Monday, March 27, 2017
  • Wednesday, Mar. 15, 2017
Ana Asensio's "Most Beautiful Island" Wins SXSW Narrative Feature Award
A scene from “Most Beautiful Island” starring Ana Asensio who also wrote and directed the film (photo by Noah Greenberg/courtesy of Palomo Films, LLC).
Top documentary honor goes to "The Work," directed by Jairus McLeary and Gethin Aldous
  • AUSTIN, Texas
  • --

Most Beautiful Island, directed and written by Ana Asensio, won the South by Southwest Film Festival’s Feature Film Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature. Most Beautiful Island introduces us to an undocumented young woman looking to start a new life in NYC but unwittingly get lured into a dangerous high stakes game.

Meanwhile taking SXSW’s top feature documentary honor was The Work directed by Jairus McLeary and Gethin Aldous. Set inside Folsom Prison, this doc. follows three men during four days of intense group therapy with convicts.

The juried SXSW Film Fest Awards were presented on Tuesday night (3/14) in Austin.

Earning Best Narrative Short distinction was director Kristian Haskjold’s Forever Now. Winning for Best Documentary Short was Little Potato directed by Wes Hurley and Nathan M. Miller.

Taking the Midnight Shorts category was director Todd Rohal’s The Suplex Duplex Complex. And garnering the Best Animated Short mantle was director Nicolas Menard’s Wednesday with Goddard.

Here’s a full rundown of juried award winners at SXSW:

FEATURE FILM GRAND JURY AWARDS

NARRATIVE FEATURE
Most Beautiful Island (Spain, United States)
Director/Screenwriter: Ana Asensio
An undocumented young woman struggling to begin a new life in New York City is offered an opportunity she can’t pass up. But as day turns to night she discovers she’s been lured to the center of a dangerous game. Cast: Ana Asensio, Natasha Romanova, David Little, Nicholas Tucci, Larry Fessenden, Caprice Benedetti

SPECIAL JURY RECOGNITION FOR BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE
Actor: James Freedson-Jackson
The Strange Ones
Directors: Lauren Wolkstein, Christopher Radcliff, Screenwriter: Christopher Radcliff Mysterious events surround the travels of two brothers as they make their way across a remote American landscape. On the surface all seems normal, but what appears to be a simple vacation soon gives way to dark and complex truths. Cast: Alex Pettyfer, James Freedson-Jackson, Emily Althaus, Gene Jones

SPECIAL JURY RECOGNITION FOR BEST ENSEMBLE
A Bad Idea Gone Wrong
Director/Screenwriter: Jason Headley
Two would-be thieves forge a surprising relationship with with an unexpected housesitter when they accidentally trap themselves in a house they just broke into. Cast: Matt Jones, Eleanore Pienta, Will Rogers, Jonny Mars, Sam Eidson, Jennymarie Jemison 

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
The Work
Directors: Jairus McLeary, Gethin Aldous
Set entirely inside Folsom Prison, The Work follows three men during four days of intensive group therapy with convicts, revealing an intimate and powerful portrait of authentic human transformation that transcends what we think of as rehabilitation. 

SPECIAL JURY RECOGNITION FOR EXCELLENCE IN OBSERVATIONAL CINEMA
Maineland (China, United States)
Director: Miao Wang
Chinese teenagers from the wealthy elite, with big American dreams, settle into a boarding school in small-town Maine. As their fuzzy visions of the American dream slowly gain more clarity, their relationship to home takes on a poignant new aspect.

SPECIAL JURY RECOGNITION FOR EXCELLENCE IN DOCUMENTARY STORYTELLING
I Am Another You
Director/Screenwriter: Nanfu Wang
Through the eyes of a young drifter who rejects society’s rules and intentionally chooses to live on the streets, Chinese filmmaker Nanfu Wang explores the meaning of personal freedom – and its limits.

SHORT FILM GRAND JURY AWARDS

NARRATIVE SHORTS
Forever Now (Denmark)
Director: Kristian Håskjold, Screenwriters: Kristian Håskjold, Trille Cecilie Uldall-Spanner After several years together William and Cecilie break up. To treat the sorrow with love the same night they decide to do the drug, MDMA, together. This results in a emotional rollercoaster ride for better or worse over a whole weekend.

SPECIAL JURY RECOGNITION FOR ACTING
DeKalb Elementary
Director/Screenwriter: Reed Van Dyk
Inspired by a 911 call placed during a school shooting incident in Atlanta, Georgia.

DOCUMENTARY SHORTS
Little Potato
Directors: Wes Hurley, Nathan M. Miller, Screenwriter: Wes Hurley
An autobiographical doc that tells the story of Little Potato’s journey growing up gay in the Soviet Union before and after the fall of communism and their eventual escape to America. 

MIDNIGHT SHORTS
The Suplex Duplex Complex
Director: Todd Rohal, Screenwriters: Todd Rohal, Zack Carlson, Bryan Connelly
A neighboring pair of tag team wrestlers learn the downsides of life without a landlord.

ANIMATED SHORTS
Wednesday with Goddard (Canada)
Director/Screenwriter: Nicolas Menard
A personal quest for spiritual enlightenment leads to romance and despair. 

SPECIAL JURY RECOGNITION
Pussy (Poland)
Director/Screenwriter: Renata Gasiorowska
A young girl spends the evening alone at home. She decides to have some sweet solo pleasure session, but not everything goes according to plan.

MUSIC VIDEOS
Leon Bridges - ‘River’ / Director/Screenwriter: Miles Jay

SPECIAL JURY RECOGNITION
Tame Impala - ‘The Less I Know The Better’
(Spain) / Director: CANADA

TEXAS SHORTS
The Rabbit Hunt
Director: Patrick Bresnan, Screenwriter: Ivete Lucas
On the weekends during harvest season, 17-year-old Chris and his family hunt rabbits in the sugarcane fields of the Florida Everglades.

TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL SHORTS
Better Late Than Never 
Director/Screenwriter: Atheena Frizzell
A teenage girl must figure out a way to keep a secret from her devout family.

SPECIAL JURY RECOGNITION
Darcy’s Quinceañera 
Director: Sam Cooper, Screenwriters: Sam Cooper, Jonathan Randall
Darcy’s Quinceañera is a 360° multimedia audio-visual xxx-perience.

FILM DESIGN AWARDS

POSTER DESIGN
Fry Day, Designer Caspar Newbolt

SPECIAL JURY RECOGNITION
Like Me, Designer Jerry Enecio

EXCELENCE IN TITLE DESIGN
Into The Current
Directors: Chris R. Moberg, Jared Young

SPECIAL AWARDS

SXSW LUNA Gamechanger Award--Narrative
INFLAME
Director Ceylan Ozgun Ozcelik

SXSW LUNA CHICKEN & EGG AWARD--DOCUMENTARY
I Am Another You

Director Nanfu Wang

SXSW LOUIS BLACK LONE STAR AWARD
Mr. Roosevelt
Director Noel Wells

SXSW ADAM YAUCH HORNBLOWER AWARD
Assholes
Director Peter Vack

SXSW KAREN SCHMEER FILM EDITING FELLOWSHIP
Leigh Johnson

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