The SXSW Film Festival is thrilled to announce the distinguished jurors for this year’s Narrative and Documentary Feature competitions, Shorts Program, Music Videos, Louis Black “Lone Star” Award, Poster Design, and Title Design. Take a look!
Narrative Feature Competition
Justin Chang is a film critic for the Los Angeles Times and NPR’s Fresh Air. He serves as chair of the National Society of Film Critics.
Col Needham is the Founder and CEO of IMDb, the world’s most popular and authoritative source for movie, TV and celebrity content. Born and living in the UK, Needham has had a lifelong interest in both technology and movies.
Emily Yoshida is a film critic for New York Magazine and Vulture, as well as the cohost of the Night Call podcast. She lives in Brooklyn.
Documentary Feature Competition
K. Austin Collins is a staff writer for The Ringer, where he writes on movies and culture.
Violet Lucca is the Digital Producer of Film Comment Magazine and hosts its podcast. A member of the New York Film Critics Circle, she also regularly contributes to Sight & Sound.
April Wolfe is formerly lead critic for LA Weekly. She currently hosts the Switchblade Sisters podcast, and writes most often for the Village Voice.
Narrative Shorts Program
Dilcia Barrera is the Associate Curator of Film Programs at LACMA and a Short Film Programmer for Sundance Film Festival.
Nick Borenstein is Director of Content for Topic Studios where he’s responsible for the development & production of scripted television and digital content. He is also a filmmaker.
Brandon Harris is a Development Executive at Amazon Original Movies, the director of Redlegs (2012) and the author of Making Rent In Bed-Stuy (2017).
David Matthews is Director of Acquisitions at PBS Distribution where he negotiates home entertainment deals for indy docs and other non-fiction series and specials.
Erica Deiparine-Sugars works with independent media makers expressly to support diverse voices and stories. She is currently the Director of Programs for the Austin Film Society.
Pam Torno is the Series Producer of Indie Lens Storycast, a YouTube channel of short stories made by independent filmmakers and developed by ITVS.
Aki Isoyama is the Programming Supervisor at Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia, Tokyo, where she has also overseen short film acquisitions and sales.
Kirsten Lepore is an award-winning director/animator, whose recent film Hi Stranger garnered around 200 million views online. She also loves to eat fermented things.
Eric Power crafts hand made stop motion films, raises children, and believes an independent animation renaissance is about to explode.
Sara Cushman has been a member of the Fantastic Fest staff for over a decade. She currently works for distributor NEON.
Missy Laney is the Director of Development at Adult Swim. Previously she has worked at BitTorrent Inc and Sundance Institute.
Pip Ngo is the Director of Sales and Acquisitions for XYZ Films. Prior to XYZ, he was the Senior Manager of Content Acquisitions for Vimeo.
Dan Deacon is an American composer and performer whose work focuses on a maximalist approach to density with a fixation on sample manipulation, synthesis, mechanical instruments and audience collaboration.
John T. Kunz is the president/owner of Waterloo Records & Video, voted Austin’s best store for the last 35 years, and a founding member of RSD, CIMS and HAAM.
Daniel Scheinert is an LA-based filmmaker who grew up in Birmingham, Alabama of all places. He is best know as one half of directing duo DANIELS (along with another Daniel named Daniel Kwan).
Dallas International Film Festival Artistic Director James Faust, likes to rock and watch movies. Not in that order.
Rebecca Morelo Jackson is a producer, graduate student and the Film Program Coordinator at Cine Las Americas International Film Festival.
Ali Nichols is a Production Consultant at the Texas Film Commission. She works with filmmakers to find Texas filming resources on projects that range from feature films and television series to short films and commercials.
Texas High School Shorts
Barak Epstein has produced three feature films that have screened at SXSW. Barak has operated the legendary Texas Theatre in Dallas since 2010. In 2012, Barak co-founded the Oak Cliff Film Festival. Barak is also the Chairman of the non-profit Top Ten Records.
Bob Ray spins Texas tales tall and small: Rock Opera, Hell on Wheels, Total Badass, CrashToons, *Platypus Rex,
Bart Weiss teaches film/video at UT Arlington, is founder/director of DallasVideoFest and, produces Frame of Mind on KERA TV.
Rebecca Agbe-Davies is Vice President of Programming at Crackle, a Sony Pictures Television Network, where she oversees current series, acquisitions, program planning, and content analytics.
Christine Dávila is a Creative Executive at Stage 13, an original, digital-first content brand of Warner Bros. Digital Networks. She also blogs at ChicanafromChicago.com.
Randi Kleiner is the Founder and CEO of SeriesFest, an annual television festival dedicated to showcasing the best in episodic storytelling from around the world.
Lone Star Jury
Victor Diaz is a news anchor and video journalist for the Texas region of Spectrum News. This is his 16th year covering SXSW as a film reporter and host.
Steve Dollar is a cultural journalist whose work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and many other publications.
Dana Harris is the Los Angeles–based Editor-in-Chief of IndieWire. She’s covered the film industry more than two decades.
Title Sequence Design
Dan Brown is an Emmy award winning filmmaker and the co-owner of the production and design company Curiosity Shoppe.
Jonathan Lacocque founded Coat of Arms and serves as its Creative Director/Producer. He’s an award-winning storyteller with experience across film studios, agencies and broadcast networks.
Mara Smalley is an award-winning Art Director/Designer. Her work on HBO’s The Leftovers earned a nomination from SXSW for Excellence in Title Design in 2016.
Proficient in a range of processes, Sean Carnegie has taught at the University of Texas and Texas State University, and currently resides on AIGA Austin’s advisory board.
Michelle Schwartz is artist and curator living and working out of Austin, Texas. She specializes in watercolor painting and her work has been in numerous gallery shows.
Kevin Tong is a freelance illustrator, known for his screen printed posters, living and working out of Austin, TX.
Winners will be announced during the SXSW Film Awards on Tuesday, March 13 at 8pm at the Paramount Theatre. Comedian, actor and three-time Grammy nominee Jim Gaffigan, star of 2018 SXSW Narrative Spotlight You Can Choose Your Family, will host the ceremony. See you there!
See You at SXSW 2018
Check out the 2018 SXSW Film Festival Lineup and start mapping out your film adventure!
Take a look at our handy Film Venues Page to figure out the quickest route to each theater.
2017 SXSW Film Awards – Photo by Jon Currie