The STIFF 2009 Awards Ceremony happened Saturday night which resulted in the heaviest bar tab of the last ten days as it usually does. I think that a good time was had by all who stuck around. Emmett Montgomery hosted for the third straight year, but I was struck by how much the awards ceremony has changed the last few years. It used to just be about the Film Challenge awards, but has started to become more and more about the presentation of the glass STIFFY awards, especially the Grand Jury Award which includes the meeting with a Hollywood Video Acquisitions Executive. I understand why filmmakers are excited to find out who the winners of those awards are. But it does make me wonder if we all end up putting too much emphasis on the wrong things because of it. For me, the festival is a big party where people who love strange and beautiful films can get together for 10 days, have a great time and experience some new things. A film festival is only as good as the films in it. And I think that the incredible array of films that were included this year meant that STIFF 2009 was an overwhelming success.
Only one film can win the Grand Jury Award. But, the sum of all parts is really what makes STIFF the event that it is. In my mind, the Sexiest Vampire STIFFY is equally important as the STIFFY for Best Feature Film. Nothing would make me happier than to give a physical STIFFY to every filmmaker who screens their film at STIFF, but the cost is too prohibitive for us, so we are forced to just pick a handful to present actual awards to. If there are filmmakers out there who would like to have a STIFFY of their own to put on their mantle, these “functional art” pieces can actually be purchased here:
The winners of the STIFF 2009 Awards
2009 Grand Jury Award Winner – Bad Kung Fu (Finalists: Yesterday and Eve’s Necklace)
2009 Best Feature Film Winner – Boppin at the Glue Factory (Finalists: The Death of Alice Blue and Jackson)
2009 Audience Award – I speak soccer
2009 Most Kickass Award Winner – Bronx Paradise
2009 Film Challenge Award Winner – Zarkan: Son of Mahnphar, The Musical