SXSW 2013 has only recently passed the halfway mark but already the Feature Film Jury Awards have been announced, with "Short Term 12," "Burma," "The Retrieval" and "William and the Windmill" receiving top honors.
The big winner of this year's festival is "Short Term 12," the Grand Jury Winner in the Narrative Feature Competition. The character drama, written and directed by Destin Cretton, follows a young woman named Grace (Brie Larson) as she navigates the troubled waters of a foster care home as one of its supervising staff members. The film has proved to be a festival favorite since its first screening on Sunday.
"This is so crazy emotional," Cretton said as he took the stage during the awards ceremony on Tuesday evening, saluting his fellow SXSW filmmakers with "to call this a competition is silly and totally wrong."
Special Jury Recognition for Ensemble Cast went to "Burma," writer-director Carlos Puga's drama about the sudden appearance of a long-lost patriarch on the eve of a family reunion. The Special Jury Recognition for Acting went to Tishuan Scott's performance in "The Retrieval," writer-director Chris Eska's American Civil War fable about a boy sent north by his bounty hunter gang to retrieve a wanted man.
The Grand Jury Winner of the Documentary Feature Competition was "William and the Windmill," a look into the life of William Kamkwamba, a young Malawian who builds a power-generating windmill to rescue his family from famine. The award came as something of a surprise to director Ben Nabors.
"Just to show the film to an audience has been a gift," Nabors said in accepting the prize. "It's a real honor to win an award and it's completely unexpected."
Special Jury Recognition for Cinematography went to Scott Duncan's 16mm work on "Touba," which explores the faith of Islam as it chronicles Sufi Muslims' annual pilgrimage to the Senegalese city of Touba. Special Jury Recognition for Directing went to co-directors AJ Schnack and David Wilson for "We Always Lie to Strangers," a look at four families experiencing love and loss in the American heartland.
The complete list of awards is below, with the Audience Awards set to be announced on Saturday in conclusion of the film portion of SXSW. The festival will officially close on Sunday.
FEATURE FILM JURY AWARDS
NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION:
Grand Jury Winner:
"Short Term 12"
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
Special Jury Recognition for Ensemble Cast:
Christopher Abbott, Gaby Hoffmann, Christopher McCann, Dan Bittner, Emily Fleischer, Jacinta Puga, Matt McCarthy, Kelly Aucoin
Special Jury Recognition for Acting:
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION:
Grand Jury Winner:
"William and the Windmill"
Director: Ben Nabors
Special Jury Recognition for Cinematography:
Director of Photography: Scott Duncan
Special Jury Recognition for Directing:
"We Always Lie to Strangers"
Directors: AJ Schnack & David Wilson
SHORT FILM JURY AWARDS
Winner: "Ellen is Leaving"
Director: Michelle Savill
Honorable Mention: "Sequin Raze"
Director: Sarah Gertrude Shapiro
Honorable Mention: "SKIN"
Director: Jordana Spiro
Director: Josh Izenberg
Winner: "The Apocalypse"
Director: Andrew Zuchero
Winner: "Oh Willy ..."
Directors: Emma De Swaef & Marc James Roels
Winner: Vitalic, "Stamina"
Director: Saman Keshavarz
TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL SHORTS:
Winner: "The Benefactress"
Director: Alina Vega
SXSW FILM DESIGN AWARDS
EXCELLENCE IN POSTER DESIGN:
Winner: "Kiss of the Damned"
Designer: Akiko Stehrenberger, Gravillis Inc
Special Jury Recognition: "We Always Lie To Strangers"
Designer: Erik Buckham, PALACEWORKS
EXCELLENCE IN TITLE DESIGN:
Winner: "Joven & Alocada"
Designer: Pablo González, Fabula
Special Jury Recognition: "Crave"
Designer: Raleigh Stewart, Iron Helmet
SXSW SPECIAL AWARDS
SXSW CHICKEN & EGG EMERGENT NARRATIVE WOMAN DIRECTOR AWARD:
Winner: Hannah Fidell, "A Teacher"
Special Mention: Katie Graham, "Zero Charisma"
LOUIS BLACK "LONE STAR" AWARD:
Winner: "Loves Her Gun"
Director: Geoff Marslett
KAREN SCHMEER FILM EDITING FELLOWSHIP:
Presented to: Jim Hession