2019 DOC NYC: recap and award winners

November 16, 2019

by Carla Hay

The 10th annual DOC NYC—which took place in New York City from November 6 to November 15, 2018—has continued its status as an outstanding international festival for documentary visual media, with more than 300 films at the festival. Almost all of the DOC NYC screenings and other events took place at the SVA Theatre, IFC Center and Cinépolis Chelsea. DOC NYC also has panel discussions about filmmaking, offering a wealth of opportunities to share knowledge, discover new talent and network with professionals. This year’s DOC NYC was dedicated to D.A. Pennebaker, the iconic documentarian (best known for “Don’t Look Back”), who died on August 1, 2019, at the age of 94.


Wang Tiancheng in "City Dream"
Wang Tiancheng in “City Dream”

DOC NYC 2019 also had competitions, with all voted for by juries, except for the Audience Award and the Kanopy DOC NYC U Award. The winners were:

Viewfinders Competition (for films with a distinct directorial vision): “City Dream,” director Weijun Chen’s look at a feisty street vendor Wang Tiancheng’s battle to not be displaced by the Urban Management Bureau in Wuhan, China.

Special mention: “Love Child,” director Eva Mulvad’s portrait of an Iranian man who flees Iran with his mistress and their son because of Iran’s death-penalty laws against adultery.

Metropolis Competition (for films with New York City stories): “Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back,” director John Carluccio’s profile of Tony-nominated entertainer Maurice Hines, the older brother of Gregory Hines.

Shorts Competition: “Bob of the Park,” director Jake Sumner’s profile of Robert “Birding Bob” DiCandido, who’s described in the DOC NYC materials as the “archvillain of New York City bird watchers.”

Special mentions: “A Childhood on Fire,” directed by Jason Hanasik; “Yves & Variation,” directed by Lydia Cornett

Audience Award: “I Am Not Alone,” director Garin Hovannisian’s profile of former Armenian political prisoner Nikol Pashinyan, who becomes a Member of Parliament and leads a peaceful protest against injustice.

DOC NYC PRO Pitch Perfect Award: “After Sherman,” directed by Jon-Sesrie Goff

Kanopy DOC NYC U Award (for student directors): “Kostya,” directed by Oxana Inipko (School of Visual Arts)

In addition, category awards were given to DOC NYC’s Short List films, which are considered frontrunners to be nominated for Oscars and other major film awards.

Short List: Features

“The Edge of Democracy” (Photo by Orlando Brito)

Directing Award: “The Edge of Democracy,” directed by Petra Costa 
Producing Award: “American Factory,” produced by Steven Bognar, Julie Parker Benello, Jeff Reichert and Julia Reichert 
Editing Award: “Apollo 11,” edited by Todd Douglas Miller 
Cinematography Award: “The Elephant Queen,” cinematography by Mark Deeble
Special Recognition for Courage in Filmmaking: “For Sama,” director Waad al-Kateab
Short List: Shorts
Directing Award: “Stay Close,” directed by Luther Clement and Shuhan Fan

The 2019 DOC NYC Visionaries Tribute (which has non-competitive categories), an invitation-only event presented on November 7, honored Martin Scorsese and Michael Apted, each with the Lifetime Achievement Award; “American Factory” directors Steven Bognar and Julia Reichart with the Robert and Anne Drew Award for Documentary Excellence; and New York Women in Film & Television executive director Cynthia Lopez with the Leading Light Award.

Other celebrities who attended DOC NYC included Robbie Robertson, J.K, Simmons, Ron Howard, Katie Couric, Andre Leon Talley, Michael Moore, Kate Nash, Dr. Ruth Westheimer and Olivia Harrison.

