Happy August, everyone! For many years, now, I’ve been a friend and supporter of filmmaker Patrick Gratton, and from time to time will participate in film-related projects and gatherings he organizes. One of his most popular events is the Gold Digger Awards, where several film awards season writers and columnists come together to vote on what they believe are the best cinematic achievements of a given window of time.
I had the honor of being invited to participate in the mid-year edition of the Gold Digger Awards this time around, which means we got to vote on the releases between January to June of this year (so no voting on Barbenheimer, sorry). The results were published earlier this week along with the following announcement:
“After a month of voting and deliberating, we’re thrilled to announce that our panel of over forty critics and cinephiles have selected Celine Song’s Past Lives, recently available to rent or buy on VOD, as the Best Feature Film for the 2023 Gold Diggers Mid-Year Awards. The tender romantic drama, centered around Nora, a Korean-American immigrant, and her lifelong romantic pulls between her husband Arthur and Jung her childhood crush, took home four prizes. This includes Best Feature Film, Best Directorial Debut, Best Screenplay, and the Best Leading Actor prize for Teo Yoo for his performance as Jung.
When selecting our malleable voting body, The Gold Diggers prides itself on grouping together a subset of distinct figures and voices within the world of film criticism. Meaning that our voters are easily dividing themselves into factions rallying around individual films. Not to toot our own horn, but we find it refreshing that we have a Feature Film Roster that ranges from the ultraviolence of Chad Stahelski’s John Wick: Chapter 4 to the somnolescence of Albert Serra’s Queer Cold War thriller Pacifiction.“
The full list of winners is as follows:
Best Feature Film: Past Lives
Best Film Not In the English Language: Joyland (Pakistan / USA)
Best Animated Film: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Best Non-Fiction Film: De Humani Corporis Fabrica
Best Ensemble Film: Asteroid City
Best Use of Music: Will-o’-the-Wisp
Though I can’t share exactly who I voted for on my own ballot, I will say that many of the winners here lined up with my own choices and I am overall extremely pleased with the results.
What do you think of these winners from the first half of the year? Let us know in the comments.