Though the event was canceled by the city of Austin, with its juries already in place and a majority of filmmakers opting in, competitions were held and awards announced.
The 27th SXSW Film Festival, though canceled by the City of Austin due to concerns surrounding COVID-19, has announced its 2020 Jury and Special Award winners.
Symbiosis, by director Nadja Andrasev, took the award for Best Animated Short, with Special Jury Recognition going to Andrea Vinciguerra’s No, I Don’t Want to Dance! and Sara Kiener’s The Shawl. Saad Moosajee and Art Camp received a Special Jury Recognition for Animation for their animated music video, Mitski – ‘A Pearl’; Sai Selvarajan received a Special Jury Recognition in the Texas Shorts category for his film, Coup d’état Math, a featured project on MailChimp Presents Support the Shorts; and Zeke French won a Recognition for Animation in the Texas High School Shorts category for his film, The Orchard.
A complete list of winners can be found here.
Despite the cancelation, the festival had several Special Awards juries already in place, and expanded to all juried competitions once the majority of the filmmakers opted in and juries were available. “When we curated and announced our slate for the 2020 SXSW Film Festival, filled with an array of wonderful films we were excited to share with our unique audience, we had no idea of the unprecedented impact that Coronavirus would have on all our lives,” said Janet Pierson, Director of Film. “Our hearts were broken for all the filmmakers who invested so much time and talent in their work, hoping for a transformative experience at our event. We’re honored to at least be able to present our juried and special awards. We know that it’s no substitute for the actual festival’s vitality, enthusiasm, and potential for surprising outcomes – and that it is only available to a small fraction of our program – but we hope it will help garner some well-deserved recognition for these wonderful works.”
This year’s program comprised of 135 Features – including 99 World Premieres, 9 North American Premieres, 5 U.S. Premieres, and 75 films from first-time filmmakers – and 119 Shorts including 22 Music Videos, 12 Episodic Premieres, 7 Special Events, 14 Episodic Pilots in 2 curated programs, 30 Title Design Entries, and 27 Virtual Cinema Projects.
Feature films receiving Jury Awards were selected from the Narrative Feature and Documentary Feature Competition categories. Short films and other juried sections, including Film Design Awards, were announced along with Special Awards including: Adobe Editing Award, Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award, Final Draft Screenwriters Award, Louis Black “Lone Star” Award, Vimeo Staff Pick Award, and the ZEISS Cinematography Award. Due to the event cancellation, no Audience Awards were given.