While the Academy Awards is much more a celebration of big Hollywood movie-making and therefore the top awards of Best Picture, Best Director, Best and Supporting Actors and Actresses generally go to big films: there still is a chance for smaller independents to grab the golden ring in the best Foreign Film, Best Documentary, Best Animation, Best Short Film categories.
For Best Doc Feature nominees, we played Food Inc and have The Most Dangerous Man in America coming in March. Last year, we had played three of the five nominees in this category. Yes, Virginia, the public does want to know about issues that affect our lives! The fact that Docs are more readily available in theatres and on cable and DVD is a testament to that and is one reason we’re giving greater focus to Docs in our film program. Too many of these funny, moving, illuminating stories only see the light of day in festivals or in very short theatrical runs.
Of course, winning awards are not what makes a film great, but it sure helps get more people to see the films and help in funding future projects. Films about current events – politics, global warming, natural disasters, discrimination and war to name a few – can, at their best, illuminate the best and worse of humanity, inform us, and sometimes make us see the world differently. Some of the best films I have ever seen at festivals or in theatres were films I took a chance on. Either I had some time to kill or I went along for the ride because someone else suggested something. So find a critic who resonates for you and go to the theatres where you’ve enjoyed what you see and take a chance on something new. You may be pleasantly surprised.