I love that the SXSW awards are announced at this point in the festival because it means I can use the second half of the festival to catch up.  In some cases, I'm surprised that something I've seen is on here, and pleased because I'm having a good festival overall.  They've programmed the hell out of SXSW this year, and I'm really enjoying the surprises I've seen.

Some statistics they sent over to put these awards in perspective:  "The 2012 SXSW Film Festival hosted a total of 132 features, consisting of 74 World Premieres, 17 North American Premieres and 11 U.S. Premieres, with 58 films from first-time directors. 138 shorts will screen as part of 12 overall shorts programs. The nearly 275 films were selected from a record number of overall submissions, over 5,300, comprised of approximately 2,000 features and 3,300 shorts. This was a 7% increase over 2011 despite moving submission deadlines a month earlier than in previous years."

I've seen a lot of movies so far, and I'm genuinely pleased to see both "Eden" and "Beware Of Mr. Baker" on the list of awards winners.  I'll have reviews of these as I continue the festival through Sunday.  I'll consider this a heads-up on what I may want to catch before the festival ends.

The 2012 SXSW Film Festival Award Winners:

Feature Film Jury Awards

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION
Grand Jury Winner: Beware of Mr. Baker
Director: Jay Bulger

NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION
Grand Jury Winner: Gimme The Loot
Director: Adam Leon

Special Jury Recognition for Performance:
Jamie Chung – Eden
Besedka Johnson – Starlet
Nico Stone – Booster

Feature Film Audience Awards

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Winner: Bay of All Saints
Director: Annie Eastman

NARRATIVE FEATURE
Winner: Eden
Director: Megan Griffiths

*Audience Awards for Narrative Spotlight, Documentary Spotlight, Emerging Visions, Midnighters, 24 Beats Per Second, SXGlobal and Festival Favorites sections will be announced on Saturday, March 17. The Headliner Audience Award will follow on Monday, March 19, 2012.

Short Film Jury Awards

NARRATIVE SHORTS
Winner: The Chair
Director: Grainger David

DOCUMENTARY SHORTS
Winner: CatCam
Director: Seth Keal

MIDNIGHT SHORTS
Winner: Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared
Directors: Rebecca Sloan & Joseph Pelling

SXGLOBAL SHORTS
Winner: The Perfect Fit
Director: Tali Yankelevich

ANIMATED SHORTS
Winner: (notes on) biology
Director: Danny Madden

MUSIC VIDEOS
Winner: Battles, "My Machines"
Director: DANIELS

TEXAS SHORTS
Winner: Spark
Director: Annie Silverstein

TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL SHORTS
Winner: Boom
Director: Daniel Matyas & Brian Broder

SXSW Film Design Awards presented by iStockphoto

EXCELLENCE IN POSTER DESIGN
Winner: Man & Gun
Designer: Justin Cox
Special Jury Recognition: Pitch Black Heist
Designer: Andrew Cranston
Audience Award Winner: The Maker
Designer: Christopher Kezelos

EXCELLENCE IN TITLE DESIGN
Winner: Les Bleus de Ramville
Designer: Jay Bond, Oily Film Company Inc.
Special Jury Recognition: X-Men: First Class
Designer: Simon Clowes, Prologue Films
Audience Award Winner: Bunraku
Designer: Guilherme Marcondes, Hornet Inc.

SXSW Special Awards

SXSW WHOLPHIN AWARD
Winner: The Black Balloon
Director: Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie

SXSW CHICKEN & EGG EMERGENT NARRATIVE WOMAN DIRECTOR AWARD
Winners: Megan Griffiths for Eden and Amy Seimetz for Sun Don’t Shine

LOUIS BLACK “LONE STAR” AWARD
Winner: Bernie
Director: Richard Linklater
Special Jury Recognition: Trash Dance
Director: Andrew Garrison

KAREN SCHMEER FILM EDITING FELLOWSHIP
Presented to: Lindsay Utz

Don't forget our own Katie Hasty is also in Austin for her coverage of the SXSW music conference.  Great stuff, and worth following.