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Sunday, June 17, 2007

SIFF 2007: Audience Awards

posted by on June 17 at 13:23 PM

I’ve always advocated the embarrassing/not embarrassing strategy for voting in the Golden Space Needle Awards: vote 5 on any movie you’d be OK with winning the audience award; vote 1 on any movie you couldn’t stand winning the audience award. Unfortunately, this strategy is difficult to stick to. Everyone wants to register his or her precise opinion, blind to the fact that any careful discernment is going to mashed into an indifferent mean.

Yet again, the Golden Space Needle Award winner is kind of embarrassing. This morning at the Skyline level of the Space Needle (where I, coincidentally, had my high school prom), SIFF announced that Outsourced—a fairly mediocre romantic comedy distinguished only by the fact that it’s locally produced—is this year’s top vote-getter. Thanks so much, Seattle, for demonstrating to the rest of the world that we’re a bunch of dopey partisans. Outsourced plays again at the Egyptian tonight at 9:30 pm.

The Golden Space Needle for best documentary is less embarrassing, though it probably proves mostly that Seattle is full of gays who like documentaries. For the Bible Tells Me So will play again tonight at the Harvard Exit at 6:30 pm.

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I always thought a local winner was more likely due to ballot box stuffing. Like when Mimi Rogers brought her entourage to a screening of Reflections on a Crime and she somehow won the best actress Golden Space Needle.

Posted by Greg Barnes | June 17, 2007 9:25 PM

Not that Mimi is local; just that getting a bunch of your friends to SIFF screenings (as Mimi did) is presumably easier if you're local.

Posted by Greg Barnes | June 17, 2007 9:27 PM

According to IMDB and Jeffcoat's acceptance speech, Outsourced has won awards at three other festivals; so maybe it's not a complete case of dopey local partisans.

btw, I assume that local partisanship isn't embarrassing as long as it isn't dopey? (e.g., Iraq In Fragments, Zoo)

Posted by josh | June 18, 2007 9:24 AM

Annie: Your derision for the audiences for whom you purport to be reviewing is tiresome.

Posted by DOUG. | June 18, 2007 10:16 AM

Outsourced was slightly cute and looked (to me) technically fine. But the script was blah and the main actor was extremely generic. One of my gripes with it is that it didn't accurately portray outsourcing at all (I helped train a handful of guys that did outsourcing for a local firm). But that didn't really matter to the crowds, who felt all warm and fuzzy watching a guy carrying a bag of groceries next to the waterfront.

imdb is showing only one other award for it: "Outstanding First Feature Film" at the Palm Springs film fest (which oddly is run by a siff co-founder).

Posted by stinkbug | June 18, 2007 12:50 PM

I haven't seen Outsourced; so I have no idea if it's "deserving" of being the audience favorite, but its website also lists wins at the Indian Film Festival of L.A., Cinequest Film Festival, and Palm Springs International Film Festival. IMDB lists only the last two.

Posted by josh | June 18, 2007 8:18 PM

I thought Outsourced was a charming comedy... way better than, say Sex and Death 101, which inexplicably won Best Director (probably simply because Daniel Waters was there to present his goofy self).

If ballot-stuffing was the issue, then how come Blood on the Flat Track: The Rise of the Rat City Rollergirls didn't win best doc? At least half of the raucous audience was either in the movie, or related directly to someone who was. Not that the RCRG movie should have won, but I thought the winning doc For the Bible Tells Me So was OK, but not as great as others docs in the fest.

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