The awards have been handed out, and the all-too-important celebrities have left the city to come home to Los Angeles. Another year has passed for the South by Southwest Film Festival, an annual event that draws hundreds of films, filmmakers, critics and fans to Austin, Texas. The big winner this year was Natural Selection, which had little buzz going into the festival. But by looking at the slate of winners, it becomes evident that buzz can be misleading. Natural Selection took home the Best Narrative Feature prize from both the jury and the audience, and it won five other jury awards. Hard to nail down as a comedy, a drama or a dramedy, Natural Selection stars comedian Rachael Harris as a dutiful Christian housewife who is searching for the biological son of her husband who has suffered a stroke at a sperm bank where he had secretly been donating for 25 years.

Dragonslayer was the Grand Jury Winner in the documentary category, and cinematographer Eric Koretz won Best Cinematography for the film, which centers on a kid living in California suburbs, dabbling in drugs, love and skating. How to Die in Oregon is another documentary that was warmly received. Documentarian Peter Richardson spent four years filming and editing together this solemn and often incredibly depressing film that depicts ordinary people who are allowed to take their own life by Oregon’s legislation known as the ‘Death with Dignity’ law. The SXSW audience cried ad infinitum as heart-wrenching stories of terminally ill citizens make the choice to place their mortality in their own hands.

SXSW is all about finding the new up-and-comers, the filmmakers and talent of tomorrow who need festivals to spread the word about their work. For many film writers, discovering these little diamonds in the rough in the world of the film market is a treat. Caught Inside is one such film. Director Adam Blaiklock is ambitious with his first feature. Caught Inside is a psychological thriller that takes place entirely onboard a surfing safari vessel. The film is a showcase of the cast’s ability, with emotions. The characters are chartering to a remote location known as surfer’s paradise. But the women that are brought along become the target of pent-up frustration and tension for the men in what becomes an emotionally thrilling film of clashing personalities.

Likewise, Green is a film by writer-director-actress Sophia Takal who competently plays with the paranoia and torment that comes with jealous love. The film really catches the ultimate fear of every woman: What happens to your friendship when your boyfriend severs the tie and opens the floodgates of irrational jealousy and deceit?

But the festival wasn’t all drama and depression. In fact, SXSW was a hot spot for studio features as well. Making its world premiere at SXSW was Source Code starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Vera Farmiga and Michelle Monaghan. It is only the second feature by Duncan Jones whose first, Moon (2009), was highly praised both for Sam Rockwell’s solo performance and Jones’ eye for telling a realistic story with a science fiction twist. Source Code is an action thriller featuring Gyllenhaal as a soldier who wakes up in an unknown body. His mission is to find the bomber on a Chicago commuter train.

The aforementioned cast and filmmakers of Source Code were in Austin for SXSW, along with numerous other big names. Danny DeVito was spotted roaming the Four Seasons; he was there for his new film Girl Walks Into a Bar, also starring Rosario Dawson and Carla Gugino. Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page were also at the Four Seasons, chatting up journalists and fans about their new film Super, which premiered at SXSW. The duo sat for a Q&A following the screening to discuss their film in which Wilson is the Crimson Bolt, a self-proclaimed surveyor of public crime, and Page is Boltie, his eccentric sidekick.

The man of the festival, however, was none other than Conan. Conan O’Brien brought his 6-foot, 4.5-inch frame and ginger hair to Austin in support of his documentary, Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop. SXSW attendees were kept laughing by O’Brien’s humor in the film and were likewise pleased to find that he wasn’t so big as to miss its premiere. Another year down, and we’re kept wanting more. Thanks Austin, until next year.