From the 11 features we screened in SFF-rated 2009, 8 participated in the competition for the Audience Award. All 8 films screened twice. Both screenings participated in the voting process… and things changed from the first round of screenings to the second.
The Audience was asked to rate the films in a very simple (and definite) way: Very Good, Good, Mediocre, Bad, Very Bad. Then, yours truly transformed everything to numbers and statistics and came up with the preference ordering of the Audience.
In the first 4 positions, we find four totally different films – in every respect. Something that speaks eloquently about the diverse (and difficult to predict) taste of the Greek Audience.
4th came “The Shadow Within”, Italy, dir. by Sylvana Zancolo. The Audience appreciated a well-crafted epoque-movie, and the tormenting unfolding of cruelty that springs out of passionate motherly love. Well done Sylvana, we are proud that we trusted you for a second time.
3d came “A Herceg Haladeka”, Hungary, dir. by Peter Timar. A familiar Eastern-European aesthetic with a twist, and a story that uses the Fantastic to bring the heroine of the film face-to-face with her failed relationships, “A Herceg Haladeka” was perhaps the most philosophical of all features screened, in a classic European style. And the Audience acknowledged.
2nd came “Walled In”, Canada, dir. by Gilles Paquet-Brenner. Here we have a film that uses every trick in the big-production/commercial book, but it does it without mercy, and so is filled with a dark power that leaves a lasting impression. The SFF-rated screenings were the World Premiere for “Walled In”, and our Audience approved. In fact, after the first round of screenings, “Walled In” was first and it seemed that it couldn’t lose. Well, shit happens -sorry, delete that (but I won’t), I mean, the unexpected should be part of a Sci-Fi & Fantasy film festival, don’t you think?
So something happened in Tuesday, the last day of the competition screenings, and finally, the SFF-rated 2009 Audience Award for Best Feature went to…