Film & TV Awards

March 14, 2023

The Film & TV Awards honor the superlative creativity demonstrated by the film, TV, XR, and design talent in the SXSW Film & TV Festival program.


Claudette Godfrey, VP of Film & TV at SXSW, and Brittany Snow, winner of Narrative Feature Award and Thunderbird Rising Special Award for

Claudette Godfrey, VP of Film & TV at SXSW, and Brittany Snow, winner of Narrative Feature Award and Thunderbird Rising Special Award for "Parachute" - SXSW 2023 - Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for SXSW

About the Film & TV Awards

 

The SXSW Film & TV Festival Narrative Feature Competition, Documentary Feature Competition, Design Awards, and Special Awards are announced each season during the Film & TV Awards ceremony along with all the Short Film Program winners, which are eligible for Jury Awards within their respective screening categories. Film and TV categories are eligible for category-specific Audience Awards, which will be certified by the accounting firm of Maxwell Locke & Ritter.

SXSW is proud to be an official qualifying festival for the Academy Awards® Short Film competition. Winners of our Best Animated, Best Narrative and Best Documentary Short Film categories become eligible for Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awards (Oscars). Any British Short Film or British Short Animation that screens at SXSW is eligible for BAFTA nomination. Films are also eligible for the Independent Spirit Awards.

2023 Juries

Narrative Feature Competition presented by Panavision: Helena Andrews-Dyer, The Washington Post; Tomris Laffly, film writer and critic; Richard Lawson, chief critic at Vanity Fair

Documentary Feature Competition presented by ACE91: Mae Abdulbaki, Screen Rant; Joel Anderson, Slate; Allegra Frank, The Daily Beast

Narrative Shorts Competition: Greta Talia Fuentes, Vice President of Film Production and Development at MACRO; Jamal Watson, Senior Vice President of Development and Production, Monkey Paw; Ash Hoyle, Sundance Film Festival

Documentary Shorts Competition: Hayley Nenadal, festival director EarthX Film, programming, operations and film production; Greg Rhem, MTV Documentary Films; Ina Pira, Vimeo

Animated Shorts Competition: Justine Baillargeon, journalist for Qui fait Quoi; Danny Madden; Steph Swope, Co-Founder, Minnow Mountain

Midnight Shorts Competition: Laura Moss, filmmaker; Pip Ngo, SVP of Sales and Acquisitions, XYZ Films; Arbi Pedrossian, VP of Development, 20th Digital Studio

Music Video Competition: Michelle An, EVP/Head of Visual Content, Interscope Records; Luiza Baffa, AKQA Sao Paulo; Owen Brown, founder, CTRL5

Texas Shorts Competition: Amy Miskovsky, Festival Director, Hill Country Film Festival; Angie Reza Tures, independent film; Iliana Sosa, filmmaker.

Independent TV Pilot Competition: Jen Chaney, critic, Vulture & New York Magazine; Stacey Rice; Caleb Ward, Vice President of Acquisitions & Development, Highland Film Group

Louis Black “Lone Star" Award: David Fear, Senior Editor and Film Critic, Rolling Stone; Mimi Swartz, author; Eric Webb, entertainment coverage, Austin American-Statesman

Poster Design Competition: Tony Industry, founder, Industry Print Shop; Phoebe Joynt, artist, designer, and muralist; Kevin Tong.

XR Experience Competition: Jessica Brillhart, immersive artist, strategist, theorist, and writer; Amy Dotson, Director, Center for an Untold Tomorrow; Charlie Fink, Forbes

Learn more about the 2023 Film & TV Festival Jury and stay tuned for the 2023 winners announcement on March 14, 2023.

2023 Film & TV Awards Partners

A special thank you to our incredible partners for the 2023 SXSW Film Awards: ACE91, IMDbPro, MUBI, Panavision, Adobe, Thunderbird Pictures, ZEISS Cine Lenses, Oscilloscope, and Final Draft.

2023 Audience Award Winners

 

2023 Audience Award Winners

All 2023 Film & TV Festival categories were eligible for section-specific Audience Awards.

Audience Award Winners were certified by Maxwell Locke & Ritter LLP.

