Columbia Winners at South by Southwest 2024

Aisha Amin
March 22, 2024


The results are in and two Columbia-affiliated projects were announced as winners at this year’s SXSW Film Festival.

Bob Trevino Likes It, produced by Sean Mullin '06, took home two awards in the Narrative Feature Competition: the Audience Award and the Jury Award. The film, which follows a young woman who forms an unlikely bond with an online stranger while searching for her estranged father, is inspired by the true story of writer/director Tracie Laymon's search for her own father. 

Hacks Season 3, which was co-created and directed by Lucia Aniello (CC '04) and which had its world premiere at the festival as part of the TV Spotlight, also took home an Audience Award. The popular show explores the dark mentorship between comedy legend Deborah Vance and an outcast young writer Ava Daniels.

See a full list of SXSW Film Festival winners here


Original: March 7, 2024

Several projects from Columbia filmmakers are headed to the upcoming South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival, which will take place March 8-16, 2024.

Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, South by Southwest is best known for its conference and festivals which celebrate the convergence of tech, film, music, education, and culture.

Running concurrently with the SXSW Conference, Music, and Comedy Festivals, the SXSW Film & TV Festival program celebrates talent in film and television and attendees can take advantage of the opportunity to connect with a wide array of industry experts.

A complete list of projects from Columbia filmmakers screening at SXSW 2024 can be found below:

Doin' It
Co-written & Directed by Sara Zandieh '11

After teenage Maya is caught in a sexually compromising position, her mom moves the family back to India so Maya can learn proper discipline. Years later, she returns to the US to find funding for her teen-focused app, and gets a job as a substitute high school teacher so she can research her target demo. But when the principal assigns her to teach sex ed, Maya—who’s still a virgin—sets out on a quest with her best friend to make up for the high school experience she lost out on.

Still from 'I Saw the TV Glow'

I Saw the TV Glow 
Quality Control by Tyler St. Pierre '21

Teenage Owen is just trying to make it through life in the suburbs when his classmate introduces him to a mysterious late-night TV show—a vision of a supernatural world beneath their own. In the pale glow of the television, Owen’s view of reality begins to crack.

Still from 'pet shop days'

Pet Shop Days 
Unit Production Management by Andrew K. Li '16 and Line Producing by Reka Posta '14.

In an act of desperation, impulsive black sheep Alejandro flees his home in Mexico. On the run from his unforgiving father, Alejandro finds himself in New York City where he meets Jack, a college-age pet store employee with similar parental baggage. Together, the two enter a whirlwind romance sending them down the rabbit hole of drugs and depravity in Manhattan’s underworld. When Alejandro’s past threatens to catch up with him, Jack is forced to choose between his family and a life on the run.

still from 'This is a Film About The Black Keys'

This is a Film About The Black Keys
Assistant Edited by Sushant Chaudhary '21

This feature documentary traces Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney's remarkable journey from two neighborhood kids jamming in a basement in Akron, Ohio to rock ’n roll super-stardom.

A man and young women sit talking in a diner.

Bob Travino Likes It
Produced by Sean Mullin '06

After searching for her estranged father online, a people-pleasing young woman unexpectedly forms a close bond with a grieving, childless man with the same name as her father on Facebook. This film about family, friendship, meaning, and longing is inspired by a true story.


The following projects will premiere as part of the Television Spotlight:

still from 'hacks'

Hacks Season 3
Co-created and Directed by Lucia Aniello (CC '04)

Hacks explores the dark mentorship between comedy legend Deborah Vance (Emmy Award-winner Jean Smart) and an outcast young writer Ava Daniels (Emmy Award-nominee Hannah Einbinder). Deborah and Ava learn to put their differences aside and come together through a shared love of comedy. Through the lens of their intergenerational bond, Hacks examines the plight of the female comic and the brave women that paved the way. At its core, Hacks is always about the unique and complicated bond between these two main characters.

still from 'penelope'

Edited by Celia Beasley (BC '99)

Feeling out of place in the modern world, 16-year-old Penelope finds herself almost cosmically drawn to nature. With no plan in place, she leaves her family behind for the beguiling wilderness where she begins to establish a different kind of life for herself. As she learns by necessity, survivalism coalesces with coming-of-age in this poignant tale.