Australian director Leigh Whannell among winners of the SXSW Film Festival Audience Awards

Taking place between 9-18 March, the 2018 South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas has come to a close, and with that, the Audience Award winners have officially been announced. The awards cover a range of categories, from documentary features to outstanding narrative structure and creativity. Amongst the list includes Australia director Leigh Whannell (perhaps best known for co-writing Saw), who won the hotly contested “Midnighter” category with his film Upgrade.

The complete list of winners is as follows:

HEADLINERS COMPETITION
Audience Award Winner: Isle of Dogs
Director: Wes Anderson 

NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION
Audience Award Winner: First Match
Director: Olivia Newman

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION
Audience Award Winner: TransMilitary
Directors: Gabriel Silverman, Fiona Dawson

NARRATIVE SPOTLIGHT
Audience Award Winner: All Square
Director: John Hyams

DOCUMENTARY SPOTLIGHT
Audience Award Winner: The Dawn Wall
Director: Josh Lowell, Peter Mortimer

VISIONS
Audience Award Winner: Profile
Director: Timur Bekmambetov

MIDNIGHTERS
Audience Award Winner: Upgrade
Director: Leigh Whannell

EPISODIC
Audience Award Winner: Vida
Director: Alonso Ruizpalacios, So Yong Kim

24 BEATS PER SECOND
Audience Award Winner: Ruben Blades Is Not My Name
Director: Abner Benaim

GLOBAL
Audience Award Winner: Virus Tropical
Director: Santiago Caicedo

FESTIVAL FAVORITES
Audience Award Winner: Science Fair
Director: Cristina Costantini, Darren Foster

The SXSW Film Festival is now in its 25th year, as the Audience awards aim to showcase the best in narrative and documentary production, highlighting smaller films and handing recognition to small films on a grand stage. The Audience Awards followed the 2018 Jury Awards, which had included Grand Jury Winners Thunder Road for the Narrative Feature Awards and People’s Republic of Desire for the Documentary Feature Award.

The only award still to be handed out is the Audience Award for “Headliners”. This will be announced on Monday, Austin time. We’ll update this article when that award is announced. (UPDATE: Isle of Dogs, the new film from Wes Anderson and the closing film of SXSW has walked away with this award.)

For the complete list of 2018 Award Winners, you can click here.