SXSW winner

Destin Daniel Cretton dfirected "Short Term 12," which follows a young woman who works as a supervisor at a foster-care group home. The film won the grand jury prize at South by Southwest. (Handout / March 12, 2013)

AUSTIN, Texas -- “Short Term 12,” which follows a young woman who works as a supervisor at a foster-care group home, won the grand jury prize in the narrative feature competition at the South By Southwest Film Conference and Festival on Tuesday night.

A favorite with festival-goers since its first screening Sunday morning, the film was written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, whose previous film was “I Am Not a Hipster.” It stars Brie Larson in a quietly riveting, breakout performance and features John Gallagher Jr. and Kaitlyn Dever in supporting roles.

A special jury recognition prize for ensemble cast went to the actors of writer-director Carlos Puga’s “Burma,” who include Christopher Abbott, Gaby Hoffmann, Christopher McCann and Dan Bittner. A special jury recognition for acting went to Tishuan Scott, star of writer-director Chris Eska’s African American Civil War drama “The Retrieval.”

PHOTOS: The scene at SXSW 2013

“William and the Windmill,” directed by Ben Nabors, won the grand jury prize in the documentary feature competition. A special jury recognition for cinematography went to director of photography Scott Duncan for his work on “Touba.” A special jury recognition for directing went to AJ Schnack and David Wilson for “We Always Lie to Strangers.”

“William and the Windmill” is a look at a young Malawian, William Kamkwamba, who built a power-generating windmill that greatly helped his family and brought him worldwide recognition. The film examines the thorny questions and difficult decisions that arise for someone in Kamkwamba’s position, as to whether he is being aided or exploited in the face of growing fame.

Numerous short film prizes also were given out in the ceremony at Austin’s Paramount Theater, with “Ellen Is Leaving” capturing the narrative competition and “SLOMO” winning the documentary competition. “The Apocalypse” won for midnight short, while “Oh Willy…” won for animated short.

The SXSW Chicken & Egg Emergent Narrative Woman Director prize went to Hannah Fidell for “A Teacher,” with a special mention to Katie Graham for “Zero Charisma.” The Louis Black “Lone Star” Award went to Geoff Marslett for “Loves Her Gun.” The Karen Schmeer film editing fellowship was awarded to Jim Hession.

An excellence in poster design award went to Akiko Stehrenberger for "Kiss of the Damned,” with special jury recognition to Erik Buckham for “We Always Lie to Strangers.” An excellence in title design award went to Pablo Gonzalez for “Joven & Alocada,” with a special jury recognition prize going to Raleigh Stewart for “Crave.”


Brie Larson everywhere at SXSW

SXSW festival doesn't want to lose its way

Selena Gomez says 'Spring Breakers' was 'liberating'

Follow Mark Olsen on Twitter: @IndieFocus