2009 SXSW Film Festival Award Winners Announced


As you know, we are here in Austin covering the 2009 South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival. And as part of that, we thought it appropriate to bring you up to speed on which movies were bringing home some hardware at last night’s SXSW Film Awards ceremony. The jury and audience award-winners of the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival were announced last night 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.

“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


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.


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

Winner – Motherland

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

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.

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.


Winner – To Be Announced on Friday, 3/20


Winner – To Be Announced on Friday, 3/20

Special Jury Awards

Best in Show – The Dungeon Masters
Director: Keven Macalester
Designer: David Plunkert, Spur Design, LLC

Winner – Made in China

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

Winner – Sister Wife

Director: Jill Orschel

In a time when the practices of Mormon fundamentalism offer sensational fodder for the evening news, Sister Wife offers a rare glimpse into the cloistered lifestyle.

Shorts Jury Awards

Winner – Thompson
Director: Jason Tippet

Since second grade Matt and Ryan have shared the bond of speech impediments, weapons, and things that go fast. But as their last days of high school speed by, the two friends find that their go-carts, dirt bikes, and RC cars can’t outrun adulthood.

Special Jury Award – Happy 95 Birthday Grandpa
Director: Gary Huggins

A fleeting memory in five minutes.

Winner – Shaman
Director: Luc Perez

Waiting for the bus on a rainy day in Copenhagen, the old shaman Utaaq sees a rare bird from his past. This makes him reminisce his youth, and a beautiful tale about the forces of nature begins.

Special Jury Award – Sweet Dreams

Director: Kirsten Lepore
A Stalwart cupcake escapes from his native land to discover what lies beyond the sugar skyscrapers and candy-condos. His violent shipwreck on a foreign shore forces him to adapt to a new lifestyle.

Winner – Cattle Call

Director: Matthew Rankin & Mike Maryniuk

A high-speed animated documentary about the art of livestock auctioneering.

Special Jury Award – The Idiot Stinks

Director: Helder Sun

Animation, Angst, Media, Martians and Miscommunication.

Winner – Thunderheist, “Jerk It”
Director: That Go-Noel Paul & Stefan Moore

Special Jury Award – Fleet Foxes, “White Winter Hymnal”

Director: Sean Pecknold

Jury Special Mention – New Pornographers, “Myriad Harbor”

Director: Fluorescent Hill

Winner – Performance Evaluation

Director: Breannah Gibson

Special Jury Award – TIE

Fresh Fruit

Director: Edward Kelley & Brenden Cicoria


A Hospital Bathroom

Director: Miguel Johnson

For more of the best damn coverage of the 2009 SXSW Film Festival, check out our SXSW ’09 Homepage.

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