Audience Awards Winners for the 2021 SXSW Film Festival Announced

As an amazing 2021 SXSW Film Festival comes to a digital close, there’s still one more important announcement before curtain call. Introducing the 2021 Audience Awards winners for the Film Festival during SXSW Online.

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.

Browse the winners below by screening section. Be sure to also check out the 2021 SXSW Film Awards winners selected by our esteemed Juries for Narrative and Documentary Feature Competitions, Shorts Programs, Design, Virtual Cinema, and more.

Thanks to everyone who participated in Audience Awards Voting Day and congrats to all the winners!

2021 Audience Award Winners


Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free
Director: Mary Wharton

Narrative Feature Competition

The Fallout
Director: Megan Park

Documentary Feature Competition

Not Going Quietly
Director: Nicholas Bruckman

Narrative Spotlight

Language Lessons
Director: Natalie Morales

Documentary Spotlight

Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America
Directors: Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler


Inbetween Girl
Director: Mei Makino


Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Director: Kier-La Janisse


Director: Yngvild Sve Flikke

24 Beats Per Second

Soy Cubana
Directors: Jeremy Ungar and Ivaylo Getov

Festival Favorites

In The Same Breath
Director: Nanfu Wang

2020 Spotlight

We Are The Thousand
Director: Anita Rivaroli

Narrative Shorts Competition

Play It Safe
Director: Mitch Kalisa

Documentary Shorts Competition

Joe Buffalo
Director: Amar Chebib

Animated Shorts Competition

Director: Erick Oh

Midnight Shorts Competition

Director: Theo Rhys

Texas Shorts Competition

Learning Tagalog with Kayla
Director: Kayla Abuda Galang

Texas High School Shorts Competition

Beyond the Model
Director: Jessica Lin

Music Videos Competition

Kuricorder Quartet - 'Southpaw'
Director: Sawako Kabuki

Episodic Premieres

Showrunner: Little Marvin

Episodic Pilot Competition

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

Virtual Cinema Competition

Director: Abel Kohen

Virtual Cinema Spotlight

Finding Pandora X
Director: Kiira Benzing

Excellence in Title Design

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

Cheers again to all the winners and a big thanks to our SX community for your involvement this season!

Don't put away the popcorn just yet (yes, we are popcorn enablers) – select Film Festival programming will remain available to SXSW Online registrants on the event platform and Connected TV apps through April 18. Browse the complete list of post-event on demand content including Conference sessions to catch something you missed or rewatch your favorites.

Stay Tuned for SXSW 2022

Following the recent announcement of SXSW 2022 dates, we will also be opening up 2022 participation opportunities this summer including PanelPicker®, Film Festival submissions, Music Festival applications, and more. Stay tuned!

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2021 SXSW Film Centerpiece, Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free – Credit Robert Sebree

By Jordan Roberts