SXSW 2021 Jury Winners and Special Awards announced: The Fallout, Islands, and more win big

Jenna Ortega as Vada and Maddie Ziegler as Mia from The Fallout
Jenna Ortega as Vada and Maddie Ziegler as Mia from The Fallout. Pic credit: Kristen Correll

The film portion of SXSW has wrapped, which means the time has arrived for all the winners to be acknowledged.

There have been a lot of amazing gems within the virtual library. Films like Here Before and Islands were exceptional in storytelling and performances. That said, not everyone can be a winner.

Today the virtual festival broke down all the categories of winners and special awards to others. And given these picks, the ones who took home the prizes are not surprising.

So who all won at SXSW? Here is the full rundown of the winners at SXSW 2021.

SXSW 2021 Jury Winners and Special Awards

The biggest winners of the week are hardly surprising. The Narrative Feature Competition was given to The Fallout, a heartbreaking story about a teen trying to grieve after surviving a school shooting.

It’s quite a powerful film and absolutely deserves recognition.

Another special category went to Breakthrough Performance to Rogelio Balagtas for Islands. Besides the lead performance in The Fallout, Balagtas had the most emotionally raw performance of everyone.

Another standout is the documentary category. Lily Topples the World took home the prize–which we did not get to watch– but the buzzworthy documentary Introducing, Selma Blair won Recognition for Exceptional Intimacy in Storytelling.

Here is the full list of winners below:

Narrative Feature Competition Winner

The Fallout

Director: Megan Park

Special Jury Recognition for Multi-hyphenate Storyteller

I’m Fine (Thanks for Asking)

Directors: Kelley Kali and Angelique Molina

Special Jury Recognition for Breakthrough Performance


Director: Martin Edralin

Actor: Rogelio Balagtas

Documentary Feature Competition Winner

Lily Topples the World

Director: Jeremy Workman

Special Jury Recognition for Exceptional Intimacy in Storytelling

Introducing, Selma Blair

Director: Rachel Fleit

Special Jury Recognition for Humanity in Social Action

Not Going Quietly

Director: Nicholas Bruckman

José Cortez from Águilas.
José Cortez from Águilas. Pic credit: David Marquez


Narrative Shorts Winner

Play It Safe

Director: Mitch Kalisa

Special Jury Recognition for Visionary Storytelling

Don’t Go Tellin’ Your Momma

Directors: Topaz Jones, rubberband.

Special Jury Recognition for Direction

Like the Ones I Used to Know

Director: Annie St-Pierre

Documentary Shorts Winner


Directors: Kristy Guevara-Flanagan and Maite Zubiaurre

Special Jury Recognition for Courage

Red Taxi

Director: Anonymous

Special Jury Recognition for Poetry

I Ran From It and Was Still in It

Director: Darol Olu Kae

Midnight Shorts Winner

The Moogai

Director: Jon Bell

Special Jury Recognition for Bold Vision


Director: Theo Rhys

Animated Shorts Winner

Nuevo Rico

Director: Kristian Mercado

Special Jury Recognition for Innovation


Director: Kang Min Kim

Special Jury Recognition for Storytelling

Your Own Bulls**t

Director: Daria Kopiec

Music Videos Winner

Madame Gandhi – ‘Waiting for Me’

Director: Misha Ghose

Special Jury Recognition for How the Hell Did They Do That?!

Waze & Odyssey, George Michael, Mary J. Blige & Tommy Theo – ‘Always’

Director: Nelson de Castro

Special Jury Recognition for Pure Joy

Kuricorder Quartet – ‘Southpaw’

Director: Sawako Kabuki

Texas Shorts Winner

Summer Animals

Director: Haley Elizabeth Anderson

Special Jury Recognition for Vision

O Black Hole!

Director: Renee Zhan

Texas High School Shorts Winner

A Really Dark Comedy

Director: Manasi Ughadmathe

Special Jury Recognition for Directing

Beyond the Model

Director: Jessica Lin

Episodic Pilot Competition Winner

4 Feet High

Directors: Maria Belen Poncio and Rosario Perazolo Masjoan

Special Jury Recognition for Best Duo

Pretend Partners

Director: Ron Najor

Scene from Paul Dood's Deadly Lunch Break
Scene from Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break. Pic credit: Belstone Pictures


Poster Design Competition Winner

Bob Moses Featuring ZHU – ‘Desire’

Creative Director: Owen Brown

Art Director and Illustrator: Benjámin Kalászi

Graphic Designer: Diego L. Rodríguez (Paramoidme)

Special Jury Recognition

The Box

Designers: James Burns and Shal Ngo, Aleksander Walijewski

Title Design Competition Winner

The Queen’s Gambit Title Sequence

Designer: Saskia Marka

Special Jury Recognition

Birds Of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn Title Sequence

Designer: Michael Riley

Virtual Cinema Competition Winner


Director: Huang Hsin-Chien

Special Jury Recognition for Immersive Journalism


Director: Sam Wolson


Brightcove Illumination Award

The Fallout

Director: Megan Park

Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award

Delia Derbyshire – the Myths and the Legendary Tapes

Director: Caroline Catz

Adobe Editing Award


Editor: Lam Nguyen

Final Draft Screenwriters Award

Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break

Screenwriters: Brook Driver, Matt White, and Nick Gillespie

Louis Black “Lone Star” Award Winner

Without Getting Killed or Caught

Directors: Tamara Saviano and Paul Whitfield

ZEISS Cinematography Award Winner


Cinematographer: Jorrie van der Walt

Mailchimp Support the Shorts Award

Chuj Boys of Summer

Director: Max Walker-Silverman

Mailchimp Support the Shorts Special Jury Recognition

Like the Ones I Used to Know

Director: Annie St-Pierre

Mailchimp Support the Shorts Special Jury Recognition


Director: Morgan Bond and Nickolas Grisham

This has been an amazing festival done virtually. It’s quite impressive that the event was able to be executed in such a smooth fashion, considering the entire country and beyond is still in the middle of a pandemic.

Congrats to all the winners from our site. They are all well deserved.

SXSW will still be streaming all these films until March 20. So, if attendees haven’t had the chance, be sure and move quickly before the festival wraps up.

Stay tuned for more coverage of SXSW 2021 at Monsters & Critics.

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