2019 51Fest: Women in the World teams up with IFC Center for inaugural female-focused film festival

July 17, 2019

by Carla Hay

Kathy Griffin in “Kathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story” (Photo by Tanne Willow)

In the United States, women make up 51 percent of the population and at least half of all moviegoers. With that in mind, the feminist organization Women in the World and the independent arthouse cineplex IFC Center in New York City have teamed up for the inaugural 51Fest, a film festival aimed at promoting movies about women. All of the selected projects have at least one female producer or a female director. The event takes place July 18 to July 21, 2019. All of the screenings will be held at IFC Center, except for “Kathy Griffin: Hell of a Story,” which will take place at the SVA Theatre. Each screening will be followed by a Q&A with the film’s director(s) and/or stars from the movie.

Most of the movies in the first 51Fest  lineup have already had their world premieres at the Sundance Film Festival or South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival, but there are a few offerings that will have their world premieres at 51Fest: The first episode of the Netflix limited series “Unbelieable,” a drama starring Toni Collette, Merritt Wever and Kaitlyn Dever, as well as the Netflix comedy film “Otherhood,” starring Angela Bassett, Patricia Arquette and Felicity Huffman.

Here is the lineup of programming for the inaugural 51Fest:

Opening Night

“Kathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story”

Thursday, July 18, 7:30 p.m. at SVA Theatre

Controversial comedian Kathy Griffin self-financed this documentary, which chronicles her comeback tour after being blackballed from most of the entertainment industry on the 2017 fallout from posing  for a photo holding a fake, bloody head of Donald Trump. “Kathy Griffin: A  Hell of a Story” got mostly positive reviews after its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival. It’s scheduled to be released nationwide by Fathom Events for a one-night-only screening on July 31, 2019.

106 minutes. Directed by Troy Miller. A Brainstorm Media release in partnership with Fathom.

Post-screening conversation with Kathy Griffin and Tina Brown.


Special Event

Women in the World Spotlight: Supermajority

Friday, July 19, 7 p.m. at IFC Center

Women in the World co-founder Tina Brown (who also founded The Daily Beast) will have a  conversation with former Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards and Ai-jen Poo, the co-founders (along with Alicia Garza) of Supermajority, an activist organization aimed at empowering women. According to a description on the 51Fest website, “the conversation will be introduced by filmmaker Yoruba Richen with an exclusive clip of the forthcoming documentary ‘And She Could Be Next,’ about a movement of women of color claiming political power.”

Yoruba Richen


(In alphabetical order)

“After the Wedding”

Saturday, July 20, 8:30 p.m. at IFC Center

Isabel (played by Michelle Williams) has dedicated her life to working with the children in an orphanage in Calcutta. Theresa (played by Julianne Moore) is the multimillionaire head of a media company who lives with her artist husband (played by Billy Crudup) and their twin boys in New York. When word comes to Isabel of a mysterious and generous grant for the financially struggling orphanage, she must travel to New York to meet the benefactor—Theresa—in person. After premiering at Sundance, “After the Wedding” (a remake of the 2006 Danish film directed by Susanne Bier)  makes its New York premiere at 51Fest. The movie is set for release in select U.S. theaters on August 9, 2019.

110 minutes. Directed by Bart Freundlich. A Sony Pictures Classics release.

Post-screening conversation with producer and star Julianne Moore and Tina Brown.


“Brittany Runs a Marathon”

Saturday, July 20, 2:45 p.m. at IFC Center

Winner of the Audience Award at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, this  comedy was inspired by real events. The irresistible cast, led by Jillian Bell, lends heart and soul to this inspirational story of a party girl who finally finds real friends — and dignity — by taking control of her future, one city block at a time. At 27, her hard-partying ways, chronic underemployment and toxic relationships are catching up with her, but when she stops by a new doctor’s office to try to score some Adderall, she gets slapped with a prescription she never wanted: Get healthy. Too broke for a gym and too proud to ask for help, Brit is at a loss, until her seemingly together neighbor Catherine pushes her to lace up her Converse sneakers and run one sweaty block. The next day, she runs two. And soon, after finishing her first mile, she sets an almost unthinkable goal: running in the New York City Marathon. After its New York premiere at 51Fest, “Brittany Runs a Marathon” will be released in select U.S. theaters on August 23, 2019.

