A few weeks ago, I published a story about the Film Twitter Awards. Conceived by José Maximiliano, it was a project to bring the voices of film lovers on social media to the forefront. Results have been released this after 95 ballots were reviewed and results were compiled. I sat eagerly at my computer, refreshing my browser every few minutes to see the next result.
The nominations were led by awards season darlings like A Star Is Born, The Favourite, and Roma, but a couple of smaller films had a lot of hype around them in the FTA. First Man landed with 13 nominations, the most of any film. A Star Is Born and The Favourite tied with 12 nominations, while Roma entered the ring with 11. The horror masterpiece Hereditary earned 7 nominations, with two entries for Best Scene of the year.
I had a few definite highlights. Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casel’s impeccable chemistry in Blindspotting snubbed (depending on how you view it) A Star Is Born’s most talked about pair of leading actors of the year, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse winning Best Animated Film is hopefully an Oscar precursor, and it was great to see one of my favorite films of the year earning the award. Hereditary took home Best Debut Film, competing with Eighth Grade and even A Star Is Born. Keeping with the surprising outcome, Hereditary also won Best Actress and was the runner-up for Best Picture, behind Roma, which took five awards.
After results were released, Maximiliano agreed to another interview with me. Here is the conversation that we had:
What were you feeling while you were counting up the votes?
Maximiliano - It was exciting, it was a lot of fun since the final results were really tight, so it was mostly decided with the last three or four ballots.
What was your biggest surprise?
Maximiliano - Hereditary being runner up for Best Picture. I was expecting the movie to land somewhere between 6th and 9th.
What was your biggest snub?
Maximiliano - The lack of wins for A Star is Born I guess. It did very poorly. It was the movie that got the most 9th place votes.
How do you think the response has been as the results were tweeted live over several hours?
Maximiliano - Pretty great as expected, it was mostly a positive response with almost everyone agreeing, but I’m surprised to see that many people only found out about the FTA today with the winner's announcement.
What do you think the future is for FTA?
Maximiliano - On paper, it looks very promising. I’ll come back next year for the Oscar season in 2020, but I also want to do a best of the decade run by the end of the year. For this period after the Oscars, I would like to gather writers to write reviews and articles about the film world, but the biggest thing is that a friend studying at college in Penn State is setting up a film festival and the FTA will probably be involved. It will be the primary platform for the festival to reach a bigger audience, we are planning on an online submission from all over the world, but for that, we need a bigger audience as I said. It sounds like a complete headache, I know, but I think this will make FTA even more relevant because this is for the film community that wants to have a voice. We are still planning everything, and we don’t know if the festival will ever see the light of day, but I’ll try everything, and hopefully, it will be up soon.
The Favourite earned a lot of awards, but didn’t play in a lot of mainstream theatres. I personally never even got the chance to see it. Do you think a film should be nominated if it wasn’t released very widely?
Maximiliano - It’s hard to determine that, because the voting body is all over the world, so the release dates will vary.
I was a big champion of Infinity War and Into the Spider-Verse during the lead up to nomination submissions and voting times. While Infinity War won for Best Visual Effects and Spider-Verse won Best Animated Feature, I believe they deserved a little more than they got. Do you still think there is a stigma against superhero movies in the community?
Maximiliano - There might be one, but I believe it is going to be a thing of the past soon. Spider-Verse was tied in 10th place with If Beale Street Could Talk with the pre-nomination ballot, but I didn’t want to load the category with 11 films. Into the Spider Verse had a lot of support to be honest, same goes for Infinity War, the snap scene was a big contender to be in the best scene category but only missed out by a few votes. That means that comic book movies are becoming more important to people, not only do they entertain but they stay with the audience.