Ben Nabors’ William and the Windmill picked up the Grand Jury Prize for best doc feature at SXSW in Texas, while AJ Schnack and David Wilson’s We Always Lie to Strangers (pictured) took the Special Jury Prize for Directing.
Windmill looks at young Malawian William Kamkwamba, who teaches himself to build a power-generating windmill from junk parts; while Strangers is billed as “a story of family, community, music and tradition” set against the backdrop of Branson, Missouri.
Rounding out the Documentary Feature Awards category, the Special Jury Prize for Cinematography went to Touba‘s director of photography Scott Duncan.
Schnack and Wilson’s Strangers also received a Special Jury Recognition mention in the Excellence in Poster Design category, which went to the film’s poster designer Erik Buckham.
Elsewhere, the award for Documentary Short went to Josh Izenberg’s SLOMO, while the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship went to Jim Hession (Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present, PBS’s ‘Frontline’).
“We start each year anew, never knowing what’s ahead,” said Janet Pierson, SXSW Film conference and festival producer. “We fall in love with the films as we program, but they truly come alive in front of our audience, and the feedback for the entire program this year has been so enthusiastic and rewarding.
“We know the juries had a tough job, but are grateful for their commitment to the task. We’re thrilled with the quality of the work recognized.”
Check out the trailer for Strangers below: