXSW is proud to be an official qualifying festival for the Film Independent Spirit Awards, the Academy Awards® Short Film Awards, and the British Academy Film Awards for British Short Film and British Short Animation. See more information on Awards eligibility.


2021 SXSW Film Awards Presented by Brightcove

When video is done right, it can have a powerful and lasting effect. Hearts open. Minds change. Creativity thrives. Since 2004, Brightcove has been helping customers discover and experience the incredible power of video through its award-winning technology, empowering organizations in more than 70 countries across the globe to touch audiences in bold and innovative ways. Video is the world’s most compelling, exciting medium. Brightcove is Video That Means Business.

2021 Winners

 

Feature Film Grand Jury Awards

Narrative Feature Competition

Winner

The Fallout
Director: Megan Park

The Fallout takes us through the emotionally charged healing journey of a young girl whose life is forever changed in the wake of a school tragedy. Writer and director Megan Park delivers a timely, riveting, and thought-provoking film on the toll it takes on a teenager who is facing a world where they no longer feel safe. It is an intense, moving piece that highlights an important issue to which one can’t help but feel connected.”

Special Jury Recognition for Multi-hyphenate Storyteller

I’m Fine (Thanks for Asking)
Directors: Kelley Kali and Angelique Molina

“Kelley Kali’s I’m Fine (Thanks for Asking), financed in part by stimulus relief checks, is a marvel of multitasking and resourcefulness. Kali’s film, which she wrote, directed, produced and stars in, winningly captures the pandemic plight of a homeless, roller-skating single mother over a memorable daylong odyssey.”

Special Jury Recognition for Breakthrough Performance

Islands
Director: Martin Edralin
Actor: Rogelio Balagtas

Islands gives us the story of a painfully shy man set adrift in the world by the declining health of the parents who sheltered him. This story, of someone blooming late in life, hinges on the tremendously compelling, interior performance from relative newcomer Rogelio Balagtas who can break hearts throughout with his tears and enables the movie to transcend with a single smile.”

Documentary Feature Competition

Winner

Lily Topples the World
Director: Jeremy Workman

“A joyful portrait of grace in artistry and commitment in engineering, Lily Topples the World shows a life online that transcends virality and touches something deeper. In Lily Hevesh, aka Hevesh5, the film features a collaborative, creative soul who comes by community and entrepreneurship naturally. A rare achievement in nonjudgmental subcultural exploration and a gorgeously rendered portrait of burgeoning adulthood that tumbles forward, like Lily’s domino art, into something beautiful.”

Special Jury Recognition for Exceptional Intimacy in Storytelling

Introducing, Selma Blair
Director: Rachel Fleit

“Selma Blair’s unflinching and raw vulnerability in Introducing, Selma Blair, coupled with director Rachel Fleit’s almost voyeuristic chronicling of her MS diagnosis, invites us not just to feel empathy for the star. More than that, it invites us into her fight, prompting anyone watching to feel joined with her in battle. That level of disarming intimacy is rarely witnessed on screen, particularly from a public figure, making the feat all the more incredible.”

Special Jury Recognition for Humanity in Social Action

Not Going Quietly
Director: Nicholas Bruckman

“Activist is a word much used in contemporary culture. But few give expression to it like Ady Barkan, a California organizer who, upon being diagnosed with ALS in his early 30s, responds not with self-pitying convalescence but by barnstorming his fight across the country, bringing a movement with him. Barkan’s tale suggests that grace is not incompatible with ardor, and hardship no obstacle to achievement. Bruckman’s film captures him and the powerful women who lead his fight in ways that are richly human, always affectionate and frequently rousing.”

Short Film Grand Jury Awards

Narrative Shorts

Winner

Play It Safe
Director: Mitch Kalisa

“We were so thrilled by the varied, inventive selection of films in the Narrative Shorts competition this year. Of the shorts, we have decided to award the Jury Award to Play It Safe, for approaching oft-addressed topics in a new way, for its incredible main performance, for its thoughtful direction, and compelling cinematography.”

Special Jury Recognition for Visionary Storytelling

Don’t Go Tellin’ Your Momma
Directors: Topaz Jones, rubberband.

“We are awarding Don’t Go Tellin’ Your Momma a Special Jury Recognition for Visionary Storytelling for its bold filmmaking and mix of music, visuals, and documentary footage.”

Special Jury Recognition for Direction

Like the Ones I Used to Know
Director: Annie St-Pierre

“We are awarding Like the Ones I Used to Know a Special Jury Recognition for Direction, as its weaving between reality and flights of fancy make it a Christmas tale to remember. Congratulations to all of the filmmakers this year, and thank you for your new works!”

Documentary Shorts

Winner

Águilas
Directors: Kristy Guevara-Flanagan and Maite Zubiaurre

Águilas is a film that most poignantly displays the need immigrants feel to come to America — even at the cost of starvation and death. Failed attempts are presented by a backpack, a sweater, and scattered bones. How desperate the dream is of a perfect landing that ends so tragically.”