103 minutes. Directed by Paul Downs Colaizzo. An Amazon Studios release.

Post-screening conversation with real-life subject Brittany O’Neill and Ophira Eisenberg, host of NPR’s “Tell Me Another”


“For Sama”

Sunday, July 21, 12 p.m. at IFC Center

After winning awards at the SXSW Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival, the documentary “For Sama” makes its New York debut at 51Fest. “For Sama” is both an intimate and epic journey into the female experience of war. A love letter from a young mother to her daughter, the film tells the story of Waad al-Kateab’s life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria as she falls in love, gets married and gives birth to Sama, all while cataclysmic conflict rises around her. Her camera captures incredible stories of loss, laughter and survival as Waad wrestles with an impossible choice–whether or not to flee the city to protect her daughter’s life, when leaving means abandoning the struggle for freedom for which she has already sacrificed so much. The film is the first feature documentary by Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts. “For Sama” will be released in select U.S. theaters on July 26, 2019, before premiering on the PBS show “Frontline.”

95 minutes. Directed by Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts. A PBS Distribution/Frontline release.

After the screening, filmmakers Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts and subject Dr. Hamza al-Kateab will be interviewed by Anne Barnard, who led coverage of the war in Syria for the New York Times from 2012 to 2018, as Beirut bureau chief.


“A Girl From Mogadishu”

Sunday, July 21, 5:15 p.m. at IFC Center

Aja Naomi King in “A Girl From Mogadishu”

“A Girl From Mogadishu” is a drama is real-life-inspired story about the horrors of female genital mutilation (FGM), based on the testimony of an Irish-Somali campaigner (played by Aja Naomi King).  The film opens with a harrowing escape, as 17-year-old Ifrah Ahmed flees war-torn Somalia, evading smugglers and traffickers to seek asylum in Ireland. When she returns to Somalia to confront her family about being an unwilling victim of FGM, she also is determined to save other young girls at risk of FGM. “A Girl From Mogadishu” has its North American premiere at 51Fest.

112 minutes. Directed by Mary McGuckian.

Post-screening discussion with writer-director Mary McGuckian, actor Barkhad Abdi, and real-life subject Ifrah Ahmed, moderated by journalist Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani of Verizon Media


“Official Secrets” 

Saturday, July 20, 5:30 p.m. at IFC Center

She risked everything to stop an unjust war. Her government called her a traitor. Based on world-shaking true events, “Official Secrets” tells the gripping story of Katharine Gun (played by Keira Knightley), a British intelligence specialist whose job involves routine handling of classified information. One day in 2003, in the lead up to the Iraq War, Gun receives a memo from the NSA with a shocking directive: the United States is enlisting Britain’s help in collecting compromising information on United Nations Security Council members in order to blackmail them into voting in favor of an invasion of Iraq. Unable to stand by and watch the world be rushed into an illegal war, Gun makes the gut-wrenching decision to defy her government and leak the memo to the press. So begins an explosive chain of events that will ignite an international firestorm, expose a vast political conspiracy, and put Gun and her family directly in harm’s way. After its New York premiere at 51fest, “Official Secrets” will be released in select U.S. theaters on August 30, 2019.

112 minutes. Directed by Gavin Hood. An IFC Films release.

Post-screening conversation with real-life subject Katharine Gun, moderated by Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and HuffPost editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen.



Sunday, July 21, 2:30 p.m. at IFC Center

51Fest is having a sneak preview of the comedy film “Otherhood.” Feeling marginalized and forgotten, longtime friends Carol (played Angela Bassett), Gillian (played by Patricia Arquette) and Helen (played Felicity Huffman) decide to drive to New York to reconnect with their adult sons, and in the process they realize their sons are not the only ones whose lives need to change. A journey to relate becomes a journey of rediscovery that forces these women to redefine their relationships with their children, friends, spouses and most importantly, themselves. Netflix will premiere “Otherhood” on August 2, 2019.

