SXSW Gives "Sexless" and "Happy Here and Now" Awards for 10th Anniversary Film Fest

by Brian Brooks

South by Southwest (SXSW) named winners of its 10th anniversary film festival, giving Alex Holdridge's "Sexless" the jury award for narrative feature as well as the audience award for narrative feature. The film, starring Holdridge and Kelly Dealyn, is about a couple who go through a trial separation in order to decide if marriage is the right thing to do. Simultaneously, a friend of the couple is also falling in love with a woman who is moving.

Presented with a special jury award for narrative feature is "Happy Here and Now." Directed by Michael Almereyda, the film centers on a young woman (Liane Balaban) who travels to New Orleans in search of her missing sister. "Flag Wars," by Linda Good Bryant and Laura Poitras, received the jury award for best documentary feature. The film investigates the conflicts arising from affluent gay couples settling in a predominately black working class neighborhood in Columbus. "Jon E. Edwards is in Love" received the Festival's special jury award for documentary feature. The doc is about self-styled "Number 3 soul man in the world" who seeks fame as a singer, while taking care of his sick mother.

"Melvin Goes to Dinner" by Bob Odenkirk took the audience award for narrative first film. The feature is about three nearly complete strangers who go to dinner and discuss a litany of topics including marital infidelity, religion, anal fetishes, cigarettes, ghosts, masturbation, and stewardesses. Also receiving an audience award was "Girlhood" for documentary feature, a story about two girls who commit violent crimes at a young age. SXSW Film Conference and Festival continues though March 15.