SXSW Film Jury Awards Announced

The Fallout, Lily Topples the World take big wins

The Fallout, winner of the SXSW 2021 Narrative Feature jury award

The award ceremony may have to be virtual, but the prizes are as meaningful as ever. The SXSW Film Festival just announced its 2021 Grand Jury prize winners, with The Fallout and Lily Topples the World taking top honors in the narrative and documentary feature competitions.

Laying out The Fallout’s win, the jurors called it “the emotionally charged healing journey of a young girl whose life is forever changed in the wake of a school tragedy. Writer and director Megan Park delivers a timely, riveting, and thought-provoking film on the toll it takes on a teenager who is facing a world where they no longer feel safe. It is an intense, moving piece that highlights an important issue to which one can’t help but feel connected.”

The documentary winner also follows the path of a young woman taking control of her life, but in a much more uplifting way. Lily Topples the World puts Lily Hevesh, aka domino artist Hevesh5, in the spotlight for a story of an outsider artist making her dreams come true. The jurors called it “a joyful portrait of grace in artistry and commitment in engineering, Lily Topples the World shows a life online that transcends virality and touches something deeper. In Lily Hevesh, aka Hevesh5, the film features a collaborative, creative soul who comes by community and entrepreneurship naturally. A rare achievement in nonjudgmental subcultural exploration and a gorgeously rendered portrait of burgeoning adulthood that tumbles forward, like Lily’s domino art, into something beautiful.”

On the Texas side, it was a long wait for Without Getting Killed or Caught, Tamara Saviano and Paul Whitfield’s exploration of the creative love triangle between Guy Clark, his wife Susanna, and best friend to both Townes Van Zandt. It was supposed to play at SXSW 2020, but was delayed and played this year as part of the fest’s 2020 spotlight. Now it snagged the Louis Black “Lone Star” Award, named after Chronicle and SXSW cofounder Louis Black. The jurors called it “an examination of not just the life of legendary Texas singer-songwriter Guy Clark but the complicated, fascinating relationship between himself, his wife Susanna and his best friend Townes Van Zandt, all of whom made extraordinary work together and apart. The storytelling was graceful, densely layered and immersive.”

SXSW runs through 12am Sunday, March 21. You can still catch all the award winners, listed below, via their streaming platform until then, and catch all our coverage, including news, reviews, and interviews, at

Feature Film Grand Jury Awards


Winner: The Fallout, D: Megan Park

Special Jury Recognition for Multi-hyphenate Storyteller: Kelley Kali for I’m Fine (Thanks for Asking)

Special Jury Recognition for Breakthrough Performance: Rogello Balagatas for Islands, D: Martin Edralin

Jurors: Amanda N’Duka, Jake Coyle, Joanna Robinson


Winner: Lily Topples the World, D: Jeremy Workman

Special Jury Recognition for Exceptional Intimacy in Storytelling: Introducing, Selma Blair, D: Rachel Fleit

Special Jury Recognition for Humanity in Social Action: Not Going Quietly, D: Nicholas Bruckman and frequently rousing.”

Jurors: Jacqueline Coley, Sean Fennessey, Steven Zeitchik

Short Film Grand Jury Awards


Winner: “Play It Safe” D: Mitch Kalisa

Special Jury Recognition for Visionary Storytelling: “Don't Go Tellin' Your Momma” D: Topaz Jones, rubberband.

Special Jury Recognition for Direction: “Like the Ones I Used to Know” D: Annie St-Pierre

Jurors: Janicza Bravo, Karen Han, Ina Pira


Winner: “Águilas” D: Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, Maite Zubiaurre

Special Jury Recognition for Poetry: “I Ran From It and Was Still in It” D: Darol Olu Kae

Jurors: Opal H. Bennett, Omid Fatemi, Sheila Nevins


Winner: “The Moogai” D: Jon Bell

Special Jury Recognition for Bold Vision: “Stuffed” D: Theo Rhys

Jurors: Jason Blum, Arbi Pedrossian, Kristy Puchko


Winner: “Nuevo Rico” D: Kristian Mercado

Special Jury Recognition for Innovation: “KKUM” D: Kang Min Kim

Special Jury Recognition for Storytelling: “Your Own Bullshit” D: Daria Kopiec

Jurors: Bryan Dimas, Chris Prynoski, Taylor K. Shaw


Winner: Madame Gandhi – “Waiting for Me” D: Misha Ghose

Special Jury Recognition for How the Hell Did They Do That?!: Waze & Odyssey, George Michael, Mary J. Blige & Tommy Theo – “Always” D: Nelson de Castro

Special Jury Recognition for Pure Joy: Kuricorder Quartet – “Southpaw” D: Sawako Kabuki

Jurors: Hugo Burnham, Michael Kauffman, Kristian Mercado


Winner: “Summer Animals” D: Haley Elizabeth Anderson

Special Jury Recognition for Vision: “O Black Hole!” D: Renee Zhan

Jurors: Sarah Green, Paula Mejía, Monique Walton


Winner: “A Really Dark Comedy” D: Manasi Ughadmathe

Special Jury Recognition for Directing: “Beyond the Model” D: Jessica Lin

Jurors: Laura Kincaid, Hans-Martin Liebing, Cooper Raiff


Winner: 4 Feet High, D: Maria Belen Poncio, Rosario Perazolo Masjoan

Special Jury Recognition for Best Duo: Pretend Partners, D: Ron Najor

Jurors: Jessica Derschowitz, Yassir Lester, Ben Wasserstein


Winner: Bob Moses Featuring ZHU – “Desire” Designers: Owen Brown, Diego Rodriguez (Paramoidme)

Special Jury Recognition: “The Box” Designers: James Burns and Shal Ngo, Aleksander Walijewski

Jurors: Damon Nelson, Yen Tan, Erica Williams


Winner: The Queen’s Gambit Designer: Saskia Marka

Special Jury Recognition: Birds Of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn Designer: Michael Riley

Jurors: Brian Mah, Brian Merrell, Erin Sarofsky


Winner: Samsara, D: Huang Hsin-Chien

Special Jury Recognition for Immersive Journalism: Reeducated, D: Sam Wolson

Jurors: Myriam Achard, Jesse Damiani, Liz Rosenthal

SXSW Special Awards

Brightcove Illumination Award, presented to: The Fallout, D: Megan Park
Jurors: Clayton Davis, Kate Erbland, Inkoo Kang

Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award, presented to: Delia Derbyshire - the Myths and the Legendary Tapes, D: Caroline Catz

Adobe Editing Award, presented to: R#J, editor: Lam Nguyen

Final Draft Screenwriters Award, presented to: Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break, Screenwriter: Brook Driver, Matt White, and Nick Gillespie

Louis Black “Lone Star” Award Winner: Without Getting Killed or Caught, D: Tamara Saviano, Paul Whitfield
Jurors: Joe Gross, Ann Hornaday, Stephen Saito

ZEISS Cinematography Award Winner: Gaia, D: Jorrie van der Walt

Mailchimp Support the Shorts

Winner: “Chuj Boys of Summer” D: Max Walker-Silverman

Special Jury Recognition:
Like the Ones I Used to Know” D: Annie St-Pierre
“Malignant” D: Morgan Bond, Nickolas Grisham

Check out the winners' acceptance speeches at SXSW's YouTube channel.

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