Post-screening discussion with director Cindy Chupack and producers Cathy Schulman and Jason Michael Berman.

100 minutes. Directed by Cindy Chupack. A Netflix release.


“Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins”

Saturday, July 20, 12 p.m. at IFC Center

This documentary about the late columnist/writer Molly Ivins got rave reviews after its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, and the movie has its New York premiere at 51Fest. At 6 feet tall, the politically outspoken Ivins was a force to be reckoned with in expressing her liberal viewpoints. The film also includes her battles with alcoholism and breast cancer, the latter of which took her life in 2007. Featuring interviews with Ivins’ friends and former colleagues, “Raise Hell” gives an in-depth look at her life and her lasting legacy. Magnolia Pictures will release “Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins” in Texas on August 30, 2019, and in New York City and Los Angeles on September 6, 2019.

93 minutes. Directed by Janice Engel. A Magnolia Pictures release.

Post-screening conversation with director Janice Engel along with friends and admirers of Molly Ivins.



Friday, July 19, 8:30 p.m. at IFC Center

When teenager Marie Adler (played Kaitlyn Dever) files a police report claiming an intruder sexually assaulted her in her home, several people begin to doubt her story. Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away, detectives Grace Rasmussen and Karen Duvall (played Toni Collette and Merritt Wever) are investigating a case that is similar to what Marie has reported. The limited drama series “Unbelievable,” whose first episode will have its world premiere at 51Fest, is inspired by the real events in The Marshall Project and ProPublica Pulitzer Prize-winning article, “An Unbelievable Story of Rape,” written by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong, and the “This American Life” radio episode “Anatomy of Doubt.” Netflix will premiere “Unbelievable” on September 13, 2019.

60 min. Episode directed by Lisa Cholodenko. A Netflix release.

Post-screening conversation with showrunner and executive producer Susannah Grant, executive producer Sarah Timberman, executive producer and episode director Lisa Cholodenko, and actors Kaitlyn Dever, Danielle Macdonald and Merritt Wever. 



Sunday, July 21st, 8:15 p.m. at IFC Center

This documentary chronicles the downfall of former entertainment mogul Harvey Weinstein because of sexual abuse allegations. Although stories about Weinstein being a sexual predator had been circulating in the industry for decades, he wasn’t fully exposed until 2017, when the New York Times and the New Yorker published articles that had several famous women (including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino) telling their stories of being sexually harassed by Weinstein. The articles are considered the catalyst for the #MeToo movement. This documentary, which had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, includes interviews with Weinstein accusers Rosanna Arquette, Hope D’Amore, Paz de la Huerta, Erika Rosenbaum, and others. After its New York premiere at 51Fest, “Untouchable” will premiere on Hulu on September 2, 2019.

98 minutes. Directed by Ursula Macfarlane. A Hulu release.

Post-screening conversation with director Ursula Macfarlane and subjects Hope D’Amore and Erika Rosenbaum.

2019 Cannes Film Festival: feature film slate announced

April 18, 2019

UPDATED May 2, 2019, after new films were added to the festival programming.

by Carla Hay

Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (Photo by Andrew Cooper)

The 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival—set to take place in Cannes, Frances from May 14 to May 25, 2019—has announced its lineup of feature films. As previously reported, the opening-night film is the zombie flick “The Dead Don’t Die,” directed by Jim Jarmusch and starring Adam Driver, Bill Murray, Chloë Sevigny and Steve Buscemi. The most high-profile film at Cannes this year that is not screening in competition is the Elton John biopic “Rocketman,” directed by Dexter Fletcher and starring Taron Egerton as Grammy-winning superstar John. “Rocketman” is screening out of competition, and will premiere at Cannes on May 16. The festival is usually dominated by independent films, and Paramount Pictures’ “Rocketman” is one of the few Cannes movies this year from a major studio. “Rocketman” is due out in U.K. cinemas on March 24, and arrives in U.S. theaters on May 31.