Special Jury Recognition for Courage

Red Taxi
Director: Anonymous

Red Taxi is a film that is being recognized for its courage. The type of courage that spans the definition of the word. The subjects are courageous, the filmmakers are courageous, and the film itself is courageous both stylistically and in the way it speaks on an issue through editing that is measured, considered, and understanding of the complexities of the post-colonial project.”

Special Jury Recognition for Poetry

I Ran From It and Was Still in It
Director: Darol Olu Kae

“Its title invites audiences to expect a wholly distinct storytelling experience and this film delivers. For its audacious storytelling through textured imagery, bold structure and lyrical approach, we award this special achievement to I Ran From It and Was Still In It.”

Midnight Shorts

Winner

The Moogai
Director: Jon Bell

The Moogai is a haunting, psychological thriller that explores postpartum depression in an impressive display of disciplined filmmaking that stuck the landing at every pivotal moment. The cinematography is striking, the actor’s performances are brave, and the underlying commentary on a country’s forced removal of generations of children is heartbreaking. Filmmaker Jon Bell’s film affected us on so many levels that we proudly recognize it with the Jury Award prize.”

Special Jury Recognition for Bold Vision

Stuffed
Director: Theo Rhys

Stuffed proudly presents a story grisly and grotesque yet beautifully bittersweet. Director and co-writer Theo Rhys stitches together a world of rot, flesh, and leather, then brings it to radiant life with curious characters and striking songs of dark dreams, lifting love, and the ultimate sacrifice. It is with shock and awe that we award this strange and sensational short a Jury Recognition for Bold Vision.”

Animated Shorts

Winner

Nuevo Rico
Director: Kristian Mercado

“Be prepared for this dystopian tragedy to rip your hair out by the roots and pour liquid vaporwave rainbows directly onto your brain’s tongue. A cautionary tale of friendship and fame, Nuevo Rico slaps convention to the ground and stomps on it with steel toed boots of satisfying stylistic innovation. Kristian Mercado Figueroa doesn’t give a fuck — and gives all the fucks at the same time. If you’ve never wrestled a laser snake in a Lambo going two hundred off a cliff into an iridescent volcano, Nuevo Rico will make you feel like you have.”

Special Jury Recognition for Innovation

KKUM
Director: Kang Min Kim

“An awe inspiring masterclass in creativity, resourcefulness, and innovative lighting and stop-motion techniques. This film manages to elevate simplistic materials to create mesmerizing sequences, while also taking you on a poetic, dreamy, and emotional journey that serves as a beautiful tribute to a mother’s love.”

Special Jury Recognition for Storytelling

Your Own Bullshit
Director: Daria Kopiec

“We the jury have selected Your Own Bullshit for a Jury Recognition for Storytelling for its masterful and experimental take on a vastly relatable human story. Its stylistic choices, humor, sound design, character development, and pace bring excitement to a topic under which it is not easy to push boundaries. Yet, it does just that.”

Music Videos

Winner

Madame Gandhi – ‘Waiting for Me’
Director: Misha Ghose

“Of all the wonderful works nominated, Madame Gandhi’s ‘Waiting for Me’, directed by Misha Ghose, soared to the top for its compelling visuals, rich color palettes, and vital message of empowerment and self-expression. The video supported and enhanced both the song and the artist. This video and this artist deserve to be shared, seen, and heard by everyone. Everywhere.”

Special Jury Recognition for How the Hell Did They Do That?!

Waze & Odyssey, George Michael, Mary J. Blige & Tommy Theo – ‘Always’
Director: Nelson de Castro

“The Jury would also like to award the music video for ‘Always’ by Waze & Odyssey with a Special Jury ‘How the Hell Did They Do That?!’ recognition.”

Special Jury Recognition for Pure Joy

Kuricorder Quartet – ‘Southpaw’
Director: Sawako Kabuki

“The Jury would further like to recognize for pure joy, the music video, ‘Southpaw’ by Kuricorder Quartet, directed by Sawako Kabuki.”

Texas Shorts

Winner

Summer Animals
Director: Haley Elizabeth Anderson

Summer Animals, Haley Elizabeth Anderson’s short film entry for SXSW 2021, captivated us with its naturalistic style and layered approach to storytelling. Ostensibly a story about three siblings and their quest to find a moment of relief — or a pool to cannonball into — during a particularly grueling summer, the film evolves into something else entirely, and is anchored by the cast’s stellar performances and Anderson’s clear-eyed direction.”

Special Jury Recognition for Vision

O Black Hole!
Director: Renee Zhan

“This imaginative journey explores a literal impression of its title and a figurative one. It’s otherworldly imagery, music and sound design combined for an emotional experience that surprised us at every turn.”

