It is said that if we want democracy, we have to elect to participate. The same thing is true of culture. If we want a vibrant ambitious and diverse cinema culture, we all have to participate. And now you have a chance to do that in a way that only takes about ten seconds...
IFP's Gotham Awards are one of the few times that audiences get to give an award that has the potential to substantially help a film get notice. If you ask me, that means it is every filmmaker and film lover's obligation thus to vote. What are you waiting for?
Go to this website, register, and then get started.
It starts with all of us deciding what the five nominees should be. There are a lot of choices; evidently they are all festival favorites. And I did find several that have played the oldest film festival in America (also known as The San Francisco International Film Festival).
It's tempting to consider voting for the film you MOST WANT TO SEE (versus your "festival favorite" that you and all your friends have already seen).
It's challenging in a world of grand abundance. We have no shortage of great films but it has become increasingly hard to see them -- not because of availability -- that's there --, but because of promotion -- that's missing.
Mass market culture had some real pleasures: we became a community by how we jointly spent our time. Like free choice truly requiring you to understand what choices are, mass market culture was not liberty -- we had to choose from a limited menu. Now, with virtually infinite choices, we have grown more alone, rarely engaging in the communal viewing that creates cultural mindscapes.
So should we use our power to help filter and advance the films we WANT to see, and not use it to bring additional notice to those that we have loved but perhaps have already made significant impact?
I leave to you to decide, but please vote. I lean towards the future and like to move on from the past.
And if you need more help, here's some a friend provided: