SXSW ’14: “Vessel,” “DamNation” win audience awards

Vessel (pictured), DamNation and The Case Against 8 are among the audience award winners at the 2014 SXSW Film Festival.
March 17, 2014

Documentaries Vessel (pictured), DamNation and The Case Against 8 are among the audience award winners at this year’s SXSW Film Festival.

Vessel, directed by first-time filmmaker Diana Whitten, won the audience award in the Documentary Feature Competition category. The film profiles Dutch physician Rebecca Gomperts, who sails around the world providing safe abortions for women with no legal alternative aboard a ship in international waters.

The film previously won a Special Jury Recognition for Political Courage during the Austin, Texas-based festival.

In the Documentary Spotlight category, directors Ben Knight and Travis Rummel’s look at big American dams,  DamNation, picked up the audience award; and directors Ben Cotner and Ryan White’s doc about the case to overturn a same-sex marriage ban in California, The Case Against 8, won the audience award in the Festival Favorites category.

Festival organizers announced the audience award winners on Sunday (March 16), the final day of the 10-day music, film and interactive event. The audience award in the SXGlobal category will be announced today (March 17).

Last week, Margaret Brown’s The Great Invisible, which examines the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, won the Grand Jury prize in the Documentary Feature Competition. Luis Lopez and Clay Tweel’s 3D printing doc Print the Legend picked up a Special Jury Recognition for editing & storytelling.

About The Author
Meagan Kashty is an associate editor of realscreen, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Meagan is an award-winning business journalist. Prior to joining the realscreen team, Meagan was online editor of Canadian Grocer, named Magazine of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Business Media Awards. She can be reached at, and you can follow her on Twitter @MegKashty