10:20 pm update: Among SBIFF journos there’s always a kind of competition among SBIFF “Virtuosos”, the idea being to choose who’s scored the highest in terms of charisma, wit, spunk, humor and general likableness.

The hands-down winner of the 2022 Virtuoso panel was Red Rocket’s Simon Rex — no question. The audience loved him. The first and second runners-up were CODA’s Troy Kotsur and West Side Story’s Ariana DeBose. Kudos to the other five, but this is what happened.

Earlier: SBIFF’s Night of the Virtuosos is happening as we speak. Dave Karger is moderating, of course, and the eight honorees are Licorice Pizza’s Alana Haim, West Side Story’s Ariana DeBose, Red Rocket‘s Simon Rex, Belfast ‘s Ciaran Hinds and Catriana Balfe, CODA’s Emilia Jones and Troy Kotsur, and King Richard ‘s Soniyya Sidney. (Belfast’s Jamie Dornan couldn’t make it.)

I had somehow ignored the anecdotal fact that Jones, CODA’s struggling protagonist, is British.

I can hear everyone perfectly from my fourth-row seat…no feedback or echo to speak of. Hats off to SBIFF’s tech crew. (Roger Durling informs that they re-booted the sound controls three or four hours ago, partly because I’d briefly complained about the boom-echo thing.)

Congrats to King Richard‘s Pamela Martin by the way, for snagging the top ACE Eddie award (Drama) earlier this evening. Another setback for The Power of the Dog, of course, but otherwise how meaningful is this?

CODA ‘s Emilia Jones
Belfast’s Ciaran Hinds