HEADLINERS

Audience Award Winner: Flamin’ Hot
Director: Eva Longoria, Producer: DeVon Franklin, Screenwriters: Linda Yvette Chávez, Lewis Colick

NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION presented by Panavision

Audience Award Winner: Mustache
Director/Screenwriter: Imran J. Khan, Producers: Christina Won, Jessica Sittig, Christopher Storer, Tyson Bidner

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION presented by ACE91

Audience Award Winner: Geoff McFetridge: Drawing a Life
Director/Producer: Dan Covert, Screenwriters: Erik Auli, Dan Covert, Amy Dempsey, Tara Rose Stromberg

NARRATIVE SPOTLIGHT

Audience Award Winner: The Long Game
Director: Julio Quintana, Producers: Javier Chapa, Ben Howard, Marla Quintana, Dennis Quaid, Laura Quaid, Screenwriters: Julio Quintana, Jennifer C. Stetson, Paco Farias

DOCUMENTARY SPOTLIGHT

Audience Award Winner: The Herricanes
Director: Olivia Kuan, Producers: James Lee Hernandez, Brian Lazarte, Lisa France, James Short, Olivia Kuan, Justin Baldoni, Andrew Calof

VISIONS

Audience Award Winner: Tobacco Barns
Director/Screenwriter: Rocío Mesa, Producers: Olmo Figueredo González-Quevedo, Jana Díaz-Juhl, Pau Brunet, Belén Sánchez

MIDNIGHTERS

Audience Award Winner: It Lives Inside
Director: Bishal Dutta, Producers: Raymond Mansfield, Sean McKittrick, Screenwriters: Bishal Dutta, Ashish Mehta

GLOBAL presented by MUBI

Audience Award Winner: Ek Jagah Apni
Directors/Producers: Ektara Collective, Screenwriters: Rinchin, Maheen Mirza

24 BEATS PER SECOND

Audience Award Winner: Louder Than You Think
Director: Jed I. Rosenberg, Producers: Jeffrey Lewis Clark, Brian Thalken, Kelly Thomas, Screenwriters: Jed I. Rosenberg, Greg King

FESTIVAL FAVORITES

Audience Award Winner: No Ordinary Campaign
Director: Christopher Burke, Producer: Tim Rummel

Shorts Film Program presented by IMDbPro

NARRATIVE SHORTS COMPETITION

Audience Award Winner: Closing Dynasty
Director/Screenwriter: Lloyd Lee Choi, Producers: Jon Hsu, Lloyd Lee Choi

DOCUMENTARY SHORTS COMPETITION

Audience Award Winner: Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó (Grandma & Grandma)
Director: Sean Wang, Producers: Sean Wang, Sam Davis

ANIMATED SHORTS COMPETITION

Audience Award Winner: Sandwich Cat
Director/Screenwriter: David Fidalgo, Producers: Daniel Rodriguez, Laura Doval

MIDNIGHT SHORTS COMPETITION

Audience Award Winner: Dead Enders
Directors: Fidel Ruiz-Healy, Tyler Walker, Screenwriters: Fidel Ruiz-Healy, Tyler Walker, Jordan Michael Blake, Conor Murphy, Producers: Raven Jensen, Amanda Crown, Gregory Barnes, Conor Murphy, Nico Alvo, Jordan Michael Blake, Eduardo Ruiz-Healy

TEXAS SHORTS COMPETITION

Audience Award Winner: Breaking Silence
Directors: Amy Bench, Annie Silverstein, Producers: Monique Walton, Amy Bench

MUSIC VIDEO COMPETITION

Audience Award Winner: Drew Ashby - 'HER'
Directors: Chris Scholar, Bevin Brown

TV Program

TV PREMIERES

Audience Award Winner: The Luckiest Guy in the World
Director: Steve James, Producers: Zak Piper, Steve James

TV SPOTLIGHT

Audience Award Winner: Blindspotting Season 2 Premiere
Showrunner/Director: Rafael Casal, Producers: Rafael Casal, Daveed Diggs, Jess Wu Calder, Keith Calder, Emily Gerson Saines, Ken Lee, Tim Palen

INDEPENDENT TV PILOT COMPETITION

Audience Award Winner: Notarize Me
Director: Erika Rankin, Screenwriters/Producers: Erika Rankin, Brigitte Valdez

