Docs

SXSW ’19: “For Sama”, “Running with Beto” take Audience Awards

The 26th annual SXSW Film Festival has unveiled its Audience Award winners. Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts’ For Sama has taken the Audience Award in the documentary feature competition category. The ...
March 18, 2019

The 26th annual SXSW Film Festival has unveiled its Audience Award winners.

Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts’ For Sama has taken the Audience Award in the documentary feature competition category. The 94-minute film chronicles the female experience of war by documenting the five-year journey of director al-Kateab as she navigates through love, marriage and motherhood during the revolution in Aleppo, Syria. For Sama is produced by ITN Productions.

The Audience Award winner in the documentary spotlight category, meanwhile, was David Modigliani’s politically-focused Running with Beto (pictured). The 94-minute behind-the-scenes documentary traces former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke over the final 12 months of his campaign in his attempt to unseat Republican Ted Cruz in the U.S. Senate.

The Audience Awards follow the previously announced 2019 Jury Awards, which saw al-Kateab and Watts’ For Sama take the Grand Jury prize in the documentary feature competition.

Marlén Viñayo’s Cachada: The Opportunity was named the audience award winner for the global category, while in the “festival favorites” category, Janice Engel’s Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins got kudos from the SXSW audiences.

Over the course of the nine-day film festival, SXSW screened 133 doc and narrative features consisting of 102 world premieres, nine North American premieres, and three U.S. premieres, with 62 first-time filmmakers. The 256 (including 101 shorts and music videos) were selected from 8,496 overall submissions, including nearly 2,361 features and 4,734 shorts.

For the complete list of 2019 Award Winners, click here.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news editor at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joined the RS team in 2015 with experience in journalism following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and with communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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