The canceled SXSW Film Festival will still hand out awards by allowing jurors to see the festival’s competition films.
SXSW director of film Janet Pierson made the announcement on Friday, which would have been the opening day of the festival. The event was canceled on March 6 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“This was going to [be] a transformative event, and with the cancellation, the filmmakers were left stranded and scrambling,” she said. “We had several Special Awards juries already in place via links, and since we are not able to present the event, we decided to continue and expand to all the juried competitions, if the majority of the filmmakers opted in and juries were available. We know it’s no substitute for the live SXSW event with its unique and fantastic audience, but at least it’s some way to get attention for these wonderful films.”
She also said SXSW will continue to serve as an official qualifying festival for the Film Independent Spirit Awards and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awards.
The SXSW awards will be announced on March 24. Pierson said the festival has arranged for filmmakers to opt-in to its Shift72 secure online screening library, with options to make available for press, buyers, industry or combinations of these audiences.
“We have been heartened by the efforts of so many in the film industry and wider film community to come together with offers to help SXSW projects by offering screening rooms, fee waivers, and so many ways,” Pierson said. “We are continuing to explore other ways to support the paths of the SXSW 2020 Official Selection films and filmmakers in this new environment.”
SXSW will give out awards in the following categories:
NARRATIVE FEATURE: Grand Jury Award
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Grand Jury Award
DOCUMENTARY SHORTS: Jury Award
NARRATIVE SHORTS: Jury Award
ANIMATED SHORTS: Jury Award
EPISODIC PILOT COMPETITION: Jury Award
MIDNIGHT SHORTS: Jury Award
MUSIC VIDEOS: Jury Award
TEXAS SHORTS: Jury Award
TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL SHORTS Jury Award
EXCELLENCE IN POSTER DESIGN Jury Award
EXCELLENCE IN TITLE DESIGN Jury Award
ADOBE EDITING AWARD
ADAM YAUCH HÖRNBLOWÉR AWARD
FINAL DRAFT SCREENWRITERS AWARD
LOUIS BLACK “LONE STAR” AWARD
VIMEO STAFF PICK AWARD
ZEISS CINEMATOGRAPHY AWARD