XR Experience

XR EXPERIENCE COMPETITION

Audience Award Winner: JFK Memento
Director: Chloé Rochereuil, Producer: Victor Agulhon

XR EXPERIENCE SPOTLIGHT

Audience Award Winner: MLK: Now is the Time
Director: Limbert Fabian, Producers: Matthew O’Rourke, Sulivan Parker, Screenwriter: Andrina Wekontash Smith

XR EXPERIENCE SPECIAL EVENTS

Audience Award Winners (three-way tie):

Neo-Wulin: The Era of Black Ark
Director/Screenwriter: Guanyu, Producers: Chenchenchen, Bingbing Wang

Ristband
Directors: Anne McKinnon, Roman Rappak

Soundwaves: A Metaverse Music Concert
Directors: YOOM, Active Theory

View All 2023 Film & TV Awards Winners

2023 Grand Jury Winners

 

Feature Film Grand Jury Awards

NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION Presented by Panavision

Winner: Raging Grace

Director/Screenwriter: Paris Zarcilla, Producer: Chi Thai

Raging Grace's heady blend of horror, history, and midnight humor announces the arrival of an exciting new filmmaking talent in writer-director Paris Zarcilla. The story of a Filipina house cleaner and her young daughter confronting Britain's racial and class divides, Raging Grace is both frank and elusive, a film that subverts expectations on its way to a stirring conclusion. In cleverly employing genre tropes to explore vast socio-political matters, Zarcilla has crafted a resonant, urgent work about labor, legacy, and diaspora.”

Special Jury Award for Performance: Courtney Eaton

“Courtney Eaton's fearless portrayal of Riley, a young woman struggling to manage her addictions, ensured that Parachute succeeded as a nuanced take on what holds us back and what lets us fly. The actress is at points hopeful and devastated, quiet and vicious, delivering a remarkable performance.”

Special Jury Award for Cinematography: Eric Branco, Story Ave

“Through an exacting lens both intimate and powerful, DP Eric Branco helps define the vibrant visual language of Story Ave, honoring a slice of New York City with the warmth and specificity that it deserves. His richly layered, studiously cinematic compositions and fluency with the streets of NYC both deepen and enrich the viewing experience. We are thrilled to award Eric Branco with a SXSW Special Jury Recognition for Cinematography.”

A big thanks to our Narrative Feature Competition presenting sponsor Panavision, the global provider of optics, cameras, and end-to-end services that power the creative vision of filmmakers. We would also like to thank our supporting sponsor Variety. Variety is the number one entertainment business news brand with over 32MM uniques per month. Featuring award-winning breaking news reporting, insightful award-season coverage, must-read feature spotlights and intelligent analysis of the industry’s most prominent players, Variety is the trusted source for the business of global entertainment.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION Presented by ACE91

Winner: Angel Applicant

Director/Screenwriter: Ken August Meyer, Producers: Ken A. Meyer, Jason Roark

“Written, directed, edited, and narrated by Kenneth August Meyer, Angel Applicant is a revelation. It is a film that lives dual lives: a gripping, autobiographical story about illness and an incisive work of art history. Angel Applicant illustrates both Meyer's and artist Paul Klee's experiences with scleroderma in intimate, thoughtful, highly considered detail—engrossingly so for a viewer unfamiliar with either the creators or the disease. The result is a yearslong undertaking that is stunning, powerful, and unforgettable.”

Special Jury Award for Innovation in Storytelling: Another Body

Directors: Sophie Compton, Reuben Hamlyn, Producers: Elizabeth Woodward, Sophie Compton, Reuben Hamlyn, Screenwriters: Sophie Compton, Reuben Hamlyn, Isabel Freeman

Another Body is a powerful film that is timely, unsettling, and innovative in its storytelling. The use of deep fake technology is on the rise, and directors Sophie Compton and Reuben Hamlyn cleverly and thoughtfully employ it — by deep faking the subjects of the film to protect their identities — to simultaneously convey what it’s capable of as well as its dangers. This creative and powerful technique underscores the film’s message, and will leave you feeling shock and awe.”

Thank you to our category sponsor, ACE91, a content and media company committed to creating films that inspire audiences to engage in positive change. And thank you to our jury award sponsor, The Hollywood Reporter, entertainment’s #1 news source that champions Hollywood’s world-class and world-changing documentaries and filmmakers through journalism.

