‘Raging Grace’ Tops SXSW Winners List, With IndieWire’s Janet Pierson Award to ‘Parachute’ Producer

15 March 2023

This year’s South by Southwest Film & TV Festival has officially unveiled the 2023 winners list.

With buzzy titles such as “Bottoms,” “Beef,” “Swarm,” and “Air” debuting at the festival, the 2023 conference in Austin, Texas proved to be a memorable time. “What an extraordinary week of film and TV premieres here at SXSW, and there is more to come through Saturday,” Claudette Godfrey, VP, Flm & TV, said. “Our theaters have been brimming with enthusiastic audiences celebrating the exceptional and diverse work in our lineup, and we’re so excited to celebrate this year’s jury and special award winners!”

The Narrative Feature Competition, presented by Panavision, bestowed the top honor to “Raging Grace,” written and directed by Paris Zarcilla.

“‘Raging Grace”s heady blend of horror, history, and midnight humor announces the arrival of an exciting new filmmaking talent in writer-director Paris Zarcilla,” the official statement reads. “The story of a Filipina house cleaner and her young daughter confronting Britain’s racial and class divides, ‘Raging Grace’ is both frank and elusive, a film that subverts expectations on its way to a stirring conclusion. In cleverly employing genre tropes to explore vast socio political matters, Zarcilla has crafted a resonant, urgent work about labor, legacy, and diaspora.”

“Raging Grace” also was honored with the Thunderbird Rising Award Winner, along with “Parachute” for Brittany Snow’s Thunderbird Rising Special Award performance.

The Special Jury Award for Cinematography was given to “Story Ave” director of photography Eric Branco. “Parachute” actress Courtney Eaton, who also plays Lottie in “Yellowjackets,” was honored with a Special Jury Award for Performance.

“Courtney Eaton’s fearless portrayal of Riley, a young woman struggling to manage her addictions, ensured that ‘Parachute’ succeeded as a nuanced take on what holds us back and what lets us fly,” the SXSW press announcement stated. “The actress is at points hopeful and devastated, quiet and vicious, delivering a remarkable performance.”

Both “Story Ave” and “Parachute” are produced by Lizzie Shapiro, who received the SXSW special Janet Pierson Champion Award presented by IndieWire. Shapiro also produced “Shiva Baby” and “Mickey and the Bear,” both of which previously played at past respective SXSW festivals. IndieWire’s Janet Pierson Champion Award is to honor Pierson, the Director Emeritus of the SXSW Film & TV Festival, after 15 years of leadership. The 2023 festival marks the debut of the award as part of IndieWire’s dedication to elevating Film & TV creators.

“Angel Applicant” won the Documentary Feature Competition award, presented by ACE91.

“Written, directed, edited, and narrated by Kenneth August Meyer, ‘Angel Applicant’ is a revelation,” SXSW stated. “It is a film that lives dual lives: a gripping, autobiographical story about illness and an incisive work of art history. ‘Angel Applicant’ illustrates both Meyer’s and artist Paul Klee’s experiences with scleroderma in intimate, thoughtful, highly considered detail — engrossingly so for a viewer unfamiliar with either the creators or the disease. The result is a yearslong undertaking that is stunning, powerful, and unforgettable.”

For the TV Pilot Competition, Jocko Sims’ “Grown” was recognized along with a Special Jury Award for Outstanding Performance given to Josh Fadem from “Harbor Island.”

The 2023 SXSW Film Festival Juries consisted of journalists Tomris Laffy, Helena Andrews-Dyer, Richard Lawson, Mae Abdulbaki, Joel Anderson, Allegra Frank, David Fear, Mimi Swartz, Eric Webb, and more across the multiple awards categories.

The 2023 Film & TV program included 110 features including 75 World Premieres, 3 International Premieres, 9 North American Premieres, six U.S. Premieres, 16 Texas Premieres and 63 Short films, 20 Music Videos, 12 TV Premieres, three TV Spotlight, seven Independent TV Pilots, and 35 XR Experience projects.

All 2023 film categories will be eligible for category-specific Audience Awards that will be certified by the accounting firm of Maxwell Locke & Ritter. Audience Award Voting will conclude on Sunday, March 19. Winners will be announced via sxsw.com that week.

Click here to see the full list of 2023 SXSW award winners.

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