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The Citizen of the Year is a 2004 comedy brickfilm by J. Watson and his brother. The film is about a man who, in a desperate attempt to become the Citizen of the Year, treats a bum to dinner in a fancy restaurant. It is mainly known for the tongue-in-cheek, cult-like celebration of it as the best brickfilm ever made, with an annual event, Septemberfest, revolving around it.
Balser, a man who lives in a fancy house, greets his neighbor, who lives in a messy shack. Balser informs the neighbor that he was nominated for Citizen of the Year again. The neighbor grudgingly congratulates Balser. Balser starts to ask about the neighbor's parrot, but then notices a trash can full of dead parrots. A father and son insult the neighbor, and a group of people walk by and enthusiastically greet Balser. Balser leaves, and the neighbor, angry, shoots a light on Balser's house. The neighbor decides he wants to compete for Citizen of the Year.
Later that day, the neighbor ignore pleas of help from an old lady and a robbery in progress. The neighbor spots a bum and insults him, but then begrudgingly realizes if he helps the bum, he might be eligible for the award. The neighbor tosses a coin at the bum. The bum scoffs at the neighbor's weak attempt at charity. The neighbor demands the bum vote for him for Citizen of the Year, saying that the bum "owes him." The bum confronts the neighbor, sarcastically saying maybe he'll buy a large meal and a house with the coin.
"Or maybe I'll beat the crap out of you and steal all yo' money!" the bum retorts. Frightened, the neighbor says he'll do anything. The bum asks for a meal. The neighbor tells the bum to put some pants on. The bum steals a pair of pants and is confronted by the store owner, but Balser appears and pays for the pants.
The neighbor takes the bum to a restaurant. Eventually the neighbor yells at the bum, and everyone stares. Despite the neighbor's best efforts to limit the meal to complimentary dinner rolls, the bum orders an expensive meal and urinates at the table. A waiter slips on the urine and the neighbor is asked to leave. The neighbor tries to point out the bum did it, but is thrown out.
One year later, the neighbor is grumbling about how he doesn't want Balser to win Citizen of the Year again. The bum watches the neighbor approach. Balser appears and tells the bum "You know what to do."
Since 2006, an annual celebration of The Citizen of the Year called Septemberfest has taken place within the brickfilming community. This celebration originated from two posts made in the film's release thread by community member Scott Dombert (then known as Rainsford, better known as Dragoon), showering the film with praise (and also misattributing the film to James Morr as a joke).
The parrots in a bin seen in the film are used as a symbol of Septemberfest and feature prominently in promotional material for it, as well as being commonly used in brickfilms to reference Septemberfest and The Citizen of the Year.
The original instigators of Septemberfest referred to themselves as "The Citizens of Awesome". This group consisted of J. Watson, Michael J. Green, Scott Dombert, James Morr and Daniel "Mr. Less" Ernst. They would gather outside of the main brickfilming community (joking that they were "persecuted" for their love of The Citizen of the Year). Their first meeting place was a forum named the 4um. This was later joined by a blog located at CitizenAwesome.com, which featured hype for upcoming Septemberfests, reviews of brickfilms and random humourous pieces. The 4um was compromised and vandalised in July 2007 by Aled Owen and was subsequently deactivated, being replaced by a new forum, the 5um. CitizenAwesome.com was active in 2007 and 2008 and remained online until around 2013.
- Main article: Septemberfest Contest
- ↑ The Citizen of the Year release thread
- ↑ The Citizen of the Year on YouTube
- ↑ The Citizen of the Year mentioned again as a cult classic
- ↑ The Citizen of the Year mentioned again as a classic
- ↑ Dragoon's original post in September 2005
- ↑ Septemberfest 2014 thread, posted on the 1st of September
- ↑ Anti-Septemberfest image from 2007
- ↑ Argument about Septemberfest from 2010
- ↑ WATSON MUST DIE, a film parodying reactions to Septemberfest
- ↑ Dragoon's antics during Septemberfest 2007 resulted in a ban from Brickfilms.com
- ↑ Front page of the Citizens of Awesome website
- ↑ Archive of CitizenAwesome.com
- ↑ First announcement of the 4um hack
- ↑ History of the 4um hack
- ↑ Last archive of CitizenAwesome.com
- ↑ Septemberfest 2010 contest thread
- ↑ Septemberfest 2015 contest teaser