Saturday, February 14, 2009

Live from beautiful Falls Church, Virginia: It’s the iGene Awards!

I’ve only been on the genea-blogging scene since August 2008, but I’ll attempt to plumb the depths of my scant oeuvre…

Best Picture: The stylish costume piece, “Doll Brinlee and Nina Pounds,” narrowly loses to the gritty realism of Hiram, Lizzie, Austin, and Odell Brinlee, presented in a contender in the winner in the Best Biography category, My Brick Wall: Susan Elizabeth Smith Bonner Brinlee. I treasure this picture of my great-grandparents and great uncles and will always be grateful to the second cousin who sent it to me.

Best Screenplay: All the contenders were multi-part productions: the three-part Getting Hooked by Genealogy, two-part Descendants of David Floyd?, and the winner, the two parter Finding a New Family and Alice Floyd Ezell Bibb. The winner was a tragedy wrapped inside a detective/mystery story. When the story starts, the researcher realizes that there must have been an unidentified daughter in the Caswell Floyd family, but does not realize that she had actually “found” that daughter once before. And as for the tragedy, although I know family researchers encounter untimely deaths often in their research, it seemed that every new piece of the puzzle brought another tragic event with it. This family truly touched me and I was glad I found them and could tell their story.

Best Documentary: My Playhouse, for the amount of detail and associated memories it brought up – it was often the center of an imaginary world inhabited by my playmates and me. Writing this was a reminder that space to play in may be more important than a variety of toys as an inspiration for imagination and creativity.

Best Biography: My Brick Wall: Susan Elizabeth Smith Bonner Brinlee, starring Lizzie Brinlee, a beloved figure in the fabled Brinlee clan. Small scraps of known information, tantalizing clues and hints, formidable research obstacles, and an enduring family mystery are interwoven in this work.

Best Comedy: I Totally Stole This, a “derivative yet amusing slapstick,” “reminiscent of the old one-reelers, yet oddly evocative of post-modernist sensibilities…, revealing minimalist aesthetics in its simplicity and forthrightness.” (The director deflects charges of derivation, claiming it is merely an homage to the masterful stylings of the original produced by Janet the Researcher.)

I want to thank every single ancestor I know of (reads huge list), the many genealogy blogs that have inspired me (reads long list), my family and friends (reads another long list), and last but not least (sounds of people snorting awake and some scattered applause), Jasia at Creative Gene and the Academy of Genealogy and Family History, for making these awards possible. Thank you, thank you. (Blows kiss to audience.)

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