Texas High School Shorts

Winner

A Really Dark Comedy
Director: Manasi Ughadmathe

A Really Dark Comedy is a well-crafted comedy short that weaves together great comedic timing, excellent chemistry between its two leads, and some surprising twists. We found it to be a breath of fresh air in a pandemic year where everyone could use a (really dark) laugh.”

Special Jury Recognition for Directing

Beyond the Model
Director: Jessica Lin

“The power of this documentary comes from the artistry and sensitivity of its director, Jessica Lin. Parts observational and parts reflexive, Beyond the Model’s clear voice stems from a desire to allow its subjects to breathe and share, making for an organic, poignant, and insightful short.”

Episodic Pilot Competition

Winner

4 Feet High
Directors: Maria Belen Poncio and Rosario Perazolo Masjoan

“For its beautifully cinematic and heartfelt coming-of-age story, with a confident performance from a standout lead actress, the jury is awarding this year’s top prize to 4 Feet High. The episode is thrillingly unique from its opening minutes, with a strong point of view and an engaging central character whose journey feels keenly specific but also evokes universal high school experiences — and while the story takes its time, there is never a wasted frame. We commend the cast and creative team for telling this a moving story in such an assured way.”

Special Jury Recognition for Best Duo

Pretend Partners
Director: Ron Najor

“For their witty script and genuine onscreen chemistry, the Special Jury Recognition for Best Duo goes to Kristin Erickson and Ron Najor for Pretend Partners. As showrunners, screenwriters, producers, and stars of the project (in addition to Najor directing), Erickson and Najor created an inventive take on the romantic comedy that was sweet and hilarious in equal measure, and then carried that story themselves as its central characters.”

SXSW Film Design Awards Presented by Adobe

Poster Design Competition

Winner

Bob Moses Featuring ZHU – ‘Desire’
Creative Director: Owen Brown
Art Director and Illustrator: Benjámin Kalászi
Graphic Designer: Diego L. Rodríguez (Paramoidme)

“A visually gripping design, this poster draws you into a surreal moment frozen in time where something you want so badly seems just out of reach. We were struck by the electric color palette, bold typography and dreamy illustration style that evokes flight, time travel, and science fiction. Everything in this poster just feels intriguing and we are so excited to award the Excellence in Poster Design Winner to ‘Desire’!”

Special Jury Recognition

The Box
Designers: James Burns and Shal Ngo, Aleksander Walijewski

“A mix of bold graphics, creative typography, and emotive imagery, this poster grabs attention and pulls you into the narrative of prisoners in criminal reform systems and isolation. Spending a moment with the imagery feels like a window into the film and the minds of those enduring their own boxes, both tangible and the ones built in our minds. Overall, this poster was interesting, thought provoking, and wove together narrative and design in striking ways. Brava! We’re thrilled to give a Special Jury Recognition to ‘The Box’!”

Title Design Competition

Winner

The Queen’s Gambit Title Sequence
Designer: Saskia Marka

“Using simple geometric forms and a restrained palette, these titles spring to life through elegant motion design that captures the spirit of the protagonist’s brilliant mental calculations.”

Special Jury Recognition

Birds Of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn Title Sequence
Designer: Michael Riley

“This sequence embodies everything a great title should: The tone is a perfect match for the movie, the style is unique and ownable, and the visual narrative keeps the audience engaged and delighted throughout.”

Virtual Cinema Competition

Winner

Samsara
Director: Huang Hsin-Chien

Samsara provokes existential questions about the future of humanity and consciousness. From the evolution of users’ hands to the rhythmic juxtaposition of vignettes, every detail is weighted in metaphor. The result is a work that compresses a universe into a few minutes; audiences are left to reflect on humanity as a collective macro-organism—as experienced through the machine.”

Special Jury Recognition for Immersive Journalism

Reeducated
Director: Sam Wolson

Reeducated offers a glimpse into a horrifying world obscured from public view. Through illustration and testimony from three people who lived through the internment camps in Xinjiang, we learn about the brutal practices used against the Uyghur ethnic minority. It’s a striking piece of 360 cinema that makes a clear argument for the unique affordances of immersive formats for telling stories, establishing a powerful logic and vocabulary through the use of composition, scale, pace, and perspective.”

SXSW Special Awards

Brightcove Illumination Award

The Brightcove Illumination Award honors a filmmaker on the rise, celebrating the innovation and creativity of new artists within the SXSW Film Festival official selections.

Brightcove Illumination Award Presented to:

The Fallout
Director: Megan Park

“For her empathetic and honest exploration of life after tragedy, inspired craft, and stellar guidance of a talented young cast, we award the Brightcove Illumination Award to Megan Park for her film The Fallout.”

Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award

In honor of a filmmaker whose work strives to be wholly its own, without regard for norms or desire to conform. The Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award is presented to a filmmaker from our Visions screening category.

Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award Presented to:

Delia Derbyshire – the Myths and the Legendary Tapes
Director: Caroline Catz

Adobe Editing Award

Adobe is committed to celebrating creativity for all and empowering everyone to bring their stories to life. By creating greater opportunity for all voices, we can enact change in our communities and move the world forward. We are proud to celebrate the art and craft of editing as we grant the Adobe Editing Award at the SXSW Film Awards. We are also pleased to spotlight this year’s incredible title and poster designers through the Film Design Awards presented by Adobe.

Adobe Editing Award Presented to:

R#J
Editor: Lam Nguyen

Final Draft Screenwriters Award

Final Draft, the industry standard in screenwriting software, is proud to support SXSW and provide the second SXSW Final Draft Screenwriters Award. We pride ourselves in shining a spotlight on new voices in the writing and filmmaking community, and coming together with like-minded organizations, such as SXSW, that share the same core values. A huge congratulations to this year’s recipient from all of us at Final Draft!

Final Draft Screenwriters Award Presented to:

Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break
Screenwriters: Brook Driver, Matt White, and Nick Gillespie

Louis Black “Lone Star” Award

To honor SXSW co-founder/director Louis Black, a jury prize was created in 2011 called the Louis Black “Lone Star” Award, presented to a feature film world premiering at SXSW that was shot primarily in Texas or directed by a current resident of Texas. (Opt-in Award)

Louis Black “Lone Star” Award Winner:

Without Getting Killed or Caught
Directors: Tamara Saviano and Paul Whitfield

“This year’s Lone Star Award goes to Tamara Saviano and Paul Whitfield’s remarkable Without Getting Killed or Caught, an examination of not just the life of legendary Texas singer-songwriter Guy Clark but the complicated, fascinating relationship between himself, his wife Susanna and his best friend Townes Van Zandt, all of whom made extraordinary work together and apart. The storytelling was graceful, densely layered, and immersive.”

ZEISS Cinematography Award

ZEISS Cine Lenses is honored to be returning this year to support the SXSW film community in the Cinematography category. We believe that by supporting the art within the frame, ZEISS helps filmmakers realize their creative vision.

ZEISS Cinematography Award Winner:

Gaia
Cinematographer: Jorrie van der Walt

Mailchimp Support the Shorts Award

Mailchimp is committed to uplifting and supporting creators. We’re so proud to support SXSW by helping short films win big. We congratulate the honorees of the Support the Shorts Award and Special Jury Recognition as well as the entire SXSW-invited filmmaking community.

Mailchimp Support the Shorts Award Presented to:

Chuj Boys of Summer
Director: Max Walker-Silverman

“With its gentle, observant eye, Chuj Boys of Summer offers a vision of unexpected compassion and tender masculinity. Director Max Walker-Silverman and writer Marcos Ordoñez Ixwalanhkej Mendoza know too much about the world to provide convenient answers to the film’s complicated questions, so they instead focus on the little gestures that define their characters’ lives. Against the grandeur of the San Juan Mountains, these small moments become unspeakably powerful.”

Mailchimp Support the Shorts Special Jury Recognition Presented to:

Like the Ones I Used to Know
Director: Annie St-Pierre

“Weaving a Christmas tale filled with familiar indignities, Annie St-Pierre and her talented ensemble deftly transform heartbreak into levity while always staying one step ahead of the audience. As every emotion imaginable plays across the cast’s astonishing faces, it’s the heroes’ crumpled dignity that leaves us smiling.”

Mailchimp Support the Shorts Special Jury Recognition Presented to:

Malignant
Director: Morgan Bond and Nickolas Grisham

“In its combination of rich characterization and mysterious camera work, Malignant manages to conjure a uniquely cinematic sense of hallucinatory tension. We honestly can’t pinpoint exactly what it is that directors Morgan Bond and Nickolas Grisham have done to create this much unease, but thanks to their mesmerizing talents, Malignant‘s climax floods the senses and lingers long after the film is over.”

Watch the 2021 SXSW Film Awards

More SXSW Film Festival

2020 Winners

 

A special thank you to our incredible partners for the SXSW 2020 Film Awards: Adobe, Audio-Technica, Bat City Awards, Cinema Printing Company London, The Criterion Collection, Final Draft, Hive Lighting, LEE Filters; Light Iron, Mild2Wild Leather, Oscilloscope, Panavision, Vimeo, and ZEISS.

