Monday, December 14, 2015
The Unseen Films Awards 2015
Finally deciding to just do it and not debate it I sent out an email asking for picks for not only the best film of the year, but also a list of other categories. In response I got a lot of comments and questions about what I was doing and why. I said I was winging it and trying to get a format that was going to work for awards. The talks were very constructive and after a lot of discussion I realized what I did wrong and what I did right. (Biggest mistake was going for more than two or three categories).
And after more than a week of emails and discussions by phone and in person we have a winner of Best Film and it’s pretty unanimous.
The funniest thing to me was that in talking to everyone before I got lists, and even after, it was clear that there was only going to be one choice for Best Picture. It was a film that was literally mentioned by every one I talked to about the awards except one, even those who didn’t send me an official ballot . Anyone who was questioning things always said “well I haven’t really seen a lot of the films that I would include except (the winner) and (some other film no one else mentioned)”. Everyone liked the film enough to be their one choice… so without further ado the winner of the first annual UNSEEN FILMS BEST FILM OF THE YEAR AWARD as voted by the contributors and associates of Unseen Films is:
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
It was a film that hung with everyone who saw it and one which many of the voters returned to multiple times to see in theaters. It was debated and discussed since it came out. No other film stayed with the viewer quite lite this one to the point it was always on the tip of everyone's tongue when a Best Film of the Year was discussed.
I'm awarding a special award to KUMIKO THE TREASURE HUNTER as being THE MOST HAUNTING FILM OF 2015. I'm doing this because had the choice for Best Film not been as clear cut as it was this film would have probably won the award. Actually had there been do overs KUMIKO it probably would have won the award since when it was mentioned to a couple of contributors as being the runner up or on their list of best films, I was greeted with "Oh crap I should have included that" or "Can I go back and change my list?". The love and respect the film has is too high to award the film anything other than it's own unique trophy.
While everyone was razor focused on the Best Picture Award the entries for Best Documentary cast a wider net, there wasn’t just one pick. There were a couple of different titles mentioned, but again the winner was the one mentioned most and mentioned first when it was mentioned. The winner of the UNSEEN FILMS AWARD FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY is
THE LOOK OF SILENCE
The choice of this film was a bit bumpy since most of the people voting saw this in 2014 but it wasn't released in theaters until 2015 despite being playing at film festivals with a frightening regularity. It was a film that had people unsure if they could vote for it since they didn't know where it belonged.
I was not intending to include a BEST SHORT FILM Category since most of the Unseen family doesn't regularly watch shorts, however several people put THE WITCHING HOUR into the mix. Since it it was deemed so good that people mentioned it I'm giving WITCHING HOUR an award for BEST SHORT FILM.
Since we are dedicated to championing films that are in danger of getting lost I'm going to give you our list of films that are TOO GOOD TO BE FORGOTTEN. These are the films that either appeared on multiple lists, were the top pick of a voter or were on an entry as being a film that they felt was much too good to be forgotten or get lost.
The list is in no particular order:
DON'T THINK I'VE FORGOTTEN: CAMBODIA'S LOST ROCK AND ROLL
LOST SOUL: THE DOOMED JOURNEY OF RICHARD STANLEY'S ISLAND OF DR MOREAU
BRAVE MEN'S BLOOD
WORLD OF KANAKO
SINNER IN MECCA
JOURNEY TO THE SHORE
I AM SUN MU
MAN FROM RENO
ROCK IN THE RED ZONE
WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE
FAR FROM MEN
MY LOVE, DON'T CROSS THAT RIVER
SHAUN THE SHEEP
Onward and upward to 2016. Thank you to all of the voters,
And a huge thank you to John DiBello for the artwork at the top who popped it out almost before I asked him to do something.