Catfish was promoted as a “reality thriller that is a shocking product of our times.” The film held true to that description. Henry Joost and the brothers Ariel and Nev Schulman document just about everything that happens in their life. One day Nev, a photographer, gets a painting in the mail of one of his photos that ran in a newspaper. It’s from an 8-year-old girl named Abby.
Filmmakers Henry and Ariel follow along as Nev builds an online bond with Abby and her family via Facebook and other social media platforms. Abby’s older sister Megan, a model, soon emerges as a love interest. Once Nev’s relationship with Abby and her sister goes off line an emotional web of deceit unfolds.
“This was the perfect film for 2010,” PollyStaffle.com senior editor Chad Clinton Freeman said. “It’s the true face of social networking. It is social media. It was made using it, about it and promoted with it.”
Despite critical acclaim, Catfish had a very limited release, playing only cities were it was demanded online. It was then released on iTunes prior to its DVD release.
Once again, The Pollies show they are not a popularity contest. The Academy Awards completely overlooked Catfish, not even listing it on their short list of 15 documentaries eligible as nominees. Documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold) said it was the “best fake documentary”
“None of that stuff matters,” Freeman said. “Awards should be about recognizing good films no matter what they cost, what they make, how many people see them or what anyone says about them. Entertainment value, storytelling, creativity and innovation; that’s what The Pollies are about.”
This would also explain how M. Night Shymalan’s The Last Airbender, a big winner at the Razzies, was able to win at The Pollies. Wes Craven’s latest flop My Soul to Take, Barbara Schroeder’s Talhotblond, another social media documentary overlooked by the Oscars, and Louis Leterrier’s Razzie nominee Clash of the Titans were other unpopular Polished Apple winners.
The Last Airbender walked away with Most Action-Packed Movie, My Soul to Take was named Scariest Movie, Talhotblond was honored as Best Documentary and Clash of the Titans was crowned Best Remake.
PollyStaffle.com, which is gearing up for its second annual film festival in Las Vegas, is an entertainment website that celebrates individuality, diversity, creativity and empowerment. Their Polished Apple Awards, also known as The Pollies, coincide each year with the Academy Awards. Previous top winners include the comedy Observe & Report, dramas Mister Foe and Mysterious Skin, as well as genre films 300 and Hard Candy.
Other films receiving Pollies this year were Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (Best Direction), Tenderness (Best Writing), White Lightnin’ (Best Editing), The Lovely Bones (Best Acting Individual - Stanley Tucci), The Book of Eli (Best Acting Ensemble - Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson and Jennifer Beals), Godkiller: Walk Among Us (Coolest Looking Movie), Smash Cut (Funniest Movie), The Runaways (Best Use of Music in a Movie), Chloe (Best Use of Sex/Nudity in a Movie), Dead Hooker in a Trunk (Best Use of Violence/Gore in a Movie), Someone’s Knocking at the Door (Best Depiction of Drug Use in a Movie), The Road (Best Concept - Gimmick - Hook), I am Love (Best Foreign Language Movie) and Slime City Massacre (Best Remake - Sequel - Etc.).
To be eligible for The Pollies, a film must have been viewable on DVD during the current award cycle, which starts the month of the previous year’s awards and ends the month of the current year’s Oscars. PollyStaffle.com considers all films for its awards. As the site puts it, this includes “the movie you made with your mom in your backyard.”
This year PollyStaffle.com gave out a number of special awards. Honorable mention acting awards went to Harry Brown (Individual - Michael Caine), 44 Inch Chest (Ensemble - Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, John Hurt, Tom Wilkinson, Stephen Dillane and Joanne Whalley) and The Black Balloon (Ensemble - Rhys Wakefield, Luke Ford, Toni Collette, Erik Thomson and Gemma Ward).
Bruno (2009), Irina Palm (2008), Mirageman (2009), Somers Town (2009) were honored as Overlooked Gems. These were films Freeman says were missed by PollyStaffle.com during their release year that are now highly recommend.
Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1989 cult classic Santa Sangre, which was finally released on DVD in 2010, was also recognized with a Masterpiece from the Past award.
“This is one of the greatest films of the late 80s,” Freeman said. “It is an absolute masterpiece that I have been waiting forever for. Technically, since it hadn’t been ever officially released on DVD, it was eligible for an award this year. But PollyStaffle.com is all about spreading the love around and recognizing all of the films we feel should be acknowledged, so we created an award just for it this year.”
PollyStaffle.com also inducted three new members into their entertainment hall of fame. Filmmaker Wes Craven, music icon and actor Tupac Shakur and sex symbol Mamie Van Doren were named to the Polly Staffle Hall of Fame because of their contributions to the world of entertainment. They join previous inductees Herschell Gordon Lewis, Doris Wishman, Ray Harryhausen, Andy Sidaris, Tobe Hooper, Edgar Allan Poe, H.G. Wells, Bruce Lee, Michael Jackson, E.E. Cummings, Pam Grier, Jayne Mansfield, Bettie Page, Marilyn Monroe and Jeanne Carmen.
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PollyStaffle.com is an entertainment site that celebrates individuality, diversity, creativity, empowerment and community.