Feature Film Grand Jury Awards

Narrative Feature Competition

Winner: Shithouse
Director: Cooper Raiff

Special Jury Recognition for Directing: Topside
Directors: Celine Held, Logan George

Special Jury Recognition for Acting: Really Love
Director: Angel Kristi Williams
Actors: Kofi Siriboe, Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing

Documentary Feature Competition

Winner: An Elephant in the Room
Director: Katrine Philp

Special Jury Recognition for Achievement in Documentary Storytelling: The Donut King
Director: Alice Gu

Special Jury Recognition for Breakthrough Voice: Finding Yingying
Director: Jiayan “Jenny” Shi

Short Film Grand Jury Awards

Narrative Shorts

Winner: White Eye
Director: Tomer Shushan

Special Jury Recognition for Acting: Dirty
Director: Matthew Puccini
Actors: Morgan Sullivan, Manny Dunn

Special Jury Recognition: Darling
Director: Saim Sadiq

Special Jury Recognition: Single
Director: Ashley Eakin

Documentary Shorts

Winner: No Crying at the Dinner Table
Director: Carol Nguyen

Special Jury Recognition: Mizuko
Directors: Katelyn Rebelo, Kira Dane

Special Jury Recognition: Día de la Madre
Directors: Ashley Brandon, Dennis Höhne

Midnight Shorts

Winner: Regret
Director: Santiago Menghini

Special Jury Recognition: Laura Hasn’t Slept
Director: Parker Finn

Special Jury Recognition for Creature Design: Stucco
Directors: Janina Gavankar, Russo Schelling

Animated Shorts

Winner: Symbiosis
Director: Nadja Andrasev

Special Jury Recognition: No, I Don’t Want to Dance!
Director: Andrea Vinciguerra

Special Jury Recognition: The Shawl
Director: Sara Kiener

Music Videos

Winner: 070 Shake – ‘Nice to Have’
Director: Noah Lee

Special Jury Recognition for Animation: Mitski – ‘A Pearl’
Directors: Saad Moosajee, Art Camp

Special Jury Recognition for Direction: The Lumineers – ‘Gloria’
Director: Kevin Phillips

Texas Shorts

Winner: Just Hold On
Directors: Sam Davis, Rayka Zehtabchi

Special Jury Recognition: Coup d’etat Math
Director: Sai Selvarajan

Texas High School Shorts

Winner: Wish Upon a Snowman
Director: Miu Nakata

Special Jury Recognition for Narrative: Ultimatum
Director: Kai Hashimoto

Special Jury Recognition for Documentary: Unveiled
Director: Sofia Bajwa

Special Jury Recognition for Animation: The Orchard
Director: Zeke French

Episodic Pilot Competition

Winner: Embrace
Director: Jessica Sanders

Special Jury Recognition for Drama: Chemo Brain
Director: Kristian Håskjold

Special Jury Recognition for Comedy: Lusty Crest
Director: Kati Skelton

Film Design Awards

Excellence in Poster Design

Winner: Laura Hasn’t Slept
Designer: Olivier Courbet

Special Jury Recognition: The Donut King
Designers: Andrew Hem, Charlie Le

Excellence in Title Design

Winner: See
Designer: Karin Fong

Special Jury Recognition: Why We Hate
Designers: Allison Brownmoore, Anthony Brownmoore

Special Awards

Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award

Winner: In & of Itself
Director: Frank Oz

Adobe Editing Award

Winner: You Cannot Kill David Arquette
Editors: Paul Rogers, Additional Editing by David Darg

Final Draft Screenwriters Award

Winner: Best Summer Ever
Screenwriters: Michael Parks Randa, Will Halby, Terra Mackintosh, Andrew Pilkington, Lauren Smitelli

Louis Black “Lone Star” Award

Winner: Miss Juneteenth
Director: Channing Godfrey Peoples

Special Jury Recognition for Performance: Bull
Director: Annie Silverstein
Actor: Rob Morgan

Special Jury Recognition for Documentary: Boys State
Directors: Amanda McBaine, Jesse Moss

Vimeo Staff Picks Award

Winner: Vert
Director: Kate Cox

ZEISS Cinematography Award

Winner: Echoes of the Invisible
Director: Steve Elkins

2020 SXSW Film Festival Juries

 

Narrative Feature Competition: Rebecca Keegan, Rodrigo Perez, Kim Yutani

Documentary Feature Competition: Bilge Ebiri, Naomi Fry, Dino Ramos

Narrative Shorts Program: Penelope Bartlett, Monica Castillo, Greta Fuentes

Documentary Shorts: Marjon Javadi, Allison Willmore

Animated Shorts: Katie Krentz, Hana Shimizu, Asalle Tanha

Midnight Shorts: Jonathan Barkan, Derek Kinongo, Brittany Klesic

Music Videos: Jason Baum, Chaka and Qi Dada

Texas Shorts: Denise Hernandez, Jenny Jacobi, Martin C. Jones

Texas High School Shorts: Jonathan Case, Jazmyne Moreno, Barton Weiss

Episodic Pilots: Mitch Hurwitz, Emily Nussbaum, Shelby Stone

Louis Black “Lone Star”: Kathy Blackwell, David Fear, Richard Whittaker

Excellence in Title Design: Ryan Butterworth, Alex Johnson

Excellence in Poster Design: Becky Cloonan, Barak Epstein, Kevin Tong

Film Award 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.