SHORT FILM GRAND JURY AWARDS
Presented by IMDbPro

NARRATIVE SHORT COMPETITION

Winner: It Turns Blue

Director/Screenwriter: Shadi Karamroudi, Producers: Shadi Karamroudi, Mehran Noori, Mina Dreki, Theodora Valentis

“For its impeccable performances, its provocative complexity, and its deeply moving story, the jury recognizes It Turns Blue as the Jury Award winner. This film's impact was both immediately forceful and relentlessly lasting. By not shying away from the complexities of human life and its darkest reaches, this film is both challenging, transportative, and effective.”

Special Jury Award: Flores del Otro Patio 

Director: Jorge Cadena, Screenwriters: Jorge Cadena, Li Aparicio Candama, Producers: Yan Decoppet, Gabriela Bussmann

“For its radical vision, its amplification of an activist story through its visual language, and for its rich and tender performances, the jury recognizes Flores del Otro Patio as the Special Jury Award winner. This bold and distinctive approach to nonlinear narrative, queer intimacy, and indigenous power is an emotionally resonant and politically salient achievement.”

DOCUMENTARY SHORT COMPETITION

Winner: Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó (Grandma & Grandma)

Director: Sean Wang, Producers: Sean Wang, Sam Davis

“Through Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó (Grandma & Grandma), director Sean Wang has captured the intimacy, history, and warmth of two youthful spirits. It’s sort of a respite from the World’s madness. And much like one of those delicious and familiar home-cooked meals, this film fills you up, and makes your soul smile. It’s a call-your-Grandma kind of film!”

Special Jury Award: Suddenly TV

Director/Producer: Roopa Gogineni

“Roopa Gogineni’s Suddenly TV took us into the heart of Sudan’s youth-led movement where creativity finds a way to flourish as a form of resistance. Gogineni’s embedded filmmaking offers an intimate perspective on the relationship between power and storytelling and what happens when the people start to tell their own story.”

MIDNIGHT SHORTS COMPETITION

Winner: The Flute

Director: Nick Roney, Screenwriters: Nick Roney, Ed Leer, Producers: Brendan Garrett, Ryland Burns

“A perfect midnight blend of humor, horror and gross-out special effects, The Flute serenaded us with an orchestra of male toxicity and reminded us how not cool it is to keep naked pictures of your ex. Nick Roney’s playful camera work, razor-sharp aesthetic and mastery of tone leave us in rapt anticipation of what sights he has to show us next.”

Special Jury Award: Pennies from Heaven

Director: Sandy Honig, Screenwriters: Sandy Honig, Annabel Meschke, Sabina Meschke, Producer: Jake Honig

“Their joyful commitment to their roles as the defiantly stupid sisters Cher and Jacobson-Schmidt kept us glued to the screen. As co-writers of the film (along with director Sandy Honig), they treated us to a uniquely demented world we hope will be expanded into a twinematic universe.”

ANIMATED SHORTS COMPETITION

Winner:The Debutante

Director/Screenwriter: Elizabeth Hobbs, Producer: Abigail Addison

“In a unique and unapologetic blast of mixed media animation, this bold, bizarre fairy tale is at once hilarious and casually brutal. It affects deeply with a gestural approach to image and sound, and the layered artistry begs for multiple viewings.”

Special Jury Award for Animation Directing: Tom CJ Brown, Christopher at Sea. This film plays like an artfully executed diary entry. In dreamy and dark ways, it beautifully depicts longing in an unexpected setting for romance. It's intensely intimate, masterfully designed cinema.”

MUSIC VIDEO COMPETITION

Winner: Amanda Sum - 'Different Than Before'

Director/Screenwriter: Mayumi Yoshida

“We were particularly moved by this story of an Asian father’s journey to action when faced with racist hecklers in front of his family. The video creates a brilliant stop Asian hate narrative that accomplishes the near impossible feat of evoking not just tears, but laughter – all in just a few minutes. It’s a rare music video imbued with the power to make viewers smile and weep while learning about racism in America.”

