2010 Controversy Award

The idea for a Controversy Award was there from the beginning: Festivals are a place for diversity -and even genre festivals like SFF-rated draw audiences with really varying tastes.

So, we argued, the film that generates the most conflicting evaluations from the audience, deserves an Award – not for the fun of it, but because it means that the film is strong in its impressionistic power, intense in its adventures… creating strong reactions that cover the whole spectrum.  And these are really fine qualities for any work of art.

Now, if you wonder how we calculate it, you need to know your mathematical statistics… ok, we ‘ll spare you.

One thing to point out: mathematically speaking, it is not impossible for one film to win both Best Feature and Controversy Awards. If it does, then it means that it is a film both complete and passionate, extreme but very well crafted, to be revered while being hated. In 2009, Julian Doyle’s “Chemical Wedding” accomplished just that – it won both Awards – although the Controversy Award was not yet “official” then.

In 2010, the Awards split, and the Audience Controversy Award was earned by

“Lovelorn” (UK), directed by Becky Preston

Who would thing that such a fine young film would create the biggest controversy, the highest divergence in Audience opinions…

Christine Cheung, the film’s producer, has visited us but had to leave before the Awards were announced. When she heard the strange news, she responded thus:

<<When you screen a film with subtitles you can never tell how the audience will respond. As I sat in the theatre I heard laughter and even someone weeping quietly at the back, people approached me afterwards and paid compliments and kind words – these are the special moments every filmmaker values most.

Having watched some of the other films at the festival the standards were incredible so, we’re very honored to receive this award and at the same time we are grateful we’ve been given the opportunity to share Lovelorn with you all.

We’d like to thank the SFF-rated team for making us feel so welcome, where filmmakers and film lovers can come together from all over the world and celebrate sci-fi and fantasy films in Athens. And we’d also like to thank Absinthe for those wonderful shots.

We will be raising our glasses in London and drink to the festival for another triumphant year, and we hope to return with more films in the years to come.

Thank you all from the bottom of our heart.>>

Christine Cheung

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