Audience Awards

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

Special Awards

Adobe is committed to celebrating creativity for all and empowering everyone to bring their stories to life. By creating greater opportunity for all voices, we can enact change in our communities and move the world forward. We are proud to celebrate the art and craft of editing as we grant the Adobe Editing Award at the SXSW Film Awards.

Final Draft, the industry standard in screenwriting software, is proud to support SXSW and provide the first SXSW 2020 Final Draft Screenwriters Award. We pride ourselves in shining a spotlight on new voices in the writing and filmmaking community, and coming together with like-minded organizations, such as SXSW, that share the same core values.

Vimeo is excited to announce the second annual Vimeo Staff Pick Award here at SXSW. Short films featured in the Narrative, Documentary, Animation, Midnight, 360/VR, and Texas Shorts competitions are eligible for this award, which includes a $5,000 cash prize and, of course, a Vimeo Staff Pick.

For over 100 years, ZEISS has been making lenses for cinematography, to support filmmaking at all levels. The cinematographers of these films have worked extremely hard to bring you the very best imagery in storytelling and it is their vision which gives life to the director’s story, and for that, we say thank you.

To honor SXSW co-founder/director Louis Black, a jury prize was created in 2011 called the Louis Black “Lone Star” Award.

In honor of a filmmaker whose work strives to be wholly its own, without regard for norms or desire to conform. The Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award is presented to a filmmaker from our Visions screening category.

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.

2019 Winners

 

Feature Film Grand Jury Awards

Narrative Feature Competition

Winner: Alice
Director: Josephine Mackerras

Special Jury Recognition for Best Ensemble: Yes, God, Yes
Director: Karen Maine

Special Jury Recognition for Breakthrough Voice: Saint Frances
Director: Alex Thompson

Documentary Feature Competition

Winner: For Sama
Directors: Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts

Special Jury Recognition for Empathy in Craft: Ernie & Joe
Director: Jenifer McShane

Special Jury Recognition for Excellence in Storytelling: Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy
Director: Elizabeth Carroll

Short Film Jury Awards

Presented by Vimeo, an all-in-one video platform that provides creative professionals and businesses with tools technology they need to succeed with video– from hosting, to collaborating, to distributing and monetizing.

Narrative Shorts

Winner: Liberty
Director: Faren Humes

Special Jury Recognition: The Orphan
Director: Carolina Markowicz

Documentary Shorts

Winner: Exit 12
Director: Mohammad Gorjestani

Special Jury Recognition: All Inclusive
Director: Corina Schwingruber Ilić

Midnight Shorts

Winner: Other Side of the Box
Director: Caleb J. Phillips

Animated Shorts

Winner: Guaxuma
Director: Nara Normande

Special Jury Recognition: Slug Life
Director: Sophie Koko Gate

Music Videos

Winner: “Pa’Lante” – Hurray for The Riff Raff
Director: Kristian Mercado

Special Jury Recognition: “Quarrel” – Moses Sumney
Directors: Allie Avital, Moses Sumney

Texas Shorts

Winner: I am Mackenzie
Director: Artemis Anastasiadou

Special Jury Recognition: A Line Birds Cannot See
Director: Amy Bench

Texas High School Shorts

Winner: Fifteen
Director: Louisa Baldwin

Special Jury Recognition: Double Cross
Director: Amiri Scrutchin

Episodic Pilot Competition

Winner: Maggie
Director: Sasha Gordon

Special Jury Recognition: Revenge Tour
Directors: Andrew Carter, Kahlil Maskati

SXSW Film Design Awards

Excellence in Poster Design

Winner: Daniel Isn’t Real
Designer: Jock
Design Company: 4twenty limited

Excellence in Title Design

Winner: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Directors: Brian Mah, James Ramirez

Special Jury Recognition: The Darkest Minds
Director: Michelle Dougherty

Virtual Cinema

360° Video: DocumentarySend Me Home
Director: Cassandra Evanisko

360° Video: NarrativeMetro Veinte: Cita Ciega
Director: Maria Belen Poncio

InteractiveRunnin’
Director: Kiira Benzing

StorytellingGloomy Eyes
Director: Jorge Tereso, Fernando Maldonado

Best Use of Immersive ArtsHome After War
Director: Gayatri Parameswaran

Special Jury Recognition – The Future of ExperienceTraverse
Director: Jessica Brillhart

SXSW Special Awards

Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship
Presented to: Victoria Chalk

Vimeo Staff Pick Award
Presented to: Milton directed by Tim Wilkime

ZEISS Cinematography Award
Winner: Amazônia Groove directed by Bruno Murtinho

Louis Black “Lone Star” Award
Winner: The River and the Wall directed by Ben Masters

Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award
Presented to: Tito directed by Grace Glowicki

CherryPicks Female First Feature Award
Winner: Alice directed by Josephine Mackerras