Special Jury Award:  Residente - 'This is Not America ft. Ibeyi'

Director: Grégory Ohrel

“Our special jury winner is a striking, visceral and timely representation of the struggles people face in Latin America today. It’s a piece worthy of attention from US audiences, as well as Latin. We also felt it incorporates some of the most symbolically rich – and creative – shots we’ve seen recently in music videos.”

TEXAS SHORTS COMPETITION

Winner: Breaking Silence

Directors: Amy Bench, Annie Silverstein, Producers: Monique Walton, Amy Bench

“Centered around the relationship between a formerly incarcerated daughter and her deaf father, Breaking Silence is a beautiful snapshot and thought provoking documentary that provides a glimpse into a story we don’t often see. Through this duo’s experience facing the lack of services available to the deaf incarcerated community, the father begins a journey of creating new pathways for advocacy. This intimate and personal look at a father’s desire to bring about positive change sheds light on the many challenges the deaf and incarcerated face.”

Special Jury Award: When You Left Me On That Boulevard 

Director/Screenwriter: Kayla Abuda Galang, Producers: Alifya Ali, Kayla Abuda Galang, David Oconer, Udoy Rahim, Samantha Skinner

“Hilarious, whimsical, and fantastical, Kayla Abuda Galang’s When You Left Me On That Boulevard offers a new take on a coming of age story centered around a community we rarely get to see on screen. Much like a home video, the audience is invited for a chaotic but intimate look at what goes on behind the scenes of a seemingly typical family gathering. The performances stood out as authentic and rooted in genuine familial interrelationships.”

A big thanks to IMDbPro, the essential resource for entertainment industry professionals, for being the presenting sponsor of short films across six competitive sections. The membership-based IMDbPro service empowers entertainment professionals with information and tools designed to help them achieve success throughout their career and is a service of IMDb, the world's most popular and authoritative source for information on movies, TV shows and celebrities.

TV PILOT COMPETITION

Winner: Grown

Showrunner/Director/Screenwriter: Jocko Sims, Producers: Jocko Sims, Christopher Santiago, Chaz Hazlitt, Andrew Zolot

“The jury honors Grown, a coming-of-age story told with heart and visually realized with polish and verve. Focused on a teenage boy attempting to move forward after losing his father, Grown features an ensemble cast of actors authentically inhabiting their roles, an elegant directing style, and a capacity to surprise in ways that are believable even when they blindside the audience. While Grown’s protagonist Rogelio may still be trying to figure out exactly who he is, this pilot has a self-assured, firm sense of identity from minute one.”

Special Jury Award for Outstanding Performance: Josh Fadem, Harbor Island

“This surreal immersion into life on a barely inhabited island simply would not work if Josh Fadem hadn’t delivered such an anchored, memorable performance. As a comedian who spends his days and nights speaking stand-up into a tape recorder, Fadem brings a sense of humanity to this wonderfully odd setting, as well as a flair for selling both Steven Wright-esque non-sequiturs and bad dad jokes. Harbour Island conceptually grabs your attention. Fadem keeps you watching.”

POSTER DESIGN COMPETITION

Winner: Eyestring

Designer: Javier Devitt

“The mashed up image and the title for context strikes curiosity and begs the viewer to see Eyestring. The use of negative space made this poster stand out from a mile away. It also had the ability to evoke such strong emotions and an emotional response from the viewer from its graphic composition to the powerful photo. It was the most visually striking poster.”

Special Jury Award: Riders on the Storm

Designer: Casey Moore

Directors: Jason Motlagh, Mark Oltmanns

Riders on the Storm" was another really great and well-designed poster. We were attracted to the bright green and red contrast of the poster design. The color palette for this poster was striking and very powerful.” 

XR EXPERIENCE COMPETITION

Winner: Consensus Gentium

Director/Screenwriter: Karen Palmer, Producers: Tom Millen, Thalia Mavros, Jackson Lapsley Scott, Tuyet Huynh

The XR Experience Jury award goes to an experience that shows how technologies meant for connection can also be used to disconnect and divide. Ultimately, the choice to accept or fight it is ours – and it's just a tap away.

Special Jury Award: Body of Mine

Director/Producer/Screenwriter: Cameron Kostopoulos

Our jury special award goes to a beautifully crafted virtual reality experience that shows how VR can provide a safe space for understanding, reflection, and connection when a safe space in the real world is hard to find.

