The South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW 2012) announced award winners as attendees made a last minute dash to catch added screenings of audience and jury favorites before the festival's end. This year's SXSW started with a record number of 5,300 film submissions, which the selection committee narrowed down to 275 films. Of those, 132 were full length features and 138 were shorts.
In a press release about the SXSW awards, festival producer Janet Pierson said, "I know I'm always going on about the great variety of our program, but this year it seems to have been embraced in even wider measure."
In the jury awards category, the documentary winner was Jay Bulger's "Beware of Mr. Baker." It's about the life of rock drummer Ginger Baker, chronicling his headlining days with Eric Clapton in Cream to his reinvention in South Africa.
The winner of the juried narrative feature competition was Adam Leon's urban epic "Gimmie the Loot." It's a charmer about a pair of graffiti writers in the Bronx who set out to tag a New York City landmark.
The jury gave special recognition to performances to Jamie Chung in "Eden" as a Korean teen smuggled into the Las Vegas sex industry. Also recognized were Besedka Johnson's portrayal of an 85-year-old woman in "Starlet" and Nico Stone in the existential crime drama "Booster."
The ballots are in for the 2012 audience awards as well, with Annie Eastman's "Bay of All Saints" winning the documentary feature prize for her lyrical portrait of poverty in Bahia, Brazil. Director Megan Griffiths won the narrative feature audience award for "Eden."
The audience awards in the individual genre categories will be announced Saturday, March 17, including winners in Narrative Spotlight, Documentary Spotlight, Emerging Visions, Midnighters, SXGlobal, 24 Beats Per Second, and Festival Favorites.
In this year's festival, 58 of the films, both features and shorts, were directorial debuts and 74 were world premieres.
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