Fritzes 2021 nominees

I’m glad I started the Fritzes in 2019, because in 2020 the movie industry was reeling from the haymaker that was COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2. Without the money of butts in cinema seats, many studios postponed production and releases. So the number of films to consider is notably smaller than in decades beforehand. But this also gave us the opportunity to consider films that are less blockbuster, more small and focused.

Following are the candidates for the 2021 Fritz awards, recognizing excellence in cinema sci-fi interfaces across the prior year.

Best Believable

These movies’ interfaces adhere to solid HCI principles and believable interactions. They engage us in the story world by being convincing. The nominees for Best Believable are Minor Premise, Project Power, and Proximity.

Best Narrative

These movies’ interfaces blow us away with wonderful visuals and the richness of their future vision. They engross us in the story world by being spectacular. The nominees for Best Narrative are Love and Monsters, Underwater, and World of Tomorrrow Episode Three: The Absent Destinations of David Prime.

Best Interfaces

The movies nominated for Best Interfaces manage the extraordinary challenge of being believable and helping to paint a picture of the world of the story. They advance the state of the art in telling stories with speculative technology. The nominees for Best Narrative are Archive, LX 2048, and The Midnight Sky.

Audience choice

All of the movies nominated for other awards will be presented for an Audience Choice award. Watch this space for when the ballot is open. In the meantime, if like me you want to see all the candidates so you can be elated or outraged at results, start watching now.

Awards will be announced near the end of April, probably.

Fritzes 2021: What else is out there?

Last year in January I launched an annual awards program for excellence in cinematic sci-fi interfaces. If you didn’t catch it then, here are the inaugural winners. Then the rest of 2020 happened. A lot of movies were postponed since reasonable audiences were staying out of cinemas during the pandemic.

I’m still going to do the Fritzes this year, formally announcing nominees on 15 MAR and publishing the results on 25 APR (timed with the Oscars), but this post is asking to see if my readership knows (and can recommend) other movies that I might not have heard about. This is because of the movies I saw last year, only 2 (that’s right, two) had interfaces significant enough to evaluate. And one of those only had 1 interface in it. In total. So maybe you know more?

2020 sci-fi movies with negligible-or-no interfaces

Here’s a list of those movies that I watched which had negligible or no interfaces to review. (Note some of these were awful, so this is not a recommendations list, just an accounting.)

The ones with some interfaces

Still on my to-watch list

Here’s the list of sci-fi movies I’m aware of that were released in 2020 that I have yet to watch. Now it could be that I’ve just watched things in an unfortunate order, and the ones I watched happened to be the ones without much to review. Maybe (hopefully?) that’s true. But just in case…

If you have seen any of these and can share with me that they have no or negligible interfaces (and save the 90ish minutes of time) please let me know that, too.

The Ask

So…does anyone know of other 2020 films with great interfaces that I should see? Please let me know on social media or in the comments.

Television addendum

In contrast to the suspiciously-interfaceless moviescape, I’ve seen a lot of great interface work in television. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Expanse, Devs, Lovecraft Country, The Mandalorian, Star Trek Discovery, and Star Trek Picard, to name a few. So much great work. Awarding television shows is some complexity I haven’t ventured into yet, but if I wind up with a paucity of examples in film, I might have to start alternating years for TV & movies. Or start up a new set of awards just for TV.

Star Trek Discovery, S03E05 “Die Trying” screen shot. And yes, I know.