These are my unedited thoughts :D. I am a big girl now and I answer only to myself.
There are a few more folks that may have entries; I am watching for them. But looking at the current entries I am still a bit confused. Tutsy's film will likely win. Not only is it intricately presented, but there is that "he always wins" thing in the minds of some judges. That isn't a bad thing. It means that he has repeatedly given us exceptional work. I doubt too many judges would "not" vote for his film simply because that makes them look less than -- well let's say aware.
This is not a new scenario -- and indeed it is a fair thing to honor past accomplishments. That is how some politicos stay in office so long. Do a good job; reap the rewards and oftentimes deservedly so.
Even though there are fewer entries this season there are some exceptional works. This is not a clear cut year for me though. Sometimes it is SO obvious (perhaps only to me) who the winners will be that making my list is a breeze. Not so much this year.
I wonder how much themes are weighted in the deciding process. Some have been well thought out, others I have a hard time finding the reference to "Pursue Impossible". Production values? While I am a big proponent of pretty, I find that one of my favorites had no windlight or shadows or high class mesh -- it made up for it with heart.
Then there are the technical issues. Most folks wouldn't notice but as a filmmaker I have an issue with hands going through bodies and poses that really don't fit. It draws my attention and takes me away from the film. I am sure that I am in the minority here; many people would never notice. But still, those film-making choices shift my enthusiasm some.
We didn't see too many films that needed "snipping" in that too long on the same frame way. That made me happy. There are some that lost my attention at the beginning. You know what happens then? They drop off my list.
And there is a VERY GOOD POINT there -- one that I don't always remember or perhaps simply don't worry about in my artistic pursuits. You really have only about thirty seconds to convince someone that they want to continue watching. Maybe a little more on a good day. So make your first impression count. If you have a twenty second this-is-my-brand-and-I-can-do-Flash intro? You have almost always lost me. I want to see your vision or a hint of it. I want to know what the film is about and if I should stick around and spend my time watching.
Just my opinions for what they are worth.