Friday, January 16, 2015

Who we are, and why you should join us

Nominations are now open for the 2014 Cosmique Movie Awards! For those of you who are new, this is a perfect opportunity to learn about us. It's your opportunity to agree with the Oscars or strike your own path and react against them.

What are the Cosmique Movie Awards?

The Cosmique Movie Awards, also called the Cosmos, were originally founded by a group of friends in San Francisco as their response to the Academy Awards. It began at an Oscar party, where we ended up being less interested in who the guests thought would win, and more interested in who they wanted to win instead. And just as importantly: who they would have nominated instead of the Academy’s picks. From that grew our own awards: the Cosmique Movie Awards.

Over the years, participation has slowly grown and membership is now open to those who are interested in participating and feel they share our general vibe.

The Cosmos are your opportunity to react against the Academy if you don’t agree with some of their nominations.

How did you get the name?

Many of our initial voters were members of a private Mardi Gras krewe in the San Francisco Bay Area called the Cosmique Krewe of Colour. Although the initial idea was that the awards would be voted on by krewe members, from the very beginning other selected individuals who were not part of the krewe were also invited to participate.

What makes you different from the Oscars or other awards?

Our voters are just regular fans of movies. Most of us aren’t involved in Hollywood or the film industry (though a few are). Most of us aren’t published movie critics (though a few are). Most of us are just regular movie fans.

We like to think that we blend the gravitas of the Oscars with the irreverence of the MTV Movie Awards. We certainly have traditional awards for Best Film, Best Actress, Best Cinematography, and the like. But we also have silly, irreverent awards like Favorite Female Heroic Character, Best Male Villain, Sexiest Ensemble, and Best Use of (Gratuitous?) Nudity.

Who are the voters?

Our voters are widely disparate and are scattered throughout the country. None of these “demographics” are requirements, but they may help you get a sense of our “vibe.” In general:

  • A large percentage of our voters are from the San Francisco Bay Area or have ties here.
  • Many of our voters identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or some other facet of the LGBT community. Those who don’t are supportive allies of the LGBT community.
  • Most our voters are not involved in the movie industry (though we do have a few involved behind the scenes in films, at least one published film critic, and one regular voter is even a Cosmo winner).
  • While our voters probably skew a bit left-of-center politically, there is no litmus test for participation.
  • Our voters’ film interests run the gamut. Some see movies every week in the theater; others won’t see anything unless it’s available on DVD or streaming. Some try to see every potential Oscar hopeful. Some go for documentaries, foreign films, and indies; others prefer summer blockbusters and action films. There’s a powerful contingent that favors science fiction, fantasy, and superhero films – so much so that these are now three different awards in our Best by Genre awards. And some of our voters (and not just female voters) go for “chick flics,” romantic comedies, and angsty YA fare.

We don’t expect our voters to see every film jockeying for recognition at the other awards. We don’t even expect them to see everything nominated for a Cosmo, though many try to. We have always felt that the awards are as much about what drew our voters to the theaters (or DVD rental, pay-per-view, streaming services) as they are about what our voters liked that they saw.

What kinds of awards do you have?

Our awards are divided into five categories:

  • Lifetime Achievement Halls of Fame: Five separate awards for Best Films of All Time, Best Actresses/Actors of All Time, and Best Comedic Actresses/Actors of All Time.
  • Best Overall: Includes films of all genres, from serious awards like Best Film of 2014, Best Director, and Best Cinematography, to more irreverent awards like Favorite Guilty Pleasure.
  • Performance Awards: Awards for actors in specific films, from Best Actress in a 2014 film to things like Best Female Villain and Actor’s Character You Would Most Like to be Intimate With.
  • Genre Awards: Awarded to films considered to be the best in the action/adventure, animation, comedy, documentary, drama, fantasy, historical, musical, mystery/suspense/horror/thriller, queer, science fiction, and superhero genres.
  • Worst: Like the Razzies, voters can choose the Worst Film, Most Overrated Film, and Worst Performance.

Why do you call it the 2014 Cosmique Movie Awards when it’s 2015?

At the beginning, we adopted a convention of naming the year’s awards for the calendar year of the eligible films rather than for the date those films were nominated.

Can I participate?

Yes! Well, probably. If you’ve read about us and feel you share our vibe, you can vote, providing that:

  • You are at least 13 years of age; and
  • This site does not violate any local laws or community standards in your jurisdiction.

How does voting work?

We’ve divided voting into two rounds.

  • In the nomination round, voters may select up to five different nominees for each award, and may give one of their nominees an optional Power Vote. The top vote-getters are nominated and advance to the final round.
  • For the final awards, voters choose one of the nominees for each award to decide who wins.

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