Rotterdam 2019: What The Audiences Liked Best

Editor, Europe; Rotterdam, The Netherlands (@ardvark23)
Two weeks ago, the 2019 International Film Festival in Rotterdam came to an end. Probably the largest cultural event in the Netherlands, with over 300,000 tickets sold each year, for me it's hard to believe it's already gone again. Time flies...

Out of the fest's many awards and statistics, what always captures my attention is the audience award. Art awards are always tricky things, because how do you quantify emotional impact exactly? You can't, and art is so subjective anyway, you know that what tickles someone's fancy may displease everyone else. Still... any film which ends around 4 or higher on the scale (it goes from "1-bad" to "5-very good") interests me. There will always be the odd one out who hates it and gives a "1", but it takes another three "5" ratings to get the average back up to "4". Meaning an awfully high percentage of people need to REALLY like your film to get such a high average rating...

So here is a gallery of this year's top-15 in the audience awards. Click on the edge of the pictures to scroll through them! Because why should professional critics have all the opinions?

This is how rating works: upon entering the venue, audience members are given cards with the numbers one (bad) to five (very good) on them. When leaving the venue, all you need to do is pull a small tear in the card at the rating you want to give. These cards are collected at the exit, counted, and the average ratings appear in the festival's website.

I heard people complain about a "bad selection this year", but frankly the numbers do not show much of a decline. Out of the 250 feature films, 130 got rated 3.5 or higher. Any film ending up with a rating of 4 (out of 5) can be safely seen as a general crowdpleaser, and there were 62 of those. For the same reason, getting an average of 4.5 or higher is pretty amazing, and 12 films managed to get this. Check out which, so click on the edge of the picture to start browsing the list!

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