April 30, 2017

SXSW award winners include “Baby Driver” and “The Big Sick”


As the conclusion to South by Southwest (or, as we all know it, SXSW) for 2017 came last week, so too came some awards, much like at any number of film festivals. Some of the top prizes went to movies like Baby Driver, The Big Sick, Dealt, The Light of the Moon, and Mr. Roosevelt, along with Judd Apatow’s surprise music documentary May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers. This isn’t the type of event where a prize can create Academy Award buzz, partly due to the time of the year, but it can create awareness. SXSW wrapped up over the weekend with a screening of Life (which I see in a few days and will then discuss), but these flicks were the highlights, for the most part.

Below you will see the SXSW awards in their entirety, but first, a little bit on those two titles I haven’t spoken about (after doing a piece a few days ago on The Disaster Artist). They are, as you can already see, Baby Driver and The Big Sick. Both took home prizes and both are two of the movies that I would say are among the most anticipated non blockbusters of 2017 right now (three if you count The Disaster Artist, but again, that’s being kept separate for now). Check out a little about each flick next, with more to come when their release dates approach.

First up is Baby Driver. This is Edgar Wright’s latest film, a music infused action outing outside of his beloved Cornetto Trilogy. It follows a young getaway driver named Baby (Ansel Elgort), one who uses a pulsing soundtrack in his head to consistently evade the law. Love, as well as a desire to leave the business, fuels his next moves. It sounds slightly rote, but Wright’s writing and direction again elevates things. The cast includes Jon Bernthal, Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, Lily James, Kevin Spacey, and many more. Praised for the soundtrack and its extreme creativity, this sounds like an exciting potential hit when it comes out later this year in August.

As for The Big Sick, it debuted first at the Sundance Film Festival in January, to rave reviews and Oscar buzz. The movie is a comedy/dramedy written by comedians as well as real life couple Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani. Nanjiani plays himself, while Zoe Kazan plays Gordon in a slightly fictionalized look at their relationship and the struggles they went through then the latter fell ill. It’s a funny and touching look at cultural differences while navigating a new relationship. Michael Showalter directs a cast that also includes Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, and more. Judd Apatow was so found of this that he came on as a producer. So far, it’s been raved about across the board and presented a possible awards season contender. First, a platform release in July…


Here now are all of the awards given out of SXSW for this year:

NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION 

Audience Award Winner: The Light of the Moon
Director: Jessica M. Thompson

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION 

Audience Award Winner: Dealt
Director: Luke Korem

HEADLINERS
Audience Award Winner: Baby Driver
Director: Edgar Wright

NARRATIVE SPOTLIGHT
Audience Award Winner: Mr. Roosevelt 

Director: Noël Wells

DOCUMENTARY SPOTLIGHT 

Audience Award Winner: The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin 

Director: Jennifer M. Kroot

VISIONS
Audience Award Winner: Becoming Bond
Director: Josh Greenbaum

MIDNIGHTERS
Audience Award Winner: 68 Kill 

Director: Trent Haaga

EPISODIC
Audience Award Winner: Dear White People
Director: Justin Simien

24 BEATS PER SECOND 

Audience Award Winner: May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers
Directors: Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio

GLOBAL
Audience Award Winner: Divine Divas
Director: Leandra Leal

FESTIVAL FAVORITES 

Audience Award Winner: The Big Sick

Director: Michael Showalter

SXSW Film Design Awards

EXCELLENCE IN TITLE DESIGN
Audience Award Winner: Into The Current
Directors: Chris R. Moberg and Jared Young

Virtual Cinema Grand Jury Awards

VIRTUAL REALITY: ROOM-SCALE
Winner: After Solitary
Directors: Cassandra Herrman, Lauren Mucciolo

Special Jury Recognition for Innovative Use of Virtual Reality Technology in the Field of Health: Reinvent
Directors: Ian Forester, Sook-lei Liew, PhD

360° VIDEO
Winner: Behind the Fence
Directors: Lindsay Branham, Jonathan Olinger

Special Jury Recognition for Technical Excellence: Dreams of “O”
Directors: Félix Lajeunesse, Paul Raphaël

Stay tuned for more on Baby Driver, The Big Sick, The Disaster Artist, and others later on this year!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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