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SXSW Awards Winners

by Anne Thompson
March 17, 2009 9:35 AM
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Drag Me to HellSxswimages-1

On Tuesday, the changing of the guard began, as SXSW film people ramped up for awards night, interactive people started to leave town and music people trickled in. Screenings will continue through the weekend. But the film fest proper culminates tonight.

I had a schizophrenic festival, catching Alexander the Last before I left LA, and watching a combo of competition documentaries and solid studio entries such as opener I Love You, Man, Sam Raimi's Drag Me to Hell and Observe and Report, starring Seth Rogen. I caught a few panels, several of them well-attended by the interactive side. The digital future is front and center now: all of our futures depend on it. And I saw one SXSW micro-indie narrative feature, David Lowery's deliberately mysterious St. Nick. "It's an art film," somebody warned me ahead of time. That it is. At the Q & A, the filmmaker basically said: I did it my way. Explaining it all to you is not the point.

Festivals like this exist for filmmakers to connect with their audience directly, without intermediaries. I will be interested to see how IFC's Alexander the Last day-and-date VOD experiment turns out. Were they able to drum up much interest outside the fest environment? UPDATE: At the awards ceremony, Joe Swanberg admitted that he was on tenterhooks waiting to hear the opening week results. So far I have not been able to extricate any numbers.

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The high point of the fest was watching the midnight show of Drag Me to Hell at the Paramount Theatre as everyone yelped and gulped and laughed and had a raucous good time. I couldn't have seen it with a better crowd. We got it, enjoyed it, participated gleefully. I'll be back.

This years SXSW award winners are listed on the jump:



2009 FILM FESTIVAL AWARDS

 

 

Austin,
Texas – March 17, 2009
– The jury and audience award-winners of the South by Southwest (SXSW)
Film Conference and Festival were announced tonight at the Festival’s closing
Awards Ceremony hosted by comedian Jimmy Roulette in Austin, Texas.  Films receiving jury awards were
selected from the Narrative Feature and Documentary Feature categories.  Films in these categories, as well as
the Emerging Visions, 24 Beats Per Second and Lone Star States categories were
also eligible for the 2009 SXSW Film Festival Audience Awards.  24 Beats Per Second and Lone Star
States Audience Awards will be announced separately on Friday, March 20.

 

SXSW also
announced the jury prizes in shorts filmmaking, and special jury awards SXSW
& AIGA Movie Poster Award, the SXSW Chicken and EGG Emergent Narrative
Woman Director Award and the SXSW Wholphin Short Film Award.  Details can be found at the official
Festival website
www.sxsw.com/film, as well as highlights from the
Awards Ceremony at
www.youtube.com/sxsw starting Friday, March 20.

 

“Going into
the festival, we knew we had a strong lineup to be proud of, filled with some
of the smartest and most talented filmmakers working at the studio level down to
the tiniest of micro budgets,” said Film Conference and Festival Producer Janet
Pierson, “but audiences, industry and press are all saying this is their
favorite batch of movies in years.  It’s great to feel the overwhelming
embrace of the SXSW attendees who love what they’re watching, and even better, seeing
our filmmakers enjoying each other’s work!  The creative interchange is not just rhetoric, here at SXSW,
it's at the heart.”

 

The
2009 SXSW Film Festival Juries
consisted of:

 

Narrative
Feature Competition:
Scott Foundas, Ted Hope, Kim Voynar; Documentary Feature
Competition
: Anne Thompson, Basil Tsiokos, Lois Vossen; Reel
Shorts
: Emma Gray Munthe, Dan Nuxoll, Caspar Sonnen; Experimental
Shorts
: Spencer Parsons, Luke Savisky, Sean Williams; Animated
Shorts:
Chris Eska, Steve Mack, Lars Nilsen; Music Videos:
Stefan Arni, Siggi Kinski, Francis Preve, Adam Yauch; Texas High School Shorts:
Bob Ray, Garret
Savage, Bart Weiss.

 

For the
2009 SXSW Film Festival, 133 feature-length films were selected including 57
world premieres, selected 1,511 feature-length film submissions composed of
1,220 U.S. and 291 international feature-length films.  The 2009 SXSW Film
Festival Awards was hosted by Film in North Carolina. Film in North Carolina is
a partnership between Creative Commerce Commission of Asheville NC, North
Carolina Film Office and the Piedmont Triad Film Commission.

 

The
2009 SXSW Film Festival Award Winners:

 

Feature
Jury Awards

 

DOCUMENTARY
FEATURE

Winner – 45365

Director:
Bill Ross

An inquiring look at everyday life in Middle America, the film explores the
congruities of daily life in an American town Sidney, Ohio.

 

Honorable
Mention – The Way We Get By

Director:
Aron Gaudet

On call 24/7 for the past 6 years, a group of senior citizens transform their
lives by greeting nearly one million U.S. troops at a tiny airport in Maine.

 

NARRATIVE
FEATURE

Winner – Made
in China

Director:
Judi Krant

Lost in Shanghai, an inventor discovers that it takes more than a bright idea
to succeed. 

 

Special
Jury Award for Best Ensemble Cast – That Evening Sun

Director:
Scott Teems

A ruthless grudge match between two old foes.  Lines are drawn, threats
are made, and the simmering tension under the Tennessee sun erupts, inevitably,
into savagery.  Cast: Hal Holbrook, Mia Wasikowska, Ray McKinnon, Walton
Goggins, Carrie Preston

 

Audience
Awards

EMERGING VISIONS


Winner – Motherland

Director:
Jennifer Steinman

Six grieving mothers journey to Africa in order to test the theory that “giving
is healing.”

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Winner – MINE

Director:
Geralyn Pezanoski

After Hurricane Katrina, thousands of pets were rescued and adopted by families
around the country, leading to many custody battles. Through these stories, the
film examines issues of race, class and animal welfare in the U.S.

NARRATIVE FEATURE

Winner – That Evening Sun

Director:
Scott Teems

A ruthless grudge match between two old foes.  Lines are drawn, threats
are made, and the simmering tension under the Tennessee sun erupts, inevitably,
into savagery.  



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