Film Awards

March 17, 2020

Taking place halfway through the nine-day SXSW Film Festival, the Film Awards honor the superlative creativity and talent demonstrated by filmmakers and designers in the SXSW program.


Damien Pechberty and Justin Megherbi at SXSW Film Awards – Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW

Damien Pechberty and Justin Megherbi at SXSW Film Awards – Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW

About Film Awards

 

The 2020 ceremony will take place on Tuesday, March 17 at the Paramount Theatre and cover only juried competition awards. Audience Awards are announced later in the week on sxsw.com 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 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.

Learn more about Film Award categories and view the 2019 SXSW Film Award Winners.

Film Awards Donations

A special thank you for SXSW 2019 Film Awards graciously donated by: ARRI, Audio-Technica, Bat City Awards, CherryPicks, Broadcast Films Critics Association, Cinema Printing Company London, The Criterion Collection, Hive Lighting, LEE Filters, Light Iron, Maxwell Locke & Ritter LLP, Mild2Wild Leather, Oscilloscope, Panavision, Technicolor, Vimeo, and ZEISS.

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

The Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship is a year-long experience that encourages and champions the talent of an emerging documentary editor. Awarded annually, the fellowship was created to honor the memory of gifted editor Karen Schmeer. For 2019 the fellowship was awarded to Victoria Chalk.

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. The winning film, Milton directed by Tim Wilkime was released on Vimeo on Wednesday, March 13.

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. The 2019 ZEISS Cinematography Award was awarded to Bruno Murtinho for his film Amazonia Groove.

To honor SXSW co-founder/director Louis Black, a jury prize was created in 2011 called the Louis Black “Lone Star” Award. For 2019 it was presented to The River and the Wall directed by Ben Masters, a feature film that world premiered at SXSW that was shot primarily in Texas or directed by a current resident of Texas. (Opt-in 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. For 2019, this award went to Grace Glowicki for Tito.

For 2019 CherryPicks created the First Feature by a Female Team Award to support its mission to shine a spotlight on female voices. We hope to encourage women and audiences alike to create and support the stories women tell. This year’s winner was Josephine Mackerras for her film Alice.

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 Award 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 Award 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 Film Award 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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