There are 21 movies in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. As expected, they are from several different countries and include a mix of famous and lesser-known directors. The high-profile directors who have films in competition this year are Quentin Tarantino with “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”; Terrence Malick with “A Hidden Life”; Xavier Dolan with “Matthias and Maxime”; Pedro Almodóvar with “Pain and Glory,” also known as “Dolor y Gloria”; Ken Loach with “Sorry We Missed You”; Ira Sachs with “Frankie”; and Bong Joon Ho with “Parasite,” also known as “Gisaengchung.”

Other well-known directors who have movies at Cannes this year include Abel Ferrara with “Tommaso” and Werner Herzog with “Family Romance, LLC.” Both movies are not in competition at Cannes and will have special screenings.

In 2019, Oscar-winning Mexican filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu (“Birdman,” “The Revenant”) is the president of the Cannes grand jury, while Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki is the president of the Un Certain Regard jury. Labaki’s “Capernaum” was in competition at Cannes in 2018, and the movie went on to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

Diversity and Representation

Mati Diop (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

There are four female directors with movies in competition at Cannes this year, which an increase from three female directors the previous year. The three female directors are Mati Diop with “Atlantique”; Jessica Hausner with “Little Joe”; Justine Triet with “Sibyl”; and Céline Sciamma with “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” also known as “Portrait de la jeune fille en feu.” The 2019 Cannes Film Festival has a total of 13 female directors with feature films. Diop (who is of French and Senegalese descent) is the first black female director to have a film in competition at Cannes. She is also an actress whose credits include the indie films “Simon Killer,” “Hermia & Helena” “Fort Buchanan” and “L for Leisure.”

There are two black directors with a film in the Cannes competition this year: the aforementioned Diop and Ladj Ly, who brings his remake of “Les Misérables” to Cannes. There was only one black filmmaker (Spike Lee) in competition at Cannes in 2018. Just like last year, there are no directors of Latin-American descent in the Cannes competition this year. Almodóvar is from Spain, and is considered a white European.

The representation numbers went down this year for directors of Asian and Arab/Middle-Eastern descent in competition at Cannes. In 2018, there were four Asian (non-Middle Eastern) directors, compared to two in 2019: Bong Joon Ho with “Parasite,” also known as “Gisaengchung”; and Diao Yinan with “The Wild Goose Lake” also known as “Nan Fang Che Zhan De Ju Hui.” In 2018, there were three directors of from the Middle East in the Cannes competition. In 2019 there is just one: “It Must Be Heaven” director Elia Suleiman, who is a Greek-Palestinian.

The Streaming Service Effect

Miles Teller in “Too Old to Die Young – North of Hollywood, West of Hell” (Photo courtesy of Amazon Prime Video)

For the second year in a row, Netflix is skipping Cannes, due to festival rules that movies allowed in the Cannes Film Festival competitions must be available for theatrical release in France for at least six months before they are released on home video or any streaming service. Netflix was at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival with “Okja” and “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)” before Cannes enforced this rule. Netflix was reportedly going to world premiere director Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma” at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, but since Netflix is boycotting Cannes for now, “Roma” ended up having its world premiere at the 2018 Venice Film Festival, where it won the top prize (the Golden Lion) , and ended up winning three Oscars.

Netflix might no longer be part of the Cannes Film Festival, but Amazon Prime Video is still participating. Amazon is at the 2019 Cannes Festival with a sneak preview of the episodic series “Too Old to Die Young – North of Hollywood, West of Hell,” a crime drama directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and starring  Miles Teller and Billy Baldwin.

New streaming services Apple+ and Disney+ are launching before the end of 2019, and it remains to be seen if they will submit any of their original content to the Cannes Film Festival. Based on what these streaming services have announced so far, they will both have original series and movies, but the majority of movies on Disney+ content will be Disney-owned movies that were already released in theaters. Therefore, Apple+ is more likely to have original movies that could potentially premiere at film festivals. It will be interesting to see how these new streaming services will affect the film-festival landscape in 2020 and beyond.

