2019 SXSW Film Festival: winners announced

March 18, 2019

The South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference & Festivals (held every year in Austin, Texas) is arguably the best-known event in the U.S. that combines music, film, interactive and convergence programming. The 33rd annual SXSW event took place from March 8 to March 17, 2019.

The 2019 SXSW Film Festival screened 133 features, consisting of 102 World Premieres, 9 North American Premieres, and 3 US Premieres, with 62 first-time filmmakers. There were 101 shorts and music videos that screened as part of 12 curated shorts programs, plus two episodic pilot programs. The 256 films were selected from 8,496 overall submissions, including approximately 2,361 features and 4,734 shorts.

Here are the winners of the 2019 SXSW Film Festival:

FEATURE FILM GRAND JURY AWARDS

NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION

Emilie Piponnier in “Alice” (Photo by Loll Willems)

Winner:​ ​”Alice”

Director: Josephine Mackerras

Natalia Dyer in “Yes, God, Yes”

Special Jury Recognition for Best Ensemble: ​”Yes, God, Yes”

Director: Karen Maine

“Saint Frances”

Special Jury Recognition for Breakthrough Voice: ​”Saint Frances”

Director: Alex Thompson

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION

Waad al-Kateab in “For Sama” (Photo by Waad al-Kateab)

Winner:​ “For Sama”

Directors: ​Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts

Joe Smarro and Ernie Stevens in “Ernie & Joe” (Photo by Matthew Busch)

Special Jury Recognition for Empathy in Craft : “​Ernie & Joe”

Director: ​Jenifer McShane

Diana Kennedy in “Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy” (Photo by Elizabeth Carroll)

Special Jury Recognition for Excellence in Storytelling: “​Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy”

Director: ​Elizabeth Carroll

SHORT FILM GRAND JURY AWARDS

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NARRATIVE SHORTS

Milagros Gilbert and Alexandra Jackson in “Liberty” (Photo by Alex Harris)

Winner: ​”Liberty”

Director: ​Faren Humes

Kauan Alvarenga in “The Orphan” (Photo by Pepe Mendes)

Special Jury Recognition: ​”The Orphan”

Director: Carolina Markowicz

DOCUMENTARY SHORTS

“Exit 12”

Winner:​ “Exit 12”

Director: Mohammad Gorjestani

“All Inclusive” (Photo by Nikola Ilić)

Special Jury Recognition: ​”All Inclusive”

Director: Corina Schwingruber Ilić

MIDNIGHT SHORTS

Winner: ​”Other Side of the Box”

Director: Caleb J. Phillips

ANIMATED SHORTS

“Guaxuma” (Photo by Les Valseurs)

Winner: ​”Guaxuma”

Director: Nara Normande

“Slug Life” (Image by Sophie Koko Gate)

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

“I Am Mackenzie” (Photo by Sarah Hennigan)

Winner: ​”I Am Mackenzie”

Director: Artemis Anastasiadou

“A Line Birds Cannot See” (Image by Steve West)

Special Jury Recognition: ​”A Line Birds Cannot See”

Director: Amy Bench

TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL SHORTS

“Fifteen”

Winner:​ “Fifteen”

Director: Louisa Baldwin

“Double Cross” (Image by Amiri Scrutchin)

Special Jury Recognition:​ “Double Cross”

Director: Amiri Scrutchin

EPISODIC PILOT COMPETITION

“Maggie”

Winner: ​”Maggie”

Director: Sasha Gordon

Omar Maskati in “Revenge Tour.” (Photo by Patrick Ouziel)

Special Jury ​Recognition:​ ​”Revenge Tour”

Directors: Andrew Carter, Kahlil Maskati

SXSW FILM DESIGN AWARDS 

EXCELLENCE IN POSTER DESIGN

“Daniel Isn’t Real”

Winner: ​”Daniel Isn’t Real”

Designer: Jock

Design Company: 4twenty limited

EXCELLENCE IN TITLE DESIGN

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (Image courtesy of Sony Pictures)

“Winner: ​Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

Directors: Brian Mah, James Ramirez 

“The Darkest Minds” (Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox)

Special Jury Recognition:​ ​”The Darkest Minds”

Director: Michelle Dougherty

SXSW SPECIAL AWARDS

SXSW Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship

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.

Winner:​ “Victoria Chalk”

Vimeo Staff Picks Award

“Milton”

Winner:​ “Milton”

Director: Tim Wilkime

ZEISS Cinematography Award

MG Calibre in “Amazonia Groove” (Photo by Jacques Cheuiche)

Winner: ​”Amazonia Groove”

Director: Bruno Murtinho

SXSW 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)

“The River and the Wall'” (Photo by The River and the Wall)

Winner: ​”The River and the Wall”

Director: Ben Masters

SXSW 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.

Grace Glowicki in “Tito” (Photo by Christopher Lew)

Winner:​ ​”Tito”

Director: Grace Glowicki

CherryPicks Female First Feature Award

“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.”

Emilie Piponnier in “Alice” (Photo by Loll Willems)

Winner: ​”Alice”

Director: Josephine Mackerras

“Days of the Whale” (Photo by David Correa Franco)

CherryPicks Special Recognition: “Days of the Whale”

Director: Catalina Arroyave Restrepo

AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS

NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION

“Saint Frances”

Audience Award Winner: ​”Saint Frances”

Director:​ ​Alex Thompson

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION

Waad al-Kateab in “For Sama” (Photo by Waad al-Kateab)

Audience Award Winner: ​”For Sama”

Directors: Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts

NARRATIVE SPOTLIGHT

Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson, and Zack Gottsagen in “The Peanut Butter Falcon” (Photo by Nigel Bluck)

Audience Award Winner: ​”The Peanut Butter Falcon”

Directors: Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz

DOCUMENTARY SPOTLIGHT

Beto O’Rourke in “Running With Beto” (Photo by Charlie Gross)

Audience Award Winner: ​”Running With Beto”

Director: David Modigliani

VISIONS

Carlie Guevara in “The Garden Left Behind” (Photo by Koshi Kiyokawa)

Audience Award Winner: ​”The Garden Left Behind”

Director: Flavio Alves

MIDNIGHTERS

“Boyz in the Wood” (Photo by Patrick Meller)

Audience Award Winner: “​Boyz in the Wood”

Direct​or: Ninian Doff

EPISODIC PREMIERES

Ramy Youssef in “Ramy” (Photo courtesy of Hulu)

Audience Award Winner​: ​”Ramy”

Showrunner: Bridget Bedard

GLOBAL

“Cachada: The Opportunity”

Audience Award Winner: ​”Cachada: The Opportunity”

Director: Marlén Viñayo

FESTIVAL FAVORITES

“Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins” (Photo by Robert Beddell)

Audience Award Winner:​ “Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins”

Director: Janice Engel

HEADLINERS

Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen in “Long Shot” (Photo by Hector Alvarez)

Audience Award Winner:​ “Long Shot”

Director: Jonathan Levine

24 BEATS PER SECOND

Patrice Pike in “Nothing Stays the Same: The Story of the Saxon Pub”( Photo courtesy of Nothing Stays the Same: The Story of the Saxon Pub)

Audience Award Winner:​ “Nothing Stays the Same: The Story of the Saxon Pub”

Director: Jeff Sandmann

EXCELLENCE IN TITLE DESIGN

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (Image courtesy of Sony Pictures)

Audience Award Winner:​ “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

Directors: Brian Mah, James Ramirez