Virtual Cinema Jury Award Winners Also Announced

The South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festivals today announced the Audience Award winners from the Narrative Feature Competition, Documentary Feature Competition, Narrative Spotlight, Documentary Spotlight, Visions, Midnighters, Episodic Premieres, Global, Festival Favorites and Design Award categories. Headliners and 24 Beats Per Second Audience Award winners will be announced on Monday, March 18.  Audience Award results for all categories were certified by the accounting firm of Maxwell Locke & Ritter.  Also announced were the 2019 Virtual Cinema Jury Award Winners.

The Audience Awards follow the previously-announced 2019 Jury Awards, which included Grand Jury Winners Alice for Narrative Feature and For Sama for Documentary Feature. For the complete list of 2019 Award Winners, visit

Over the course of nine days, the 2019 SXSW Film Festival screened 133 features, consisting of 102 World Premieres, 9 North American Premieres, and 3 US Premieres, with 62 first-time filmmakers. 101 shorts and music videos will screen as part of 12 curated shorts programs, plus two episodic pilot programs. The 256 films were selected from 8,496 overall submissions, including approximately 2,361 features and 4,734 shorts.


2019 SXSW Film Festival Audience Award Winners:

Audience Award Winner: Saint Frances

Director: Alex Thompson

Audience Award Winner: For Sama
Directors: Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts

Audience Award Winner: The Peanut Butter Falcon
Director: Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz

Audience Award Winner: Running With Beto
Director: David Modigliano

Audience Award Winner: The Garden Left Behind
Director: Flavio Alves

Audience Award Winner: Boyz In The Wood
Director: Ninian Doff

Audience Award Winner: Ramy
Showrunner: Bridget Bedard

Audience Award Winner: Cachada: The Opportunity
Director: Marlén Viñayo


Audience Award Winner: Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins

Director: Janice Engel

SXSW Film Design Awards


Audience Award Winner: Spider-man: Into The Spider-verse

Directors: Brian Mah, James Ramirez

As today is the final day of the SXSW Film Festival, additional screenings have been scheduled for this evening for all Audience Award winners except Headliners and 24 Beats Per Second:

Audience Award: Documentary Feature Competition
For Sama
3/16/2019, Lamar A, 5:15 PM

Audience Award: Documentary Spotlight
Running With Beto

3/16/2019, Alamo Ritz 1, 4:45 PM

Audience Award: Episodic Premieres


3/16/2019, Lamar C, 8:15 PM

Audience Award: Festival Favorites

Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins

3/16/2019, Lamar B, 7:30 PM

Audience Award: Midnighters

Boyz In The Wood

3/16/2019, Alamo Lamar B, 11:00 PM

Audience Award: Narrative Feature Competition
Saint Frances

3/16/2019, Alamo Lamar A, 8:45 PM

Audience Award: Narrative Spotlight

The Peanut Butter Falcon

3/16/2019, Alamo Ritz 1, 1:45 PM

Audience Award: Global

Cachada: The Opportunity

3/16/2019, Alamo Lamar C, 2:30 PM

Audience Award: Visions

The Garden Left Behind

3/16/2019, Alamo Ritz 2, 7:45 PM


The 25 projects in the Virtual Cinema, which ran Monday 3/11 through Wednesday 3/13, were eligible for 360° Video: Documentary, 360° Video: Narrative, Interactive, Storytelling, Best Use of Immersive Arts, plus special jury awards. The 2019 Virtual Cinema jury was composed of  Eliza McNitt, Laura Mingail, and Lori Schwartz.

360° VIDEO: DOCUMENTARY – Send Me Home
Director: Cassandra Evanisko
Send Me Home is equally an unforgettable journey through the impact of Rickey Jackson’s wrongful incarceration, as it is an exceptionally inspiring experience.

360° VIDEO: NARRATIVE – Metro Veinte: Cita Ciega
Director: Maria Belen Poncio
This story transported us on a journey through laughter and tears. Metro Veinte: Cita Ciega is a touching story about being human. This experience exemplified the use of Virtual Reality in a way that transcended the medium and defined what 360° video is meant to capture. The boundaries of the headset slipped away as we were truly immersed in Juana’s heartwarming and captivating world.

Director: Kiira Benzing

This unity-based project driven by a Reggie Watts soundtrack is a euphoric dance experience that will take the user on a fun and playful journey of music and movement. With the ability to interact, physically, with music in a record store to transporting yourself across a geometric landscape with volumetric dancers is interactive joy at it’s best. The improvisational nature of ’transporting’ with controllers to go anywhere drives the excitement of this experience as well as the artistic rendering of Intel’s ‘voxel’ format.

Director: Jorge Tereso, Fernando Maldonado 

In this experience we stepped off planet Earth and entered the realms of a world steeped in imagination and heart. Gloomy Eyes charmed us with its delightful characters and original story. This magical world pushed the boundaries of Virtual Reality storytelling in its ability to transport our hearts to a world beyond our own. With two more episodes on the horizon, it left us wanting to see more.

Director: Gayatri Parameswaran 

By combining room scale VR with 360° videos, this ‘4d’ piece, which is focused on the devastating impact of improvised explosive devices in Iraq, allows us to truly ‘live’ the devastation left upon families as they choose to go back home to a booby trapped house. By immersing the viewer in the environment, narrated and guided by a mourning parent who is physically there, talking to us, we become part of the story and are truly impacted by the devastation of war.

