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by Peter Knegt
March 21, 2009 12:41 PM
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SXSW Round Up: Sun Sets On Austin Film Fest

Austin, Texas. Photo by Brian Brooks.

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The 2009 SXSW Film Festival came to a close tonight in Austin, Texas, after nine nights of screenings (the sister music festival continues through tomorrow). The festival announced the bulk of its awards earlier in the week. indieWIRE reported: "Judi Krant’s 'Made in China' won the narrative jury prize, while Bill Ross’ '45365' won best documentary tonight at an informal awards presentation at the Austin Convention Center... In the Audience Award categories, Scott Teems’s 'That Evening Sun' and Geralyn Pezanoski’s 'Mine' won best narrative and doc respectively, while the audience nod in the Emerging Visions category went to Jennifer Steinman’s 'Motherland.'" indieWIRE had previously published interviews with Krant, Ross, Teems and Pezanoski.

Additional awards were announced last night, with Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn’s “Iron Maiden: Flight 666” - a behind-the-scenes look at Iron Maidens’ 2009 world tour - winning the audience award in the 24 Beats Per Second section (The Toronto Star profiles that film here), and Michel Orion Scott’s “Over the Hills and Far Away” - a doc that chronicles the journey of the Isaacson family as they travel through Mongolia - taking the same award in the Lone Star States section.

Coverage continued around the web after the awards had been handed out:

Eric Kohn continued writing "snapshot" reviews for indieWIRE throughout the week, with the most recent including Brett Gaylor's "RiP: A Remix Manifesto", Kristian Fraga’s “Severe Clear”, John Bryant's "The Overbrook Brothers", and Ben Steinbauer’s “Winnebago Man”.

SXSW jury member Anne Thompson completed a rigorous SXSW blogging with a look back at a week of photos. She also stated in regard to the fest: "SXSW fest producer Janet Pierson delivered a smooth festival, with just one glitch when one filmmaker didn't show up for a Q & A. Not bad."

Movie City News' Kim Voynar wrote a fantastic profile on Pierson. "This job ... I earned it by a life of being generous and engaged and caring about something deeply, and being lucky enough to pursue those interests," Pierson told Voynar. "And when I got this job, there was this immediate sense of, instead of having to worry about how I was defined by the world, I had this immediate answer: I run this festival. And it just kind of shut down all this distracting noise that had been nagging at me for twenty years. And it was like, okay, now this is what I do, and I get to actually care about the stuff that I care about, rather than where my place is in the world. And it's been really, really fun." (Eric Kohn also spoke with Pierson for The Wrap)

Cinematical closed up their extensive coverage with the inaugural broadcast of "The Cinematical Roundtable." Their first episode has Drew McWeeny and Scott Weinberg discussing various SXSW films. While at IFC.com, Stephen Saito takes a look back at SXSW's wide range of panels, including "Observe and Report"; Todd Haynes and Richard Linklater; and the future of 3D, with Robert Rodriguez and Henry Selick.

For those of you not at the fest, Spout Blog's Kevin Buist takes a look at the SXSW films being offered on IFC Direct, explaining: "For a midwesterner such as myself, this is tremendously good news. The elephant in the room when talking about any artwork is always access. Who is it for, and who can actually see it? For many, entering the current discussion surrounding independent film is simply an economic impossibility. SXSW is very friendly toward the average-Joe or Jane attendee, especially compared to many other festivals, but a plane ticket and a pass are still a serious expense. It would be easy for the festival organizers to pay lip service to the idea of creating an event for more than just the elite, and then do nothing about it. Instead, they deserve a tremendous amount of credit for actively attempting to engage people who want to attend the festival, but can’t." (Additionally, and for no cost to you, Hulu is also offering three films from last year's fest: "The Lost Coast," "We Are Wizards," and "Yeast," while Snag Films is presenting 2009 selection "The Least of These.")

For all of indieWIRE's coverage of the 2009 SXSW Film Festival, head here.

TAGS: Features
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