If I was able to supply a sub-headline to the above, it would read ‘…or several thousand times.’ Indeed, for the past several months, my life has been overtaken with lists and selection. These are not mundane, everyday orderings such as grocery lists or lists of favorite songs by female singers from the year 1986. Specifically, they’re all realscreen-related, beginning with the Mother of All realscreen-related lists, our annual Global 100.
This year is our fifth run at compiling the Global 100, which we frame as a yearly compendium of the most influential production companies in the world. We ask you, our readers to submit their votes as to which companies they believe fits that bill, and over the last few years we’ve asked you to vote in consideration of the non-fiction film and TV projects that you enjoyed the most over the previous year. Given our audience and the fact that the non-fiction umbrella is a wide one and seemingly getting wider, this usually results in a rather varied list, ranging from blue-chip doc makers to rabble-rousing activist filmmakers to creators of watercooler-worthy fact ent. We receive hundreds of votes every year, dutifully compile them and then ask ourselves what prodcos and projects caught our eyes, and our hearts. Every year there’s new blood, and every year there are perennial favorites. Every year, someone is surprised that his or her company isn’t in the list. Such is the nature of the list-wrangling beast. At its heart, the Global 100 is meant to exist as a snapshot of the year in non-fiction, and the players that made notable contributions. And a photo album containing several copies of the same snapshot would be pretty damn boring. Thus, I hope you enjoy this year’s model, and that you have as much admiration for these companies as we do in covering them.
While the Global 100 is a major undertaking, it wasn’t the only process of selection I’ve had to oversee. With MIPDoc and MIPTV approaching, I was also tasked with having a hand in selecting the projects for the annual MIPDoc Co-Production Challenge, held in association with Reed MIDEM. Though this was only my second year of involvement with the Challenge, I can safely say that the quality of entries this year was staggering, and the choices were difficult to make. But I can also say that the projects selected, taken together, represent a great range of subject matter and all seem to be made by extremely passionate filmmakers. Luckily, I don’t have to choose the winner.
The last list I’ll mention here is our selection of MIPTV Picks, found in this issue. Again, the amount of noteworthy projects was practically overwhelming and made for some great hours… and hours… of watching. It also made for some colorful expletive-hurling when my computer would crash mid-viewing, but even that experience gave birth to another list. ‘Note to self,’ it read, ‘need new computer.’
So that’s an overview of my life in lists as it’s taken place over the last several months. Don’t get me wrong – I’m certainly not complaining. As I say, when compiling these lists I’ve been able to see incredible work from around the world, and that makes me very fortunate indeed. Still, I am looking forward to going home this evening, cracking open a cold one, putting my feet up on the table and watching television. I won’t be rating what I’m watching, judging it or even thinking remotely critically. I’ll just enjoy.