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SXSW Awards: ‘Alice,’ ‘For Sama’ Win Top Prizes

Josephine Mackerras’ marital drama “Alice” won the top prize for best narrative feature at the South by Southwest Awards on Tuesday night at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas.

The French film is Mackerras’ feature directorial debut and explores the collapse of a seemingly perfect marriage. Emilie Piponnier stars as the title character who becomes a sex worker after discovering that her husband Francois, played by Martin Swabey, is leading a double life and has taken all of their money and spent it —  including her inheritance from her father.

“Alice” also won the inaugural CherryPicks Female First Award, presented to a first-time female filmmaker.

The best documentary award went to the British production “For Sama,” directed by Waad al-Khateab and Edward Watts. “For Sama,” produced by Channel 4 News and ITN Productions, tells the story of al-Khateab’s journey through love, war and motherhood across five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria.

“Yes, God, Yes,” written and directed by Karen Maine, won a special jury prize for best ensemble. “Stranger Things” star Natalia Dyer is the lead character as a Catholic high school student. The cast includes Timothy Simons of “Veep,” Wolfgang Novogratz, Francesca Reale, Susan Blackwell, Parker Wierling, Alisha Boe, Donna Lynne Champlin and Blair Nesbitt.

See the complete list of winners below.

The 2018 SXSW Film Festival Awards:

NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION
Winner: “Alice” directed by Josephine Mackerras.

Special Jury Recognition for Best Ensemble: “Yes, God, Yes” directed by Karen Maine.

Special Jury Recognition for Breakthrough Voice: “Saint Frances” directed by Alex Thompson.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION
Winner: “For Sama” directed by Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts.
Special Jury Recognition for Best Cast:

Special Jury Recognition for Empathy in Craft: “Ernie & Joe” directed by Jenifer McShane

Special Jury Recognition for Excellence in Storytelling: “Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy” directed by Elizabeth Carroll.

Narrative Shorts: “Liberty” directed by Faren Humes

Special Jury Recognition: “The Orphan” directed by Carolina Markowicz

Documentary Shorts: “Exit 12” directed by Mohammad Gorjestani

Special Jury Recognition: “All Inclusive” directed by Corina Schwingruber Ilić

Midnight Shorts: “Other Side of the Box” directed by Caleb J. Phillips

Animated Shorts: “Guaxuma” directed by Nara Normande

Special Jury Recognition: “Slug Life” directed by Sophie Koko Gate

Music Videos: “Pa’Lante” – Hurray for The Riff Raff” directed by Kristian Mercado

CherryPicks Female First Award: “Alice” directed by Josephine Mackerras.

CherryPicks Special Recognition: “Days of the Whale” directed by Catalina Arroyave Restrepo

Louis Black “Lone Star” Award: “The River and the Wall” directed by Ben Masters

ZEISS Cinematography Award: “Amazonia Groove” directed by Bruno Murtinho.

Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award: “Tito” directed by Grace Glowicki.

Vimeo Staff Picks Award: “Milton” directed by Tim Wilkime.

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