×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

SXSW Announces Film Award Winners

The South by Southwest Film Festival has awarded its top prizes to “Most Beautiful Island,” directed by Ana Asensio for narrative feature and to “The Work,” directed by Jairus McLeary and Gethin Aldous, for documentary feature.

“Most Beautiful Island,” a New York-set thriller, is the directing debut of Spanish TV actress Asensio. “The Work” takes place at a group therapy retreat with convicts at Folsom Prison.

SXSW founder Louis Black, who came out despite being very sick, kicked off the show with a political statement: “You may like Trump, and that’s fine. … But most of you are engaged in a humanist battle for the soul of our country, and what you are doing is subversive, it is important, it is about bringing us together and not tearing us apart, it is about inclusion and not exclusion. It’s not about making films that sell popcorn, it’s about making films that save souls.”

Challenging critics who claim that SXSW has “gotten too big” or that the festival has “sold out,” Black insisted on the integrity of the programming team and complimented the independence of the filmmakers invited.

The jury gave a special recognition to “The Strange Ones” for James Freedson-Jackson’s breakthrough performance. The ensemble cast of “A Bad Idea Gone Wrong” was also recognized, including Matt Jones, Eleanore Pienta, Will Rogers, Jonny Mars, Sam Eidson, and Jennymarie Jemison.

In the documentary category, the jury handed out a special recognition for observational cinema to “Maineland,” directed by Miao Wang, and for excellence in documentary story telling to “I Am Another You,” directed by Nanfu Wang.

The 2017 SXSW Film Festival screens 130 features including 84 world premieres, and continues to Saturday.

Full list of 2017 SXSW Film Festival Awards: 

Feature Film Grand Jury Awards 

NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION

Winner: “Most Beautiful Island”

Director: Ana Asensio

Special Jury Recognition for Breakthrough Performance: “The Strange Ones”

Actor: James Freedson-Jackson

Special Jury Recognition for Best Ensemble: “A Bad Idea Gone Wrong”

Cast: Matt Jones, Eleanore Pienta, Will Rogers, Jonny Mars, Sam Eidson, Jennymarie Jemison

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION

Winner: “The Work”
Directors: Jairus McLeary and Gethin Aldous

Special Jury Recognition for Excellence in Observational Cinema: “Maineland”
Director: Miao Wang

Special Jury Recognition for Excellence in Documentary Storytelling: “I Am Another You”
Director: Nanfu Wang

Short Film Grand Jury Awards

NARRATIVE SHORTS

Winner: Forever Now
Director: Kristian Håskjold

Special Jury Recognition for Acting: DeKalb Elementary
Actor: Tarra Riggs

Special Jury Recognition Award: “Laps” Director: Charlotte Wells

DOCUMENTARY SHORTS

Winner: “Little Potato”
Director: Wes Hurley & Nathan M. Miller

MIDNIGHT SHORTS

Winner: “The Suplex Duplex Complex”

Director: Todd Rohal

ANIMATED SHORTS

Winner: “Wednesday with Goddard”
Directors: Nicolas Menard

Special Jury Recognition: “Pussy”

Director: Renata Gasiorowska

MUSIC VIDEOS

Winner: Leon Bridges – ‘RIVER’

Director: Miles Jay

Special Jury Recognition: Tame Impala – ‘The Less I Know The Better’

Director: CANADA

TEXAS SHORTS

Winner: The Rabbit Hunt
Director: Patrick Bresnan

TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL SHORTS

Winner: “Better Late Than Never”

Director: Atheena Frizzell

Special Jury Recognition: “Darcy’s Quinceañera”

Director: Sam Cooper

SXSW Film Design Awards 

EXCELLENCE IN POSTER DESIGN

Winner: “Fry Day”

Designer: Caspar Newbolt

Special Jury Recognition: “Like Me”

Designer: Jeremy Enecio

EXCELLENCE IN TITLE DESIGN

Winner: “Into The Current”

Directors: Chris R. Moberg and Jared Young

SXSW Special Awards 

SXSW LUNA Gamechanger Award – Narrative

Winner: “INFLAME”

Director: Ceylan Ozgun Ozcelik

SXSW LUNA Chicken & Egg Award – Documentary

Winner: “I Am Another You”

Director: Nanfu Wang

SXSW Louis Black “Lone Star” Award

Louis Black “Lone Star” Award

Winner: “Mr. Roosevelt”

Director: Noël Wells

SXSW Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award

Presented to: “Assholes” directed by Peter Vack

SXSW Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship Presentation

Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship

Presented to: Leigh Johnson

POPULAR VARIETY VIDEO:

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Scotty Bowers

    Scotty Bowers, Old Hollywood's Sexual Matchmaker, Dies at 96

    Scotty Bowers, a “sexual matchmaker” for dozens of stars during the Golden Age of Hollywood who wrote about his colorful — and sometimes unbelivable — life in his memoir “Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars,” died at his Laurel Canyon home on Sunday. He was 96. The [...]

  • AMC theater

    AMC Entertainment Introducing On-Demand Movie Service

    AMC Entertainment will introduce an online video store in the United States on Tuesday. Adam Aron, AMC’s president and chief executive, said that the AMC Theaters On Demand will offer about 2,000 films for sale or rent after their theatrical runs — much like Amazon or iTunes. Disney, Warner Bros., Universal, Sony and Paramount have [...]

  • Scarlett Johansson poses for photographers upon

    Scarlett Johansson 'Pushing' for All-Women Marvel Movie

    After the epic battle scene in “Avengers: Endgame” depicted the female superheroes uniting to protect Spider-Man from Thanos, Marvel fans started wondering if they’ll ever see the women unite for a standalone movie. “Captain Marvel” star Brie Larson generated even more buzz when she told Variety that she and other female co-stars have approached Marvel [...]

  • Ivana Lombardi Netflix

    Annapurna Film Head Ivana Lombardi Named Director of Indies at Netflix (EXCLUSIVE)

    Annapurna Pictures president of film Ivana Lombardi is moving across town to Netflix, after almost a year in her role at Megan Ellison’s company. As of Nov. 6, Lombardi will serve as director of independent films at the streamer. She will report directly to Lisa Nishimura, Netflix’s vice president of independent film and documentary features. [...]

  • Zoe Kravitz 'Big Little Lies' TV

    Zoe Kravitz to Play Catwoman in 'The Batman'

    “Big Little Lies” star Zoe Kravitz has been tapped to play Catwoman, the antiheroine and sometime love interest of the Caped Crusader, in Matt Reeves’ upcoming “The Batman.” Kravitz will star opposite Robert Pattinson as Batman. In recent weeks, the role came down to Kravitz, Zazie Beetz of “Atlanta,” “Deadpool 2” and “Joker” and “Baby [...]

  • Hadley Robinson Amy Poehler

    'Little Women' Actress Hadley Robinson to Star in Amy Poehler's 'Moxie'

    “Utopia” and “Little Women” actress Hadley Robinson has been tapped to star in Amy Poehler’s next directorial effort “Moxie.” Lauren Tsai is also on board to co-star in the Netflix movie. “Moxie” follows a teenage girl (Robinson) from a small town who is inspired by her mother’s Riot Girl past and starts a feminist revolution [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content