Saturday, November 17, 2007

Festival Awards

I have not seen the new film Bella, but just about every site or blog has picked up the talking point that it won an award at the Toronto International Film Festival.

A word on these awards. Most of them are tabulated through slips of paper given to the viewers who can then drop them off (or not) in boxes outside the theater doors.

In two years, I have never voted.

One friend who attends told me he'll vote if it is an independent film that won't otherwise get backing.

Of course, this format also means that results of such polls depend on the day of the screening(s), the theater (some festival auditoriums hold substantially more patrons than others) and the rate of return.

A single viewer who was so inclined could influence voting by collecting ballots from indifferent voters, and a single usher who is more or less pushy could also effect the outcome.

All of which is to say, the next time you hear an advertisement about an audience award at a festival, take it with a grain of salt.

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