We saw David Benedek at The Reels film festival in Annecy last week-end where he was the head judge, a great opportunity to catch up with him and ask him a few questions about this temporary role, and his other projects.
So first time as the Head judge of the Reels, was it your first time as a film judge, and how did that feel for you?
I think it was my first time as a film judge… actually – until arriving in Annecy I didn’t know I was the head judge. Not that it empowered me with anything, haha.
Difficult to imagine all the guys in the room taking notes etc. Did you really do a point by point judgement or morebased on a general feel?
That’s what I thought too, but to my surprise, everyone took it really seriously. We did score the films according to various criteria but it was definitely more the personal notes that everyone took, that really mattered. So in the end it does come down to general feel.
Was there any disagreements that you had to take the final decision on?
No, not at all. We were really clear very quick on who took top honors in each category. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t take it seriously. We actually went back and rewatched everything and everyone who any of us thought had deserved a price. We did take pretty long to figure out all the runner-ups though. But from what I heard from the other guys it seems like – compared to last year – we were blazing fast and shared the same opinion for the most part.
People were expecting a film for ‘Jury’s coup de cœur’, how did you make that decision? And what did you enjoy the most about Stevens’ part?
Well, “Coup de Coeur”, literally translated, means what ever managed to grab our hearts. And since that happens mostly with something fairly spontaneous we decided to give them to riders instead of whole films. I guess in a way we also wanted to show our personal respect to riders that we felt deserved to be mentioned even though their entire films might have not stood up to the competition.
What would be your top 3 snow movies of all times? – you can say Robot Food no worries!
Phew, that’s a tough one. I’d probably say – in no particular order – MDP’s Stomping Grounds, Forum’s Resistance and MDP’s Decade. At least those were the ones that left the biggest impression on me growing up.
What are you getting busy on at the moment, and what are your next plans you might want to share with our readers?
I’ve been going to film school for the past two years, so that took the majority of my time. But the way it looks right now I might be moving back to the working world which I actually am very excited about.
David Benedek actuality, it’s also this fantastic book, Current State: Snowboarding, that owed him a few international design prices. Check it out!
Photo credit portrait: Planet-Sports.