raging grace

‘Raging Grace,’ ‘Angel Applicant’ Top SXSW Film Festival Awards


raging grace

Two days after ”Everything Everywhere All at Once“ won seven Oscars, including best picture, the SXSW Film Festival, where Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s movie launched last year, has announced its own awards. To be clear, “EEAAO” was a studio-backed opening night premiere (not one of the smaller movies launched in competition at the indie-focused fest), but you can still feel the excitement in Austin around the landmark Oscar win. After all, SXSW was the first festival to take Daniels seriously, awarding them top prize for their Battles music video (“My Machines”) in 2012.

Will any of the movies or directors screening here this year go on to change film history?

With five days still to go at SXSW, the juries convened (after viewing and deliberating remotely, out of COVID precautions) to present the winners.

Narrative feature honors went to writer-director Paris Zarcilla’s “Raging Grace.” On the surface, the tense story of an undocumented Filipina house cleaner and her young daughter might appear to echo 2022 Sundance winner “Nanny,” though the film “subverts expectations on its way to a stirring conclusion,” in the jury’s words.

“In cleverly employing genre tropes to explore vast socio political matters, Zarcilla has crafted a resonant, urgent work about labor, legacy and diaspora,” explained the jury of three — Helena Andrews-Dyer, Tomris Laffly and Richard Lawson — who also awarded special jury recognitions for performance to “Parachute” star Courtney Eaton and cinematography to “Story Ave” DP Eric Branco.

The documentary jury — consisting of Mae Abdulbaki, Joel Anderson and Allegra Frank — described top winner “Angel Applicant” as “a revelation,“ complimenting director Ken August Meyer’s exploration of artist Paul Klee, with whom he shares the condition of scleroderma.

“The result is a yearslong undertaking that is stunning, powerful, and unforgettable,” the jury said. The nonfiction special jury award went to “Another Body,” which uses deep-fake techniques to illustrate how the unsettling innovation compromised the life of a college student.

See the complete list of winners below.

Feature Film Grand Jury Awards


Winner: “Raging Grace” directed by Paris Zarcilla

Special Jury Recognition for Performance: Courtney Eaton, “Parachute”

Special Jury Recognition for Cinematography: Eric Branco, “Story Ave”


Winner: “Angel Applicant” directed by Ken August Meyer

Special Jury Recognition for Innovation in Storytelling: “Another Body” directed by Sophie Compton, Reuben Hamlyn

Short Film Grand Jury Awards Presented by IMDbPro


Winner: “It Turns Blue” directed by Shadi Karamroudi

Special Jury Award: “Flores del Otro Patio” directed by Jorge Cadena


Winner: “Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó” directed by Sean Wang

Special Jury Award: “Suddenly TV” directed by Roopa Gogineni


Winner: “The Flute” directed by Nick Roney

Special Jury Recognition for Powerful “Short Trip”: “Pennies from Heaven” directed by Sandy Honig


Winner: “The Debutante” directed by Elizabeth Hobbs

Special Jury Recognition for Animation Directing: Tom CJ Brown, “Christopher at Sea”


Winner: Amanda Sum – “Different Than Before” directed by Mayumi Yoshida

Special Jury Recognition: Residente – “This Is Not America ft. Ibeyi” directed by Grégory Ohrel


Winner: “Breaking Silence” directed by Amy Bench, Annie Silverstein

Special Jury Award: “When You Left Me on That Boulevard” directed by Kayla Abuda Galang

TV Pilot Competition

Winner: “Grown” directed by Jocko Sims

Special Jury Award for Outstanding Performance: “Harbor Island” directed by Josh Fadem

SXSW Film Design Awards Presented by Adobe


Winner: “Eyestring” designed by Javier Devitt

Special Jury Award: “Riders of the Storm” designed by Casey Moore

XR Experience Competition

Winner: “Consensus Gentium” directed by Karen Palmer

Special Jury Award: “Body of Mine” directed by Cameron Kostopoulos

SXSW Special Awards

Janet Pierson Champion Award presented by Indiewire: Lizzie Shapiro

Fandor New Voices Award: “What We Leave Behind” directed by Iliana Sosa

Louis Black “Lone Star” Award: “The Lady Bird Diaries” directed by Dawn Porter

Special Jury Award: “The Herricanes”

Thunderbird Rising Award: Paris Zarcilla, “Raging Grace”

Thunderbird Rising Special Award: Brittany Snow, “Parachute”

The Hope Award Winner: “Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie”

The Hope Special Award: “Confessions of a Good Samaritan”

Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award: “Chronicles of a Wandering Saint” directed by Tomas Gomez Bustillo

ZEISS Cinematography Award: Carolina Costa, “Fancy Dance”


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