This year's 36 jurors come from a wide range of film, media, and design backgrounds but they all have one thing in common: they're tastemakers and masters of their field whom we know will be up to the task of choosing this year's winners! Their decision will be no easy feat - the 12 categories each have eight or more worthy entries.
You can find out the results of their complex decisions at the SXSW Film Awards on Tuesday, March 17th, 8pm at the Paramount Theatre, hosted by the brilliantly funny SNL cast member Vanessa Bayer. Film, Gold and Platinum badgeholders only, so head here to pick up yours.
NARRATIVE FEATURE JURY
Kyle Buchanan is a senior editor at New York Magazine's Vulture.
Wesley Morris is a staff critic at Grantland. He won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for criticism for his writing at the Boston Globe.
Krista Smith is Vanity Fair's executive west coast editor and de facto ambassador to Hollywood. She profiles rising talent for the Vanities section, helps produce the annual Hollywood Issue, and interviews filmmakers and actors at film festivals. She hosted @VFHollywood With Krista Smith for Vanity Fair's YouTube channel, and conducts Twitterviews with notables on Twitter.
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE JURY
Tabitha Jackson is Director of the Documentary Film Program (DFP) at the Sundance Institute. The DFP supports filmmakers worldwide in the creation of cinematic non-fiction.
Jason Spingarn-Koff is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker and journalist who oversees The New York Times Op-Docs and directed the documentary Life 2.0 (SXSW 2010).
Alison Willmore is the film critic for BuzzFeed and one of the hosts of the Filmspotting: SVU podcast.
SHORTS PROGRAM JURY
Jeffrey Bowers is Senior Manager of Curation (VOD) at Vimeo and also curates VICE media’s VICE Shorts and writes their column, "I'm Short, Not Stupid."
Eric Allen Hatch is the director of programming for Maryland Film Festival, a Touki Bouki enthusiast, and a collector of vintage movie-theater jpgs.
Lisa Ogdie is a Shorts Programmer for the Sundance Film Festival and also Membership & Events Manager for BAFTA Los Angeles.
DOCUMENTARY SHORTS JURY
Gina Duncan is the Administrative Director of Programming at the Jacob Burns Film Center, a cultural arts center dedicated to making film a vibrant part of the community.
Charlie Phillips is the Head of Documentaries at The Guardian, commissioning and acquiring new short documentaries from all around the world. Charlie was previously Deputy Director at Sheffield Doc/Fest.
Sara Rüster is responsible for the festival distribution of Swedish docs and has been at the International department of the Swedish Film Institute since 2003. She has served at various international festival juries.
ANIMATED SHORTS JURY
Bernardo Britto is from Brazil and makes movies. Sometimes they are animated like The Places Where We Lived and Yearbook. Sometimes they are not.
Katie Krentz is Director of Comedy Animation for Cartoon Network. Her most recent projects include Clarence, Over the Garden Wall, and the upcoming We Bare Bears—each developed from CNS’ vibrant and prolific shorts program.
Mark Shapiro is Head of Brand Marketing for Oregon-based LAIKA, the animation studio behind the Oscar-nominated Coraline, ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls. He’s sat on festival juries across the world.
MIDNIGHT SHORTS JURY
Kristen Bell is the Festival Director for Fantastic Fest, located in Austin, Texas. Fantastic Fest is the largest genre film festival in the US.
Roxanne Benjamin is a filmmaker/producer known for horror genre development and production, including festival hits V/H/S & V/H/S/2. Co-Producer on Snoot Productions' Faults, The Devil's Candy, and Antarctica.
Mette-Marie Katz is the Director of Sales for Los Angeles-based sales agency and production company XYZ Films, which is widely known for the film The Raid.
MUSIC VIDEOS JURY
John T. Kunz is the President/Owner of Waterloo Records & Video, celebrating 33 1/3 years retailing great music and film in Austin, TX, and online.
Maria Reinup runs the only genre film festival in the Baltics and works as one of the main programmers for the Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia.
Kelsey Wilson is the co-lead singer and violinist of indie-pop band Wild Child. Kelsey has toured the world with Wild Child. She has made television appearances on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson and Last Call With Carson Daly.
TEXAS SHORTS JURY
Katy Daiger Dial is the Education Manager at the Austin Film Society where she oversees all community, youth and pre-professional programs. Before AFS, she worked as the Video Game & Animation Liaison for the Texas Film Commission.
Chris Ohlson recently produced Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter and Thank You a Lot. He won the 2015 Piaget Producers Award and was a Sundance Creative Producing Fellow.
Kelly Williams is a producer and film programmer. His most recent projects include the feature films Pit Stop, Hellion, 6 Years and Beaver Trilogy Part IV.
TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL SHORTS JURY
Bob Ray is currently finishing up the crazed-lawyer documentary I’m w/ Liberty. He keeps it strange with loads of critically acclaimed docs, narratives, animation and music vids.
Emily Hagins wrote/directed four features by the age of 20. Now 22, Emily is living in Los Angeles and working on her next project.
Bart Weiss is an award-winning filmmaker who is mostly widely recognized as the founder/director of the Dallas Videofest. Weiss also teaches courses at UT Arlington and produces the show Frame of Mind for KERA TV.
LOUIS BLACK / LONE STAR JURY
Victor Diaz is a lifelong Texan, film reporter and critic for Time Warner Cable News. Each week his "Cinema Spotlight" and "At the Movies" segments explore everything from new theatrical releases to productions in the local film making community.
Marcy Garriott is an Austin-based independent documentary filmmaker (director, producer, executive producer, editor); her award-winning films have appeared on PBS, CNN and MTV.
Joe Leydon has been a film critic for Variety for 25 years. He also is an adjunct professor at Sam Houston State University.
TITLE SEQUENCE DESIGN JURY
Simon Clowes is a Creative Director / Director and Designer presently residing in Los Angeles. His work has earned an Emmy® Award Nomination, special jury recognition and official selections from the SXSW Film Festival and awards from the Art Directors Club in New York and Miami and Promax/BDA.
Karin Fong is an Emmy-winning title designer. Her work includes the openings for Boardwalk Empire, South Park, and Black Sails, as well as sequences for numerous feature films.
Ben Radatz is a partner at MK12 Studios, a design collective specializing in title and motion design, including films like Stranger Than Fiction and Quantum of Solace.
POSTER DESIGN JURY
Sean Carnegie specializes in design that enhances customer experience in a wide variety of disciplines; including but not limited to, identity, print collateral, new media and environmental way finding. Located in Austin, Texas, he currently works as a creative at LewisCarnegie.
Tim League and his wife Karrie founded the Alamo Drafthouse in 1997. League also co-founded Fantastic Fest, the largest genre film festival in the U.S. and launched Drafthouse Films, a distribution label committed to releasing provocative, visionary and artfully unusual films from around the world.
Kevin Tong is a professional illustrator in Austin, TX (www.tragicsunshine.com).