The Austin Film Critics Association Announce Their 2018 Award Winners

The AFCA shows love for If Beale Street Could Talk, The Favourite, Burning, Eighth Grade, Mandy, and more…

As many of us as still reeling at some of the baffling selections of the Hollywood Foreign Press last night, it’s good today to have affirmation that some critics actually have good taste. I’m proud today, as a member of the Austin Film Critics Association, to share the winners of our annual film awards. The standout is the exquisite and vital If Beale Street Could Talk, but it’s also great to see my fellow members recognize Widows, Burning, Sorry to Bother You, Mandy, and Eighth Grade, among some of the more well featured winners this awards season. But where’s the Paddington 2 love people!? The official press release and winners are all listed below. Here’s hoping 2019 is as great a year for film as 2018 was!

The Austin Film Critics Association (AFCA) announced its 2018 awards today, with “If Beale Street Could Talk” winning Best Film, Best Director (Barry Jenkins) and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Acting award winners include Regina King as Best Supporting Actress for “If Beale Street Could Talk,” Richard E. Grant as Best Supporting Actor for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”, Ethan Hawke as Best Actor for “First Reformed,” and Olivia Colman as Best Actress for “The Favourite.” The outstanding performers in “Widows” garnered that film the AFCA’s first Best Ensemble award.

New voices are among this year’s award winners: Boots Riley, with his Best Original Screenplay for “Sorry to Bother You,” and Bo Burnham winning Best First Film for “Eighth Grade.” Burnham, Elsie Fisher, and Josh Hamilton also receive a special honorary award for their brilliant collaborative work on Eighth Grade.

The winner of this year’s Robert R. “Bobby” McCurdy Memorial Breakthrough Artist Award is Brian Tyree Henry for his work in “If Beale Street Could Talk,” “Widows,” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”

Other major awards include Chang-dong Lee’s “Burning” winning Best Foreign Language Film, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” winning Best Animated Feature, and “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” winning Best Documentary.

One of the more distinct awards is that for Best Austin Film, which this year goes to Andrew Bujalski’s “Support the Girls.” The AFCA in collaboration with the Austin Film Society will host a special screening at 6pm on Sunday, Jan. 13th, at AFS Cinema. Tickets will soon be available; the filmmaker is likely to be in attendance for a post-show Q & A, pending availability.

The full list of winners, plus the AFCA Top Ten Films of 2018 list, is included below. You can also find details at the AFCA website,

Best Film: If Beale Street Could Talk (dir: Barry Jenkins)

Best Director: Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk

Best Actress: Olivia Colman, The Favourite

Best Actor: Ethan Hawke, First Reformed

Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

Best Supporting Actor: Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Best Ensemble: Widows

Best Original Screenplay: Boots Riley, Sorry to Bother You

Best Adapted Screenplay: Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk

Best Cinematography: Alfonso Cuarón, Roma

Best Score: Jóhann Jóhannsson, Mandy

Best Editing: Tom Cross, First Man

Best Foreign-Language Film: Burning (dir: Chang-dong Lee)

Best Documentary: Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (dir: Morgan Neville)

Best Animated Film: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (dir: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman)

Best Stunts: Mission: Impossible — Fallout

Best Motion Capture/Special Effects Performance: Josh Brolin, Avengers: Infinity War

Best First Film: Eighth Grade (dir: Bo Burnham)

The Robert R. “Bobby” McCurdy Memorial Breakthrough Artist Award: Brian Tyree Henry, If Beale Street Could Talk, Widows, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Austin Film Award: Support the Girls (dir: Andrew Bujalski)

Special Honorary Award: To Bo Burnham, Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton for their brilliant collaborative work on Eighth Grade.

AFCA 2018 Top Ten Films:

Averaged from all members’ top 10 selections.

  1. The Favourite
  2. Roma
  3. Blindspotting
  4. You Were Never Really Here
  5. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  6. First Reformed
  7. If Beale Street Could Talk
  8. Eighth Grade
  9. Shoplifters
  10. Suspiria

About the AFCA

Founded in 2005 by Cole Dabney and Bobby McCurdy, the Austin Film Critics Association is a group dedicated to supporting the best in film, whether at the international, national, or local level. The AFCA has seen its numbers grow to more than 30 members with a diverse roster of professional film critics who regularly review movies for national television stations, daily newspapers, weekly alternatives, local radio, monthly magazines, and websites with international prominence. AFCA members vote on the year’s best in film, celebrating excellence on both sides of the camera. The outlets AFCA members represent include the Austin American-Statesman, the Austin Chronicle, Cinapse, the Daily Texan, Double Toasted, DVDActive, Fandango, Film School Rejects,, Hammer to Nail, Hill Country News, Horror’s Not Dead, Junkfood Cinema, KOOP 91.7 FM Radio,, One Of Us, ScreenCrush, Smells Like Screen Spirit, and Spectrum News.

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