By Eric Kohn | Indiewire December 23, 2013 at 9:42AM
On Tuesday, Indiewire announced the results of its seventh annual year-end critics poll. With an all-time-high of 240 critics voting, “12 Years a Slave” was the unequivocal victor, topping the categories of Best Film, Best Director, Best Performance, and Best Supporting Performance. Other big shows of support came in for “Gravity” in the cinematography category, “Fruitvale Station” for Best First Feature, Tsai Ming-liang's "Stray Dogs" for Best Undistributed Film and “The Act of Killing” for Best Documentary. Indiewire reached out to the winners to get their reactions.
Director, “Fruitvale Station”
It is an incredible honor to have our film, “Fruitvale Station,” included as a winner in the Indiewire Year-End Critics Poll. Indiewire serves as an invaluable asset to the independent film community and to have our film recognized by the site, and included in a list with such amazing films, speaks to the fact that people have connected with Oscar's story, and the work of the incredible people (actors, producers, non- profit organizations, and community members) that helped to bring that story to life.
I want to express my great appreciation to the Indiewire critics for honoring the cinematography on “Gravity.” When I began this project more than four years ago, I could not have imagined the challenges it would present and the impact it would have on my work. In approaching every challenge, I was fortunate to have the trust and collaboration of Alfonso Cuarón and the support of a terrific team including Sandra Bullock. I thank them and, again, I thank you for this award.
Director, “12 Years a Slave”
Thank you for Indiewire’s support for “12 Years A Slave” since our first screening at Telluride It's amazing to receive this acclaim within such a great year for movies. Thanks again for all the help with spreading the word.
Director, "Stray Dogs"
I am more than delighted to be told this great news that "Stray Dogs" has won huge attention in the United States. I am looking forward to having the film shown, to have this possibility to get closer to more people in the States. Recently, this film has also been recognized in many different festivals, including Lee Kang Sheng won the important awards in Golden Horse Film Awards and Asia Pacific Film Festival in a roll.
Since the films "What Time is it There?" and "Goodbye Dragon Inn," among my other works, it is this film that attracted attention from critics in the States. As for me, I think my style has never been changed, therefore, it indicates that the the audience's perspectives had been changed with time, and this opens the opportunity for a mature and mutual conversation in my very slow, non-narrative film. I do not expect to be in the top of the best-selling list, but I wish to have more and more audiences with open mind. Last and the most importantly, I do show my most gratitude to all of you.
Director, “The Act of Killing”
What an enormous honor!
Next year is a presidential election in Indonesia, and there is a very real risk that the country will backslide toward military dictatorship. (The leading candidate, General Prabowo, has the dubious distinction of being the first person ever to be banned by the US State Department from entering the United States for his role masterminding torture, disappearance, and mass murder.) Coming in first in such a distinguished critic’s poll puts the film -- and the issues of impunity the film raises -- on the front pages of Indonesian newspapers, and for that reason we are especially grateful for this critical recognition right now: it comes at a crucial moment when Indonesians need to debate how impunity for crimes against humanity inevitably leads to a moral vacuum of fear, corruption, and thuggery.