Posted at 7:15 PM on December 11, 2007
by Euan Kerr
Chatting with local film director Ali ("Sweet Land") Selim the other day he mentioned he had served on the nominating committee for the Spirit Awards. Given that his movie took the award for "Best First Feature" this year, that sounded appropriate.
The Spirit Awards honor independent movies from the past year.
The 2008 nominees were announced a couple weeks back. What surprised me though was when he asked me if I was going to vote.
The deal is that if you become a member of the awards sponsor Film Independent by December 15th (which involves ponying up about $100 in dues,) you can vote on the awards, which are presented just before the Oscars.
To help you make your decision Film Independent has set up an arrangement with Netflix to send the screeners of the movies before the the voting deadline. Given that some of the films are still in the theaters (and some may not even make it to local theaters at all,) it's an intriguing offer.
I'm still pondering.
A couple years ago I voted in the Spirit Awards. The Netflix arrangement was very convenient although some of the more popular screeners (e.g. Crash) took a while to receive.
Nevertheless, it was good to see such a wide range of films and to participate in the voting. There were some great films and of course some bad films, and admittedly after a while it got to be quite a bit of work to sedulously watch so many screeners. That said, overall it was an interesting, enriching and enjoyable process. It also enhanced the Oscars because a number of nominees in the Spirit Awards were also in the running for Oscars, with Crash obviously doing very well that year.
Took last year off and this year missed the registration deadline for IFP. Maybe next year I’ll have my act together. Would recommend to anyone who might be on the fence about it.