Thursday, November 10, 2011

Awards, Accolades and Trophies

Louisville's International Festival of Film Best Documentary Award - a Louisville Slugger.
I have very mixed feelings about film awards. On one hand they are fun (the anticipation, debates and awareness they create) and competition is as American as an award winning apple pie. On the other hand awards are subjective, capricious and often just silly popularity contests (though there is nothing wrong with being popular!).

Over the past eleven months of our distribution of These Amazing Shadows (TAS) we have been faced with making decisions that qualify or disqualify us for Oscar and Emmy consideration. We elected early on to be part of Sundance Selects which brought with it a special one month Video-On-Demand release during the Sundance Film Festival in January 2011. That VOD release disqualified us from Oscar consideration for 2011. You may be thinking, "Dudes, an Oscar Best Documentary nomination for TAS is a rather remote possibility anyway." - and we would pretty much agree with you. At the time of the decision there was a little irrational voice inside my brain warning not to lose our Oscar consideration, "Don't do it! You never know! TAS could be a contender!" I quickly and easily quieted that high pitched irritating voice and we made what we thought was a good business decision. We disqualified ourselves from Emmy consideration because we elected to release our DVD/Blu-ray on November 22nd, which is prior to our national PBS/Independent Lens broadcast on December 29th (check local listings for exact date/time). That is an Emmy no-no. We balanced our chances for an Emmy nomination (yes, that high pitched voice of warning did return) against getting our DVD/Blu-ray out for the holiday shopping season.

Screen grab from our iphone video of accepting the Savannah Film Festival Best Documentary Award.
As they say - when you close one door another one opens - These Amazing Shadows recently won two awards: Best Documentary at Louisville's International Festival of Film and the Savannah Film Festival. We thank both festivals for the honor and attention they have given our doc. The Louisville's International Festival of Film award is really cool and unusual - it is a Louisville Slugger bat with an award inscription (please see it above). Paul says he is going to print up a bumper sticker that says, "My slugger can beat the hell out of your Oscar!" As a note to my family and friends who notice that only Paul's name is on the bat - most festivals for some reason cannot wrap their brains around the notion of co-directors. Sometimes my name is left off and sometime Paul's name is left off websites, awards, etc.

Paul and I were present for the Savannah Film Festival (really great festival) awards presentation. It was a fun affair with about 900 people in the audience. As Paul and I take turns addressing special events on behalf of TAS it was Paul's turn and he gave a very good acceptance speech. I was on stage shooting the whole thing with my iphone much to the delight of the audience (see photo above). We will post that video soon.

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