In just a few minutes it was over. A solid plug for documentaries and an outstanding year of films by presenter (and documentary doyenne-wannabe) Oprah Winfrey, a quick montage of the five nominated features, the opening of an envelope, a strong political statement from a newly-minted Oscar winning director and a thank you to the documentary community from a just-crowned Oscar winning producer.
And then it was done.
After months of speculation and the presentation of countless peer, festival and critics awards, the Oscar went to Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs for INSIDE JOB.
Ferguson took his Oscar and seized his moment: "Forgive me, but I must start by pointing out that three years after a horrible financial crisis caused by massive fraud, not a single financial executive has gone to jail and that's wrong."
In her speech, Marrs spoke of the larger documentary community: "Having only made two films, I still feel that Charles and I are newcomers to this community, but from the beginning we've been made to feel incredibly welcome and supported for which I'm immensely grateful."
Backstage, the filmmakers were asked by questioner about their fellow nominee, Banksy, who inspired a great deal of speculation prior to the ceremony over what he might do if his film, EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP, won the Oscar. Asked whether all the Banksy talk distracted from documentary, Marrs spoke out in the artist's defense:
"I would never question the integrity of another filmmaker, and I appreciate the fact that there was a film that was fun and funny, and I don't think documentarians should necessarily feel obligated to make films about these really heavy subjects. Although, in some ways, I guess making a film about art is, but I appreciated there was one like that in the mix because I think documentarians should be able to make films about whatever they want."
Ferguson added, "I thought the Banksy film was lovely. A beautiful film."