SPECIAL JURY RECOGNITION – The Future of Experience
Director: Jessica Brillhart

We chose to offer special recognition to Traverse for its breakthrough ability to augment any space into a live music experience, allowing fans to physically explore and be immersed in the composition of songs, igniting even greater appreciation for each track.

SXSW Announces 2019 Grulke Prize Winners

The South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festivals announced the winners for this year’s Grulke Prize.

The award, now in its seventh year, was developed in honor of our friend and colleague Creative Director Brent Grulke, who passed away on August 13, 2012.

Brent’s love of music and the spirit of the festival is reflected in the three prize categories: Developing U.S. Act, Developing Non U.S. Act and Career Act.

The Developing Act Prizes are for artists who are breaking new ground with their creativity and show the most promise in achieving their career goals. The Career Act Prize is for an established artist who appeared at SXSW to reinvent themselves or launch a new project.

Past winners have included Leon Bridges, Courtney Barnett, Haim, Chvrches, Jade Bird, Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, Iggy Pop, Todd Rundgren, Spoon and The Flaming Lips.

The Grulke Prize winner for Developing U.S. Act  is Pink Sweat$. Based in Philadelphia, the artist/songwriter/producer’ music is rooted in R&B and Soul, stripping back the typical genre-specific production to showcase melodic intricacy and lyrical prowess. He began making music at the age of 19 as a demo vocalist. Soon after he found himself working at the legendary Sigma Sounds Studios, where he began his career as a songwriter and began to develop his career in music. He has worked with a wide range of today’s popular artists, but is now ready to take center-stage himself.

The Grulke Prize winner for Developing Non-U.S. Act is Angie McMahon. Having recently completed her first Australian headline tour, McMahon is releasing her debut album in 2019, drawing inspiration from artists like Bruce Springsteen, Lianne La Havas and Big Thief. She writes and performs across the full dynamic spectrum, shifting between gravelly intimacy and pounding rock, and her performances at SXSW bounced between whisper-quiet tones and cathartic rock roars. Early singles feature honest songwriting and romantic melodies, with songs that ruminate on life, love, and pasta.

The Grulke Prize winner for Career Act is The Chills. Hailing from Dunedin, New Zealand and fronted by the rare talent of Martin Phillipps, the band originally formed in 1980. Featuring various people over the years, Phillipps is the only remaining original member. Always a cult favorite internationally, The Chills led the charts in their native New Zealand with rock singles “Pink Frost” and “Wet Blanket”. The Chills are currently performing in support of their 2018 album Snow Bound and SXSW World Premiere Documentary Feature The Chills: The Triumph & Tragedy of Martin Phillipps.

Jurors for the Grulke Prize include music critics, industry professionals, and SXSW staff, many of whom knew and worked with Brent over the years.


he first winner of the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival and CherryPicks, the newly launched digital brand dedicated to the female critical voice, inaugural CherryPicks Female First Feature Award, was announced Tuesday at the annual SXSW Awards Ceremony.  The honor and monetary prize, presented to a 2019 film helmed by a first-time narrative feature female director and producer, also must have screened during this year’s festival. This year’s award went to ALICE, a story about a woman who finds the strength within herself despite all odds to save herself and her child, directed and produced by Josephine Mackeras.  A Special Recognition Award was also bestowed to DAYS OF THE WHALE, directed by Catalina Arroyave Restrepo and produced by Natalia Agudelo.
“CherryPicks created the Female First Feature Award to support its mission to shine a spotlight on female voices,” said Miranda Bailey, CEO of CherryPicks. “We hope to encourage women and audiences alike to create and support the stories women tell. ALICE, aside from being a strong story, filmmaker Josephine Mackeras proves she has the vision and talent to become a leading voice in the film industry.”
“We are excited to support women’s voices with this unique award and were so pleased that CherryPicks had so many wonderful and worthy projects to choose from,” said Janet Pierson, SXSW Director of Film. “Congratulationsto this year’s winners and we look forward to have even more female teams bringing work to audiences in the years to come.”
“The Cherry Picks award means so much to a film like this. Because it is a film that could disappear overnight. It doesn’t have stars, I’m not known. It’s small, there are no cars crashing. It’s really a film that could disappear overnight, so to have the spotlight put on us means so much,” said director and producer Josephine Mackerras.
“We are also proud to give a Special Recognition Award to DAYS OF THE WHALE, to recognize the incredible work of director Catalina Arroyave Restrepo and producer Natalia Agudelo,” Bailey stated. “Like ALICE, this film stood out on its own with a unique, interesting story and a strong voice, showing filmmaking skill at a high level.”
“It’s an honor to have been selected among so many great films made by female directors that participated at the festival. The Special Mention means a vote of confidence that I deeply appreciate as it allows for the film to get a larger visibility, in turn helping us in this road, which we’re just starting. The importance of the awards is that allows audience to get closer to the films, and for us that is very important. And as I mentioned in my acceptance speech, being at SXSW and having won the Special Mention is a reminder that one has to continue being honest and courageous” stated Days Of The Whale director Catalina Arroyave Restrepo.
The CherryPicks Female First Feature Award and Special Recognition winners were chosen by Bailey and Pierson. The winners embody the CherryPicks mission: to create more inclusive storytelling and teamwork in entertainment.
CherryPicks, which launched last year as an all-female critics platform for reviews, ratings and quality original content, had additional presence at this year’s festival hosting the conference panel, “What Makes Critics Love, or Hate A Movie.” Producer Miranda Bailey moderated a panel of livelyconversation that includedcritics Monica Castillo, Thelma Adams and Sony Pictures Classics Co-President and Co-Founder Michael Barker.