‘Low’ hits high gear at fest

'Hybrid' nabs top docu kudos

Blaine Thurier’s drama “Low Self Esteem Girl” took the top narrative prize at the South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas, with the top documentary feature award presented to Monteith McCollum’s “Hybrid,” the story of a 100-year-old man’s obsession with hybrid seed corn. Winners were announced Tuesday night at Austin’s Paramount Theater.

In the audience categories, John Ryman won the top narrative award for dark comedy “The Zeros” and James Crowley’s “The Journeyman,” a Western starring Willie Nelson and Brad Hunt, won the prize for narrative first film.

In the documentary section, Bradley Beesley’s “Okie Noodling” won the audience prize. “Okie” is a bizarre but true tale of men who catch giant catfish using their own hands as bait. Heather Courtney’s “Los Trabajadores” (The Workers), a story of Austin’s immigrant day laborers, won the documentary first film prize.

The audience award for international film went to Lukas Moodyson’s “Tillsammans” (Together). That pic will be distributed by IFC Films later this year.

‘Helicopter’ hero

In the shorts categories, Ari Gold’s “Helicopter” won the narrative short award, Ellen Spiro’s “Atomic Ed and the Black Hole” won the documentary short prize, Julian Dahl’s “Insect” took the experimental short award, Jesse Schmal’s “Sub!” won the animated short prize and Mikey Tomkins won in the musicvideo category for St. Etienne’s “How We Used to Live.”

In the midnight film category, there was a three-way tie between Jay Chandrasekhar’s “Super Troopers” (which will be released through Fox Searchlight), Syd Haron and Erin Henry’s “Wave Twisters: The Movie” and Maggie Carey and Elena Carr’s “Ladyporn.”

(Joe Leydon contributed to this report.)

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