[UPDATED 3/18/17]

SXSW 2017 brought SAGindie back to the capital of Texas, where we saw some films, heard some music, hosted our Film Industry Happy Hour with the DGA, and manned a booth at the Exhibitor Trade Show.

We also got a front-row seat to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Conversation with Melanie Lynskey (moderated by filmmaker Megan Griffiths). The always-wonderful actress treated the audience to audition horror stories, acting advice, and lessons learned from her career (ranging from a film debut in Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures, getting her SAG card on Coyote Ugly, working with Steven Soderbergh on The Informant!, and having a chance to tackle some action in her newest film I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore).

As always, SXSW also went big with the speeches, conversations, and keynotes. In addition to some small-potato gets like Joe Biden and Cory Booker, Film Keynotes this year included filmmakers Jill Soloway (Transparent), Lee Daniels (Empire), and Gareth Edwards (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story). You can watch videos of their full speeches below to get some advice, inspiration, and general education.

And as in life, there were winners and losers at SXSW. More precisely, award winners, which you can also see below.


SXSW 2017 Film Keynote: Jill Soloway

SXSW 2017 Film Keynote: Lee Daniels

SXSW 2017 Film Keynote: Gareth Edwards


2017 SXSW Film Festival Award Winners:

Feature Film Jury Awards

  • Grand Jury Winner – Narrative Feature: Most Beautiful Island
  • Special Jury Recognition for Best Breakthrough Performance – Narrative Feature: James Freedson-Jackson, The Strange Ones
  • Special Jury Recognition for Best Ensemble – Narrative Feature: Matt Jones, Eleanore Pienta, and Will Rogers, A Bad Idea Gone Wrong
  • Grand Jury Winner – Documentary Feature: The Work
  • Special Jury Recognition for Excellence in Documentary Storytelling: I Am Another You
  • Special Jury Recognition for Excellence in Observational Cinema: Maineland

Short Film Jury Awards

  • Jury Award Winner – Narrative Short: Forever Now
  • Special Jury Recognition for Acting – Narrative Short: DeKalb Elementary
  • Special Jury Recognition – Narrative Short: Charlotte Wells, Laps
  • Jury Award Winner – Documentary Short: Little Potato
  • Jury Award Winner – Midnight Shorts: The Suplex Duplex Complex
  • Jury Award Winner – Animated Shorts: Wednesday With Goddard
  • Special Jury Recognition – Animated Shorts: Pussy
  • Jury Award Winner – Music Videos: Leon Bridges, “River” (directed by Miles Jay)
  • Special Jury Recognition – Music Videos: Tame Impala, “The Less I Know the Better” (directed by Canada)
  • Jury Award Winner – Texas Shorts: The Rabbit Hunt
  • Jury Award Winner – Texas High School Shorts: Better Late Than Never
  • Special Jury Recognition – Texas High School Shorts: Darcy’s Quinceañera

Virtual Cinema Jury Awards

  • Jury Award Winner – Room-Scale: After Solitary
  • Special Jury Recognition for Innovative Use of Virtual Reality Technology in the Field of Health – Room-Scale: Reinvent
  • Jury Award Winner – 360° Video: Behind the Fence
  • Special Jury Recognition – 360° Video for Technical Excellence: Dream of “O”

SXSW Film Design Awards

  • Jury Award Winner – Excellence in Poster Design: Fry Day
  • Special Jury Recognition – Excellence in Poster Design: Like Me
  • Jury Award – Excellence in Title Design: Into the Current

SXSW Special Awards

  • SXSW LUNA Chicken & Egg Award: Nanfu Wang, I Am Another You
  • SXSW LUNA Gamechanger Award: Ceylan Ozgun Ozcelik, Inflame
  • Louis Black “Lone Star” Award: Noël Wells, Mr. Roosevelt
  • Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship: Leigh Johnson
  • Adam Yauch Hornblower Award: Peter Vack, Assholes

Audience Awards

  • Narrative Feature Competition: The Light of the Moon
  • Documentary Feature Competition: Dealt
  • Headliners: Baby Driver
  • Narrative Spotlight: Mr. Roosevelt
  • Documentary Spotlight: The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin
  • Visions: Becoming Bond
  • Midnighters: 68 Kill
  • Episodic: Dear White People
  • 24 Beats Per Second: May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers
  • Global: Divine Divas
  • Festival Favorites: The Big Sick
  • Excellence in Title Design: Into the Current
  • Excellence in Poster Design: Like Me

Congrats to all of this year’s Jury and Audience Award winners!


If you’re an independent filmmaker or know of an independent film-related topic we should write about, email for consideration.

Pin It on Pinterest