"Thunder Road," "People’s Republic of Desire" Take Grand Jury Honors At SXSW Fest
A scene from "Thunder Road" (photo courtesy of SXSW)
  • AUSTIN, Texas
  • --

Director Jim Cummings’ Thunder Road was the Grand Jury Winner at SXSW’s narrative feature competition. The honor was bestowed at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival Awards ceremony hosted by actor and comedian Jim Gaffigan at the historic Paramount Theatre in Austin. The proceedings recognized all of the fest’s juried award recipients.

Cummings also wrote and stars in Thunder Road which centers on a police officer struggling to raise his young daughter in the midst of his troubled marriage and a career in chaos.

On the documentary front, the SXSW Grand Jury Award went to People’s Republic of Desire from director Hao Wu. The documentary from China take us to the country’s popular live-streaming showrooms, introducing us to three millennials--a karaoke singer, a migrant worker and a rags-to-riches comedian--who seek fame, fortune and human connection, ultimately finding the same promises and perils online as in their real lives.

Below is a full rundown of juried winners. (Audience Awards will be announced separately on Saturday, March 17, except for Headliners, which will be announced on Monday, March 19.)

Feature Film Grand Jury Awards

Narrative Feature Competition

Grand Jury Winner: Thunder Road
Director: Jim Cummings

Special Jury Recognition For First Feature: Carly Stone
Film: The New Romantic

Special Jury Recognition for Writing: Niljla Mu’min
Film: Jinn

Documentary Feature Competition

Grand Jury Winner: People’s Republic of Desire
Director: Hao Wu

Special Jury Recognition for Best Cast: This One’s For The Ladies
Director: Gene Graham

Special Jury Recognition for Best Feminist Reconsideration of a Male Artist: Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable
Director: Sasha Waters Freyer

SXSW Short Film Jury Awards

Narrative Shorts

Jury Award Winner: Emergency
Director: Carey Williams

Special Jury Recognition for Acting:
Actor: Shirley Chen from Krista

Documentary Shorts

Jury Award Winner: My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes
Director: Charlie Tyrell

Midnight Shorts

Jury Award Winner: Milk
Director: Santiago Menghini

Animated Shorts

Jury Award Winner: Agua Viva
Director: Alexa Lim Haas

Special Jury Recognition: JEOM
Director: Kangmin Kim

Music Videos

Jury Award Winner: “Second Hand Lovers” – Oren Lavie
Director: Oren Lavie

Special Jury Recognition for Acting: “Territory” – The Blaze
Director: The Blaze

Texas Shorts

Jury Award Winner: An Uncertain Future
Director: Iliana Sosa & Chelsea Hernandez

Texas High School Shorts

Jury Award Winner: The Night I Lost My Favorite Jacket
Director: Jenna Krumerman

Special Jury Recognition: CCISD Strong
Director: Sofia Rasmussen

Independent Episodics

Jury Award Winner: Beast
Director: Ben Strang

Special Jury Recognition: She’s the Ticket
Director: Nadia Hallgren

SXSW Film Design Awards

Excellence in Poster Design

Jury Award Winner: The Gospel of Eureka
Designer: Matt Taylor

Special Jury Recognition: A Little Wisdom
Designer: Adam Zhu

Excellence in Title Design

Jury Award Winner: Counterpart
Director: Karin Fong

Special Jury Recognition: Godless
Director: John Likens

SXSW Special Awards

SXSW LUNA® Gamechanger Award – Narrative
Winner: First Match, Olivia Newman

Special Jury Recognition:
Unlovable, Suzi Yoonessi

SXSW LUNA® Chicken & Egg Award – Documentary
Winner: On Her Shoulders Alexandria Bombach

Special Jury Recognition:
¡Las Sandinistas!, Jenny Murray

Louis Black “Lone Star” Award
Winner: Daughters of the Sexual Revolution: The Untold Story of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
Director: Dana Adam Shapiro

SXSW Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award
Winner: Prospect, Zeek Earl & Chris Caldwell

Vimeo Staff Picks Award
Presented to: Krista directed by Danny Madden

Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship
Presented to: Kristin Bye


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