SXSW Special Awards

Janet Pierson Champion Award presented by Indiewire

To honor Janet Pierson, Director Emeritus of the SXSW Film & TV Festival after 15 years of leadership, a prize was created in 2023 called the Janet Pierson Champion Award. As part of IndieWire’s dedication to elevating Film & TV creators, IndieWire is proud to present the Janet Pierson Champion Award rewarding innovation and excellence in the art of storytelling to TBD.

Janet Pierson Champion Award

Winner: Lizzie Shapiro

Lizzie Shapiro is a producer based in Brooklyn, NY. She most recently produced Story Ave and Parachute in the 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival. Previous credits include then feature films Shiva Baby (SXSW, TIFF) and Mickey and the Bear (SXSW, Cannes) that both premiered to critical acclaim and were distributed by Utopia Films. She has also produced several short films that have premiered at film festivals worldwide. Lizzie has participated in the Film Independent Producer’s Lab and IFP Week: No Borders. She is a founding member of the film collective Thick Media.

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: The Lady Bird Diaries

Director: Dawn Porter, Producers: Kim Reynolds, Dawn Porter

The Lady Bird Diaries celebrates an iconic Texan and exalts her Texanhood. Dawn Porter uses only archival treasures to craft a film of visual magnetism and narrative momentum — a real feat. And yet, her film is no hagiography. Through Porter’s savvy direction, viewers are encouraged to sit with the fascinating contradictions of Lady Bird’s politics, passions and place in time. Documentary examinations of the Johnson era are thick on the ground, but the first lady’s intimate confessions open up a rare bloom.”

Special Jury Award: The Herricanes

Director: Olivia Kuan, Producers: James Lee Hernandez, Brian Lazarte, Lisa France, James Short, Olivia Kuan, Justin Baldoni, Andrew Calof

The Herricanes tackles a range of topics with passion, heart and verve, much like its subjects, who were members of the Houston team that was part of the first all female football tackle league in the US in the 1970s.”

Thunderbird Rising Award presented by Thunderbird Pictures

Born from a fusion of LA’s leading-edge artistry and Austin’s independent spirit, Thunderbird Pictures is a full-service Production and Distribution company committed to supporting the filmmaker's vision from concept through creative marketing and transparent profit participation. The Thunderbird Rising Award is presented to new directors whose original storytelling both inspires and delights.

Thunderbird Rising Award Winner: Paris Zarcilla, Raging Grace

“Thunderbird Pictures celebrates a first-time feature director who demonstrated a level of excellence in all aspects of cinematic storytelling. This juxtaposition of thrilling suspense and evocative social commentary on the modern immigrant struggle was both unique and profound. The Thunderbird Rising Award Goes To Director Paris Zarcilla for his film Raging Grace.”

Thunderbird Rising Special Award: Brittany Snow, Parachute 

Thunderbird Pictures acknowledges a first-time feature director and stellar ensemble cast for their brave exploration of a pressing modern issue. This lucid look at the heartbreak of body dysmorphia and its destructive impact on intimacy and connection was poignant and essential. The Thunderbird Rising Special Award Goes To Director Brittany Snow for her film Parachute.

The Hope Award presented by ACE91

ACE91 is honored to sponsor the Documentary Feature Competition category and the Hope Award. We celebrate these extraordinary films and the talented, compassionate, and diverse filmmakers who made them. Together we amplify the impact of their storytelling. The 2023 Hope Award is presented to a feature documentary that has inspired us to act for the betterment of our communities and the world.

The Hope Award Winner: Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie

Director: Davis Guggenheim, Producers: Davis Guggenheim, Annetta Marion, Jonathan King, Will Cohen

“This very intimate exploration of a beloved artist and his incredible journey from young struggling actor to movie star and then to essential leader of a movement to cure Parkinson’s Disease, gave us tremendous hope that there can be a cure for the disease, if not in this lifetime, then in the lifetime of Michael’s children. While the documentary took us deeply into Michael’s life story and exposed his inner thinking, Director Davis Guggenheim made us feel we were with Michael on the journey, not voyeurs watching him. The film was wonderfully crafted through exceptional editing and a creative and unique use of Michael’s body of narrative work. It was hugely inspirational, providing hope against all odds, and reminding us that no matter what hand we are dealt, we each have a part to play in the world. In the face of great success and then in the face of his own mortality, Michael’s perseverance, and incredible bravery, along with the support of his loving family, all deftly shared in the film, was moving and profound.”

