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The Chlotrudis Awards

     The Chlotrudis Awards, named for two cats, Gertudis and Chloe, are humorously titled, encouraging an obvious Freudian slip. But the actual awards are no joke at all, as I discovered attending the Sixth Annual Chlotrudis Awards Ceremony on April 8 at the Harvard Divinity School. Though there was lots of jest and good humor at the well-attended event, the Chlotrudis people are serious and ambitious in their intent: to provide a grassroots alternate Academy Awards in which, unlike Hollywood's usual Oscar night, genuinely independent-spirited films, both American and foreign, are duly honored.

     Who are the Chlotrudis people? Regularly citizenry from about the Boston area who have bonded, and banded together, based on their love of unusual movies. For five years, they've voted their own Oscars. They have a nominating committee of 18, who meet and argue for hours. This year, the nominations appeared on their Website, and more than 400 people voted on the Web.

     Some of 2000's more unusual winners: Spyke Jones, Best Director, for Being John Malkovich; Frank Griebe, Best Cinematographer, for Run Lola Run; Magnolia for Best Picture. Actress Helen Mirren got a special award. "Helen is daring and confident," explained presenter Gianna Gifford, a librarian at Simmons College, "and sexy in a way no personal trainer can get you sexy!"

     A great evening, professionally run. "You always worry that it will really work out," Chlotrudis's energetic co-founder, Michael Colford, told me at the end, already envisioning a larger venue for next year's seventh ceremony. "The only thing we've lost is that, when it all began at my Melrose apartment, we had a red carpet running down the street... But one step at a time."

(April, 2000)


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