CherryPicks Special Jury Recognition:
Winner: Days of the Whale directed by Catalina Arroyave Restrepo

Audience Award Winners:

Narrative Feature Competition

Winner: Saint Frances
Director: Alex Thompson

Documentary Feature Competition

Winner: For Sama
Directors: Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts

Headliners

Winner: Long Shot
Director: Jonathan Levine

Narrative Spotlight

Winner: The Peanut Butter Falcon
Directors: Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz

Documentary Spotlight

Winner: Running With Beto
Director: David Modigliani

Visons

Winner: The Garden Left Behind
Director: Flavio Alves

Midnighters

Winner: Boyz In The Wood
Director: Ninian Doff

Episodic Premiere

Winner: Ramy
Show Runner: Bridget Bedard

24 Beats Per Second

Winner: Nothing Stays the Same: The Story of the Saxon Pub
Director: Jeff Sandmann

Global

Winner: Cachada: The Opportunity
Director: Marlén Viñayo

Festival Favorites:

Winner: Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins
Director: Janice Engel

Excellence in Title Design

Winner: Spider-man: Into The Spider-verse
Directors: Brian Mah, James Ramirez

2018 Winners

 

SXSW Feature Film Grand Jury Awards

Narrative Feature Competition

Grand Jury Winner: Thunder Road
Director: Jim Cummings

Special Jury Recognition For First Feature: Carly Stone
Film: The New Romantic

Special Jury Recognition for Writing: Niljla Mu’min
Film: Jinn

Documentary Feature Competition

Grand Jury Winner: People’s Republic of Desire
Director: Hao Wu

Special Jury Recognition for Best Cast: This One’s For The Ladies
Director: Gene Graham

Special Jury Recognition for Best Feminist Reconsideration of a Male Artist: Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable
Director: Sasha Waters Freyer

SXSW Short Film Jury Awards

Presented by Vimeo. Vimeo empowers video creators of all kinds to tell exceptional stories and connect with their audiences and communities.

Narrative Shorts

Jury Award Winner: Emergency
Director: Carey Williams

Special Jury Recognition for Acting:
Actor: Shirley Chen from Krista

Documentary Shorts

Jury Award Winner: My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes
Director: Charlie Tyrell

Midnight Shorts

Jury Award Winner: Milk
Director: Santiago Menghini

Animated Shorts

Jury Award Winner: Agua Viva
Director: Alexa Lim Haas

Special Jury Recognition: JEOM
Director: Kangmin Kim

Music Videos

Jury Award Winner: “Second Hand Lovers” – Oren Lavie
Director: Oren Lavie

Special Jury Recognition for Acting: “Territory” – The Blaze
Director: The Blaze

Texas Shorts

Jury Award Winner: An Uncertain Future
Director: Iliana Sosa & Chelsea Hernandez

Texas High School Shorts

Jury Award Winner: The Night I Lost My Favorite Jacket
Director: Jenna Krumerman

Special Jury Recognition: CCISD Strong
Director: Sofia Rasmussen

Independent Episodics

Jury Award Winner: Beast
Director: Ben Strang

Special Jury Recognition: She’s the Ticket
Director: Nadia Hallgren

SXSW Film Design Awards

Excellence in Poster Design

Jury Award Winner: The Gospel of Eureka
Designer: Matt Taylor

Special Jury Recognition: A Little Wisdom
Designer: Adam Zhu

Excellence in Title Design

Jury Award Winner: Counterpart Director: Karin Fong

Special Jury Recognition: Godless
Director: John Likens

SXSW Special Awards

SXSW LUNA BAR® Gamechanger Award for Narrative
Winner: First Match, Olivia Newman

Special Jury Recognition:
Unlovable, Suzi Yoonessi

SXSW LUNA BAR® Chicken & Egg Award for Documentary
Winner: On Her Shoulders Alexandria Bombach

Special Jury Recognition:
¡Las Sandinistas!, Jenny Murray

Louis Black “Lone Star” Award
Winner: Daughters of the Sexual Revolution: The Untold Story of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
Director: Dana Adam Shapiro

SXSW Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award
Winner: Prospect, Zeek Earl & Chris Caldwell

Vimeo Staff Picks Award
Presented to: Krista, Danny Madden

Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship
Presented to: Kristin Bye

Audience Awards Winners:

Narrative Feature Competition: First Match
Director: Olivia Newman

Documentary Feature Competition: TransMilitary Directors: Gabriel Silverman, Fiona Dawson

