Here, then, are the group's estimation of the best films that premiered during 2011 but failed to secure New York distribution (and hence eligibility for the Skandies proper, which has a two-year window) by the end of 2013. I used to unveil these simultaneously with the main top 20, but it occurred to me a few years back that they really ought to have their own separate platform, given their undeserved semi-obscurity. (However, they're butting right up against the main survey again this year, due to a last-minute trip to Sundance and my all-consuming obsession with a certain comely female.)
As it happens, fewer and fewer notable films—where "notable" is defined as "made some noise on the fest circuit and were likely to be seen by several voters"—are failing to secure a week-long NYC run. Last year we finally hit what I consider a tipping point: Five people who usually vote in this section (out of a pool of only 17) chose to abstain, saying they just hadn't seen enough eligible titles. As a result, a number of films would have cracked the top 20 on the basis of a single vote. So I whittled the list down to just a top 10, and there was no need to re-expand it this year. It's a good thing, really—in a perfect world, there'd be no need for this category, and we're getting remarkably close.
As ever, disclaimers abound. While roughly 40 professional and amateur cinéastes vote in the main survey, a smaller subset takes part in what's become known as the Undies—basically the folks who make it out to multiple festivals. (You can find their names way at the bottom.) And of course circumstances dictate that the results will skew in favor of those undistributed films that have been most widely seen, with a particular advantage going to anything that played at Toronto. No doubt many other excellent films were simply not seen by enough people to make the cut; feel free to mention overlooked favorites in the comments.
Alas, I'm too harried at the moment to write up commentary on 10 films, many of which I haven't seen. So I've let various folks who've posted their thoughts on the IMDb provide a characteristic remark.
In reverse chrono:
#10 The Silver Cliff (Karim Aïnouz) 44 pts | 6 votes
#9 Twilight Portrait (Angelina Nikonova) 45 pts | 4 votes
#8 The Minister (Pierre Schoeller) 47 pts | 4 votes
#7 Policeman (Nadav Lapid) 47 pts | 5 votes
#6 A World Without Women (Guillaume Brac) 52 pts | 5 votes
#5 The Pettifogger (Lewis Klahr) 65 pts | 3 votes
#4 Sleeping Sickness (Ulrich Köhler) 68 pts | 4 votes
#3 Play (Ruben Ostlund) 87 pts | 7 votes
#2 Mildred Pierce (Todd Haynes) 89 pts | 8 votes
#1 Dreileben: Beats Being Dead (Christian Petzold) 119 pts | 9 votes
So I guess that decides the question of which Dreileben film is best liked...
THE VOTERS: Mike D'Angelo, Veronika Ferdman, Alex Fung, Sky Hirschkron, Don Marks, Theo Panayides, Vadim Rizov, Dan Sallitt, Michael Sicinski, Chris Stults, C. Mason Wells, and Blake Williams. Thanks to all.
For the record, here are the next 10 films (actually 11, as there was a tie), in alphabetical order:
Back to Stay (Milagros Mumenthaler)
The Boy Who Was a King (Andrey Paounov)
Bueñas noches, España (Raya Martin)
Dreileben: Don't Follow Me Around (Dominik Graf)
Guilty of Romance (Sion Sono)
Low Life (Nicolas Klotz)
A Mysterious World (Rodrigo Moreno)
Slow Action (Ben Rivers)
small roads (James Benning)
The Story of Film: An Odyssey (Mark Cousins)
Target (Alexander Zeldovich)
2000: Battle Royale (Kinji Fukasaku)*
2001: Pulse (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)*
2002: Turning Gate (Hong Sang-soo)
2003: Not on the Lips (Alain Resnais)
2004: The 10th District Court—Moments of Trial (Raymond Depardon)
2005: Tale of Cinema (Hong Sang-soo)
2006: Taxidermia (György Pálfi)*
2007: Secret Sunshine (Lee Chang-dong)*
2008: Just Anybody (Jacques Doillon)
2009: Face (Tsai Ming-liang)
2010: Hahaha (Hong Sang-soo)
* (released commercially after the window of eligibility had closed)