A message from SOFF programmer Jeff Howard:
Every year it’s a challenge for me when we look at the votes from the juries and tabulate which films are getting awards. Invariably I see see some omissions that I cannot abide. Sometimes it’s that coincidence that a film repeatedly comes in second place for various awards without actually getting an award. Sometimes it’s the fact that I see every film more than once. Your opinions change a lot with multiple viewings and this makes my perspective different from other jury members.
How to fix the problem? I do not want to be a programmer who lobbies jury members to change their votes. Instead we invented the Programmer’s Prize so that I get to honor films that slipped through the cracks and I sleep a little better at night.
For SOFF 2020, I wanted to have around fifteen of these. (Part of me wants every official selection to get an award like a children’s soccer league.) As much as it pained me, I narrowed it down to the five you see above.