SXSW: Before I Disappear, Cesar Chavez Take Top Audience Awards

By Sean O'Connell 2014-03-15 12:20:44discussion comments
fb share tweet share
SXSW: Before I Disappear, Cesar Chavez Take Top Audience Awards image
I managed to screen 14 movies in four days at the South By Southwest film festival this year. Two were fantastic. Most were great. Some were below average. And only one of the bunch was downright unwatchable.

Somehow, the worst film I screened managed to win the top Audience Award, which was announced Saturday afternoon in Austin. That would be Shawn Christensenís Before I Disappear, an insufferable redemption drama written by, directed by and starring Christensen. A triple threat in every sense of the word, Christensen plays a suicidal loser roped into helping his alienated sister (Emmy Rossum) as she deals with her own legal problems. The feature length film is an expansion of Christensenís Oscar-winning short, Curfew. I have no idea what people see in this concept. Richard Schiff, Fatima Ptacek and the usually great Ron Perlman Ė who also snoozed through the similarly disappointing 13 Sins at SXSW Ė co-star.

Christensenís film is one of those precocious indies thatís littered with continuity issues, which weíre supposed to overlook because he filmed on a budget. Heís not a compelling leading man. And his cast falls back on a lazy, nagging gimmick of repeating lines in place of improv. It was the only film at South By this year I contemplated walking out of.

Audiences disagreed, handing Disappear the Narrative Feature Competition trophy on Satruday. Other winners at the fest this year include:

2014 SXSW Film Festival Audience Award Winners:

NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION
Audience Award Winner: Before I Disappear
Director: Shawn Christensen

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION
Audience Award Winner: Vessel
Director: Diana Whitten

DOCUMENTARY SPOTLIGHT
Audience Award Winner: DamNation
Director: Ben Knight & Travis Rummel

NARRATIVE SPOTLIGHT
Audience Award Winner: CESAR CHAVEZ
Directors: Diego Luna

VISIONS
Audience Award Winner: Yakona
Director: Anlo Sepulveda & Paul Collins

MIDNIGHTERS
Audience Award Winner: Exists
Director: Eduardo SŠnchez

EPISODIC
Audience Award Winner: Silicon Valley
Director: Mike Judge

SXGLOBAL
Audience Award Winner: The Special Need
Directors: Carlo Zoratti

FESTIVAL FAVORITES
Audience Award Winner: The Case Against 8
Director: Ben Cotner & Ryan White

The best film I managed to see at SXSW remains Richard Linklaterís Boyhood, though there were numerous films that ended up trending at the fest this year. Who emerged from Austin with the most buzz? And which films need to be on your radar as the rest of the year unfolds? Come back Monday, when our weekly video series Monday Movie Memo will break down the 5 SXSW Films You Absolutely Need To Catch Up With. Talk to you then.
discussion
Subscribe To Topics You're Interested In
Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Back to top
GET US IN YOUR FEED
RELATED
REVIEWS
FEATURES
TOP MOVIES
HOT TOPICS
ABOUT US FAQ PRIVACY POLICY JOBS CONTACT
© Cinema Blend LLC / All rights reserved