In some opposite-ish corner of the world right now (from me anyway), the New Zealand International Film Festival kicks off today for the rest of the month, before making further provincial rounds through next November. (Damn, now that's a film festival!) It makes all the more sense that people might want to plan ahead for the highlights, and what better way to do that than to bequeath some awards for the films right from the get-go?
Incredibly Strange programmer Ant Timpson (who's perfectly normal himself, I swear it; that's the name of their specifically oddball selections) has rightfully singled out SXSW '09 alums like Best Worst Movie, Drag Me to Hell, Grace, The Horseman and Winnebago Man for particular accolades (i.e. "Best Film to Show Filmmakers That Low-Budget Doesn't Mean Twenty-Somethings Sitting in Cafes Talking About Their Boring Relationships"), not to mention a couple of other picks.
Timpson sums up his mentality thusly: "I already know these films are very special. I don't need a jury to tell me what I already know. I'm giving these films awards in advance because 99% of the public don't care what films win awards AFTER they've screened, they want to know BEFORE they screen..." Believe me you, the man has a point. The real question is, how will such thinking play in the States?