For Your Consideration

With the Genie Awards fast approaching, now is the time for Academy members such as myself to get reams of material in the mail, soliciting my vote for my favourite Canadian movies of 2003 that I never actually saw. As you may have noted in my previous entry, I’m a tad cynical about the awards process.

In past years, I haven’t even returned my ballot, quite correctly figuring that I wasn’t qualified to offer an opinion if I hadn’t seen all the nominees. But then, why shouldn’t my vote count when I’ve probably seen way more of the films in question than most of the people who are voting? What an unfortunate conundrum to have to deal with. I can’t believe I pay annual dues for the privilege of being faced with such a moral dilemma.

This year however, I think I’ve struck upon a sure-fire system to determine who gets my vote. I want to make it perfectly, publicly clear right here and now: I’m open to bribery. “For your consideration” indeed. You want my consideration? Gimme swag! You want my vote? Fine. It’s for sale. Buy it.

Now, I’m not suggesting nominees start delivering envelopes stuffed with cash to my doorstep. Let’s be realistic here. A Genie win isn’t going to earn your movie any extra box office. As a Canadian film, your little piece of celluloid is doomed to financial ruin from the start. But the trophy looks kinda cool, doesn’t it? Want one? Then buy my vote. It can be purchased very inexpensively.

Since it’s such an incredible pain in the ass to screen all these great Canadian epics during the fleeting moments they’re actually in the theatres, I want screeners. Simple enough, isn’t it? American Academy members get all sorts of screener copies of their nominated films. So much so, it’s become a major piracy issue. But not so in Canada. You think we get copies of all the movies sent to our doorstep? No way! On average, I get maybe one copy of one movie sent to me by a particularly enterprising production company. That’s it. And that’s gotta change.

So I’m saying right here, right now, if you want me to vote for your movie, send out copies to the members. I will vote for any nominated Canadian movie that arrives on my doorstep in a timely fashion, regardless of the actual quality of the film. If I get copies of two movies nominated in the same category, I will give preferential treatment to ones on DVD as opposed to video. Should they both be on DVD… Well then, I guess I’ll just have to watch them and pick the one I genuinely think is better. But hopefully it won’t come to that.

Act now, the clock is ticking. There’s no clear frontrunner because so far I have yet to receive even that one token screener. You can earn extra points with pretty packaging, but save the full colour fliers, movie posters, and critic quotes. I won’t read any of that crap and neither will my recycling box.

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