Here is the announced lineup of feature films at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival:


Bill Murray, Chloë Sevigny and Adam Driver “The Dead Don’t Die” (Photo by Abbot Genser/Focus Features)

“Atlantique” (Directed by Mati Diop)

“Bacarau” (Directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles)

“The Dead Don’t Die” (Directed by Jim Jarmusch) **OPENING NIGHT FILM**

“Frankie” (Directed by Ira Sachs)

“A Hidden Life” (Directed by Terrence Malick)

“Intermezzo” (Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche)*

“It Must Be Heaven” (Directed by Elia Suleiman)

“Les Misérables” (Directed by Ladj Ly)

“Little Joe” (Directed by Jessica Hausner)

“Matthias and Maxime” (Directed by Xavier Dolan)

“Oh Mercy!” (Directed by Arnaud Desplechin)

“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (Directed by Quentin Tarantino)*

“Pain and Glory” also known as “Dolor y Gloria” (Directed by Pedro Almodóvar)

“Parasite” also known as “Gisaengchung” (Directed by Bong Joon Ho)

“Portrait of a Lady on Fire” also known as “Portrait de la jeune fille en feu” (Directed by Céline Sciamma)

“Sibyl” (Directed by Justine Triet)

“Sorry We Missed You” (Directed by Ken Loach)

“The Traitor” also known as “Il Traditore” (Directed by Marco Bellocchio)

“The Whistlers” also known as “La Gomera” (Directed by Corneliu Porumboiu)

“The Wild Goose Lake” also known as “Nan Fang Che Zhan De Ju Hui” (Directed by Diao Yinan)

“The Young Ahmed” (Directed by Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne)


Leyna Bloom (pictured at right) in “Port Authority” (Photo courtesy of Madeleine Films)

“Adam” (Directed by Maryam Touzani)

“Beanpole” also known as “Dylda” (Directed by Kantemir Balagov)

“A Brother’s Love” (Directed by Monia Chokri)

“Bull” (Directed by Annie Silverstein)

“Chambre 212” also known as “Room 212” (Directed by Christophe Honoré)

“The Climb” (Directed by Michael Covino)

“Evge” (Directed by Nariman Aliev)

“Freedom” also known as “Liberté” (Directed by Albert Serra)

“Invisible Life” also known as “Vida Invisivel” (Directed by Karim Aïnouz)

“Joan of Arc” also known as “Jeanne” (Directed by Bruno Dumont)

“La famosa invasione degli orsi in Sicilia” (Directed by Lorenzo Mattotti)*

“Odnazhdy v Trubchevske” (Directed by Larissa Sadilova)*

“Papicha” (Directed by Mounia Meddour)

“Port Authority” (Directed by Danielle Lessovitz)

“Summer of Changsha” also known as “Liu Yu Tian” (Directed by Zu Feng)

“The Swallows of Kabul” (Directed by Zabou Breitman and Eléa Gobé Mévellec)

“A Sun That Never Sets” also known as “O Que Arde” (Directed by Olivier Laxe)

“Zhuo Ren Mi Mi” (Directed by Midi Z)


Taron Egerton in “Rocketman” (Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

“The Best Years of a Life” (Directed by Claude Lelouch)

“Diego Maradona” (Directed by Asif Kapadia)

“La Belle Époque” (Directed by Nicolas Bedos)

“Rocketman” (Directed by Dexter Fletcher)

“Too Old to Die Young – North of Hollywood, West of Hell” (Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn)


“The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil” (Directed by Lee Won-Tae)

“Lux Aeterna” (Directed by Gaspar Noé)*


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

“5B” (Directed by Dan Krauss)*

“Chicuarotes” (Directed by Gael García Bernal)*

“Family Romance, LLC.” (Directed by Werner Herzog)

“For Sama” (Directed by Waad Al Kateab and Edward Watts)

“Ice on Fire” (Directed by Leila Conners)*

“La Cordillera de los sueños” (Patricio Guzmán)*

“Que Sea Ley” (Directed by Juan Solanas)

“Share” (Directed by Pippa Bianco)

“To Be Alive and Know It” also known as “Être vivant et le savoir” (Directed by Alain Cavalier)

“Tommaso” (Directed by Abel Ferrara)

*Addition to lineup announced on May 2, 2019.