Headliners: Isle of Dogs
Director: Wes Anderson

Narrative Spotlight: All Square Director: John Hyams

Documentary Spotlight: The Dawn Wall
Director: Josh Lowell, Peter Mortimer

Visions: Profile
Director: Timur Bekmambetov

Midnighters: Upgrade
Director: Leigh Whannell

Episodic: Vida
Director: Alonso Ruizpalacios, So Yong Kim

24 Beats Per Second: Ruben Blades Is Not My Name
Director: Abner Benaim

Global: Virus Tropical
Director: Santiago Caicedo

Festival Favorite: Science Fair Director: Cristina Costantini, Darren Foster

Excellence in Title Design: #19 – Offf Barcelona 2017 Directors: Eve Duhamel, Julien Vallee

2017 Winners

 

SXSW Feature Film Jury Awards

Narrative Feature Competition

Grand Jury Winner: Most Beautiful Island Director: Ana Asensio

Special Jury Recognition for Best Breakthrough Performance: James Freedson-Jackson Film: The Strange Ones

Special Jury Recognition for Best Ensemble: Matt Jones, Eleanore Pienta and Will Rogers Film: A Bad Idea Gone Wrong

Documentary Feature Competition

Grand Jury Winner: The Work Director: Jarius McLeary and Gethin Aldous

Special Jury Recognition for Excellence in Documentary Storytelling: I Am Another You Director: Nanfu Wang

Special Jury Recognition for Excellence In Observational Cinema: Maineland Director: Miao Wang

SXSW Short Film Jury Awards

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

Narrative Shorts

Jury Award Winner: Forever Now Director: Kristian Håskjold.

Special Jury Recognition for Acting: DeKalb Elementary Actress: Tarra Riggs

Special Jury Recognition: Charlotte Wells Film: Laps

Documentary Shorts

Jury Award Winner: Little Potato Director: Wes Hurley & Nathan M. Miller

Midnight Shorts

Jury Award Winner: The Suplex Duplex Complex Director: Todd Rohal

Animated Shorts

Jury Award Winner: Wednesday With Goddard Director: Nicolas Menard

Special Jury Recognition: Pussy Director: Renata Gasiorowska

Music Videos

Jury Award Winner: Leon Bridges – “River” Director: Miles Jay

Special Jury Recognition: Tame Impala- “The Less I Know the Better” Director: Canada

Texas Shorts

Jury Award Winner: The Rabbit Hunt Director: Patrick Bresnan

Texas High School Shorts

Jury Award Winner: Better Late Than Never Director: Atheena Frizzell

Special Jury Recognition: Darcy’s Quinceanera Director: Sam Cooper

SXSW Film Design Awards

Excellence in Poster Design

Jury Award Winner: FRY DAY Designer: Caspar Newbolt

Special Jury Recognition: Like Me Designer: Jeremy Enecio

Excellence in Title Design

Jury Award Winner: Into the Current Director: Chris R. Moberg & Jared Young.

SXSW Virtual Reality Jury Awards

Jury Award Winner Room – Scale: After Solitary Director: Cassandra Herrman, Lauren Mucciolo

Special Jury Recognition Room-Scale for Innovative Use of Virtual Reality Technology in the Field of Health: Reinvent Director: Ian Forester, Sook-lei Liew, Phd

Jury Award Winner 360° Video: Behind the Fence Director: Lindsay Branham, Jonathan Olinger

Special Jury Recognition 360° Video for Technical Excellence: Dreams of “O” Director: Félix Lajeunesse, Paul Raphaël

SXSW Special Awards

SXSW LUNA® Chicken & Egg Award Winner: Nanfu Wang I am Another You

SXSW LUNA® Gamechanger Award Winner: Ceylan Ozgun Ozcelik. Inflame

Louis Black “Lone Star” Award Winner: Mr. Roosevelt Director: Noel Wells

Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship Presented to: Leigh Johnson

Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award Winner: Peter Vack Assholes

SXSW Audience Awards

Narrative Feature Competition: The Light of the Moon Director: Jessica M. Thompson

Documentary Feature Competition: Dealt Director: Luke Korem

Headliners: Baby Driver Director: Edgar Wright

Narrative Spotlight: Mr. Roosevelt Director: Noel Wells

Documentary Spotlight: The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin Director: Jennifer M. Kroot

Visions: Becoming Bond Director: Josh Greenbaum

Midnighters: 68 Kill Director: Trent Haaga

Episodic: Dear White People Directors: Justin Simien

24 Beats Per Second: May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers Directors: Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio

Global: Divine Divas Director: Leandra Leal

Festival Favorites: The Big Sick Director: Michael Showalter

Excellence in Title Design: Into the Current Designer: Chris R. Moberg & Jared Young

Excellence in Poster Design: Like Me Designer: Jeremy Enecio

SXSW Film Design Awards

 

Honoring the long-time partnership between designers and filmmakers, the Film Design Awards will return for their 11th year at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival.

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.

Awards Eligibility

 

Having your 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, BAFTA qualification, and the Film Independent Spirit Awards.

What does this mean for you?

Oscars

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

BAFTAs

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

Film Independent Spirit Awards

All Feature films selected for SXSW are eligible for the Film Independent Spirit Awards.

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