Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Indiewire logo

The Spirits' $20 million Popularity Contest

ReelPolitik By Anthony Kaufman | ReelPolitik September 25, 2005 at 10:07AM

The Spirits' $20 million Popularity Contest
0

If you missed the news on Friday, FIND or "Film Independent" -- the group formerly known as IFP/Los Angeles -- raised the budgetary cap on elligible features to $20 million for its annual Spirit Awards. As my fellow blogger at The Reeler pointed out, "If you cannot make your indie film for twenty fucking million dollars, then you are just going to have to settle for an Oscar or a Golden Globe."

If FIND is trying to hold on to any shred of indie credibility after it broke away from the IFP organization in May, this is certainly not the way to go. And the perfect way to make the "Independent" Spirit Awards obsolete and unnecessary is to keep raising the financial limits by $5 million every few years.

But the craziest thing for me is that Dawn Hudson and her board know full well that whomever wins the Spirit Awards every year has absolutely nothing to do with independence and everything to do with box office. Whereas a 13-person committee determines the nominations, the winners are voted upon by the IFP's general membership, whose exposure to smaller films is more limited (despite the sending out of DVD screeners).

Board member Jeff Kleeman told me a couple years ago, "Having a major studio's marketing and distribution force behind a film helps get the movie seen, so in terms of winning an award, it does privilege those movies that are with the studios." They know this, and yet they still feel the need to structure the awards in such a way that favor studio films. How is this in keeping with the non-profit's mission to help "independent film and independent filmmakers"?

For a Village Voice story I did a few years ago, I compliled a handy chart (scroll to the bottom) of Spirit winners past: And from the very first years with best picture prize-getters like "After Hours" (box office: $10.6 million) and "Platoon" (box office $137.9 million) all the way through 2005's "Lost and Translation" ($44.5 million) and 2005's "Sideways" ($71.5 million), the Spirits have always been just a popularity contest.

Follow us

E-Mail Updates



Recent Comments

By imran: As a maldivian myself I call upon the international community to fight against the fabricated accusations Against president nasheed.the real…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 6th, 2015 5:12am

By Ahmed Aslam: I support president Nasheed! He has been jailed and tortured several times over the last 25 years fighting for democracy and human rights

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 6th, 2015 4:38am

By Ahmed Iyaz: President Mohamed Nasheed is the only President who gave Maldivians freedom of expression. I'm totally against of unlawful arrest of him and…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 6th, 2015 3:58am

By Eugene Jarecki: I lend my voice passionately to this cause. It is of the utmost importance.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 6th, 2015 3:03am

By Ahmed: Former President Nasheeds regime was a disaster to Maldives. A real dictator. Forcefuly arrested the Chief Judge at midnight while sleeping…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 6th, 2015 2:06am

By Mohamed Salih Hassan: Former President Mohamed Nasheed should get fair trial. Call current govt of Maldives to hear majority of people's voice.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 6th, 2015 2:01am

By Mohamed Shareef: my Dear HEP Yamin. Please Release Ex- HEP Mohamed Nasheed from Custody, Because PG& You create & Make This case Against him He…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 5th, 2015 11:27pm

By Umar Fairooz: From the very beginning President Nasheed's court case appears to be one of farcical in nature, too many gloomy, shady happenings behind clos…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 5th, 2015 11:21pm

By Eena Naseem: Calling for the release of my President Mohamed Nasheed, calling the current govt. of Maldives to hear the majority's voice.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 5th, 2015 11:17pm

By Julia Pacetti: I support Presdient Nasheed and add my name to this letter of support for his release.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 5th, 2015 10:59pm