2010 marks the 20th year of the Gotham Independent Film Awards, a New York City hosted set of awards that kicks off the awards season. Obviously the intent is to spread the word about independent films, as well as honor those titles that have already gotten exposure. One specific award, the “Festival Genius Audience Award” is actually selected by a wide vote hosted on the internet, which gives the public a chance to endorse a film that has moved them, or demonstrate interest in one they very much want to see, as an award can mean more traction for such small films.

This year our friends and the CHUD supporters at Bigfoot Entertainment are proud to have a film in contention for the award. Theirs is a smaller entry, a documentary called 9000 Needles, and it’s going up against some other small films, and then some well-regarded (relatively) larger films like (Interview • DVD Review) and Winter’s BoneWaiting for Superman (Review). Obviously those films already have a significant chunk of buzz behind them, but the smaller films like Brotherhood, White Irish Drinkers, and the aforementioned 9000 Needles do not. We’d encourage you to hop over to the voting page, which includes links to info about each film and check them out.

Again, we’re familiar with the good people behind 9000 Needles and wanted to get the doc on your radar if it’s not already. The film follows a 40-year-old American family man named Devin Dearth who has a successful family, business, and personal life until he’s hit with a debilitating and unique kind of stroke. The documentary focuses on his difficult journey trying to find proper care in a system that is not equipped and an insurance industry that is not willing to fund help for an injury of that magnitude, and soon Dearth finds himself journeying to China to immerse himself in a more non-traditional care environment, which has dramatic results.

The website for 9000 Needles can be found here if you’re interested in learning more about it, with a trailer on this page. The next showing is at Hiram college in OH, so if you’re anyway close, try and check it out.

Don’t forget to cast your vote for the Festival Genius Award – the little guys can use all the help they can get.