“Litigante” (Directed by Franco Lolli)

“Heroes Don’t Die” (Directed by Aude Léa Rapin)

“Tu Mérites Un Amour” (Directed by Hafsia Herzi)

“Dwelling In The Fuchun Mountains” (Directed by Gu Xiaogang)


“Alice and the Mayor” (Directed by Nicolas Pariser)

“And Then We Danced” (Directed by Levan Akin)

“The Halt” (Directed by Lav Diaz)

“Song Without a Name” (Directed by Melina León)

“Deerskin” (Directed by Quentin Dupieux)

“Ghost Tropic” (Directed by Bas Devos)

“Give Me Liberty” (Directed by Kirill Mikhanovsky)

“First Love” (Directed by Takashi Miike)

“To Live to Sing” (Directed by Johnny Ma)

“Dogs Don’t Wear Pants” (Directed by Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää)

“The Lighthouse” (Directed by Robert Eggers)

“Lillian” (Directed by Andreas Horwath)

“Oļeg” (Directed by Juris Kursietis)

“Blow It to Bits” (Directed by Lech Kowalski)

“Les Particules” (Directed by (Directed by Blaise Harrison

“The Orphanage” (Directed by Shahrbanoo Sadat)

“Perdrix” (Directed by Erwan Le Duc)

“For the Money” (Directed by Alejo Moguillansky)

“Sick Sick Sick” (Directed by Alice Furtado)

“Tlamess” (Directed by Ala Eddine Slim)

“An Easy Girl” (Directed by Rebecca Zlotowski)

“Wounds” (Directed by Babak Anvari)

“Yves” (Directed by Benoît Forgeard)

“Zombi Child” (Directed by Bertrand Bonello)

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:



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


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


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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


“Exit 12”

Winner:​ “Exit 12”

Director: Mohammad Gorjestani

“All Inclusive” (Photo by Nikola Ilić)

Special Jury Recognition: ​”All Inclusive”

Director: Corina Schwingruber Ilić


Winner: ​”Other Side of the Box”

Director: Caleb J. Phillips


“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


Winner: ​”Pa’Lante” – Hurray for the Riff Raff

Director: Kristian Mercado

Special Jury Recognition: ​”Quarrel” – Moses Sumney

Directors: Allie Avital, Moses Sumney


“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



Winner:​ “Fifteen”

Director: Louisa Baldwin

“Double Cross” (Image by Amiri Scrutchin)

Special Jury Recognition:​ “Double Cross”

Director: Amiri Scrutchin



Winner: ​”Maggie”

Director: Sasha Gordon

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

Special Jury ​Recognition:​ ​”Revenge Tour”

Directors: Andrew Carter, Kahlil Maskati



“Daniel Isn’t Real”

Winner: ​”Daniel Isn’t Real”

Designer: Jock

Design Company: 4twenty limited


“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 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


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



“Saint Frances”

Audience Award Winner: ​”Saint Frances”

Director:​ ​Alex Thompson


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

Audience Award Winner: ​”For Sama”

Directors: Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts


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


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

Audience Award Winner: ​”Running With Beto”

Director: David Modigliani


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

Audience Award Winner: ​”The Garden Left Behind”

Director: Flavio Alves


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

Audience Award Winner: “​Boyz in the Wood”

Direct​or: Ninian Doff


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

Audience Award Winner​: ​”Ramy”

Showrunner: Bridget Bedard


“Cachada: The Opportunity”

Audience Award Winner: ​”Cachada: The Opportunity”

Director: Marlén Viñayo


“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


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

Audience Award Winner:​ “Long Shot”

Director: Jonathan Levine


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


“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

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