The Hope Special Award: Confessions of a Good Samaritan

Director: Penny Lane, Producer: Gabriel Sedgwick

“Director and protagonist Penny Lane’s brave personal exploration of her experience as she donates a kidney to an anonymous person, is an incredibly raw and powerful portrayal of a rarely talked about but vital subject matter. From the initial decision to donate, to the emotional and physical ups and downs of her experience as she realizes her naïveté, to the successful outcome of her operation and donation, Penny’s openness in front of and behind-the-camera, and the style of her filmmaking gave us a powerful window into the various stages of her process and thinking. We went along with her for the ride and at the same time came away with an excellent and important awareness of the history of organ transplantation and the vital need to address this growing challenge. The film helps us realize that ordinary citizens can make a transformative life and death difference in other people’s lives. It was a powerful eye opener to the possibilities of live donor organ transplantation and how it can save lives.”

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: Chronicles of a Wandering Saint

Director/Screenwriter: Tomas Gomez Bustillo, Producers: Gewan Brown, Amanda Freedman

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: Fancy Dance

Cinematographer: Carolina Costa, AMC

“We are honored to present this year's ZEISS Cinematography Award to Carolina Costa, AMC for her breathtaking work on Fancy Dance. The film creates an intense tone throughout as we are plunged into the gripping narrative of a young woman fighting to celebrate her culture while searching for a mother who may be lost to her forever. Carolina Costa, as Director of Photography for this film, masterfully creates a visual landscape for this emotional story to unfold with beautiful, naturalistic lighting and artful composition. Fancy Dance is a supreme example of cinematography that compliments and elevates the storytelling of a film.

SXSW is proud to be an official qualifying festival for the Academy Awards® Short Film competition. Winners of our Best Animated, Best Narrative and Best Documentary Short Film categories become eligible for Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awards (Oscars). Any British Short Film or British Short Animation that screens at SXSW is eligible for BAFTA nomination. Films are also eligible for the Independent Spirit Awards, more information on eligibility here.

A special thank you to our incredible partners for the 2023 SXSW Film Awards: ACE91, IMDbPro, MUBI, Panavision, Adobe, Thunderbird Pictures, ZEISS Cine Lenses, Oscilloscope, and Final Draft.

Explore SXSW Film

Michael Tennant

The platform, support, and love you showed our little movie has altered my entire cast and crew's lives. The sale of the movie? Great. The good reviews? Great. The meetings and new opportunities EVERYONE involved with this movie are getting? Again, great. All of the "greatness" aside, the best part of this entire experience was getting to stand on stage at the ZACH with my dearest friends in the world and watch them be celebrated.

Michael Tennant
Screenwriter/Producer/Cast / Pretty Problems

Nicolas Cage

You guys are real, you know. You’re genuine enthusiasts. This festival, South By, is enthusiastic about movies, it’s enthusiastic about music, it’s enthusiastic about gaming, it’s enthusiastic about all the creative arts – and because of this you know I’m going to wear this [award]...and this is going to encourage me to keep trying to surprise you and entertain you and I thank you.

Nicolas Cage
(Accepting a "40 Years of Massive Talent Award" in the form of a SXSW Film belt buckle)

Rosa Ruth Boesten

SXSW has been such an incredible experience and winning the award has been a huge recognition for our entire team! Thank you so much for selecting our film.

Rosa Ruth Boesten
Director / Master of Light

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. Here are the Rules and Regulations for accepted Film and TV projects.

2023 Audience Awards Voting

 

How do you vote for the SXSW Film & TV Festival Audience Awards?

  1. Our on-screen pre-show for all films will contain a slide with voting instructions, including a QR code. Scanning the Voting QR code will send attendees directly to our Google Voting Form. The QR code will also be available on signage outside of screenings.

  2. The Google Voting Form will be changed daily, so only films screening that date will be eligible for voting. Voting is based on a 1-5 ranking, with 5 being the highest.

  3. Vote! And tell your friends to vote!

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