Dave Garthmin, writing for Elgin Courier News:
We asked [the festival director] whether we should discuss what we just saw. He said he would prefer that we just fill out our ballots, with 5 points for the best film and 1 point for the worst. “There was one year when the discussion among the judges got a little confrontational down here,” he explained.
So we began poring silently over our ballots like six teenagers taking the SAT test.
Every festival is different – some encourage those lengthy discussions, others prefer to get things done as efficiently as possible. It's always nice to get a peek behind the judging curtain at a particular festival, though.