Jury members will judge competition entrants online this year, via links and uploaded submissions, festival director Janet Pierson told the The Hollywood Reporter. “This was going to be a transformative event, and with the cancellation, the filmmakers were left stranded and scrambling,” Pierson said. “We had several Special Awards juries already in place via links, and since we are not able to present the event, we decided to continue and expand to all the juried competitions, if the majority of the filmmakers opted in and juries were available. We know it’s no substitute for the live SXSW event with its unique and fantastic audience, but at least it’s some way to get attention for these wonderful films.”
All feature-film selections at SXSW this year will be eligible for the 2021 Independent Spirit Awards, and the winners of the animated, documentary, and narrative short film categories will be eligible for next year’s Academy Awards. Other categories include narrative and documentary feature, midnight shorts (highlighting the tropes of midnight movies), and music videos.
Competition voting will run online from March 13th through the 21st. The winners will be announced on March 24th.