While most actors would let a moderator get away with being a bore, Gabourey Sidibe (“Precious”) — who was receiving her Virtuosos Award at the Cinema Vanguards event Friday evening — did just the opposite. Roger Durling, a film critic, festival higher-up and slightly English-language-impaired man, seemed to try his best to drag the event through the mud last week, asking cliché-upon-cliché questions and stuttering through his abbreviated interviews with the honorees (Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Christoph Waltz and Stanley Tucci, who was not present to receive his award).

“How does it feel being so incredibly famous after your first film?” he queried.

Not to be brought down by an obnoxiously over-asked question, Sidibe brought a quick, sarcastic quip to the situation.

“You know, I take a jet from a photo shoot to the red carpet, and Greek gods carry me everywhere on their shoulders,” she said. “That’s life.”

This pick-me-up-and-carry-me feel seemed to be the tone for most of the event, however, where even the night’s film clips seemed to fall far behind the true acting ability of the honorees. For a ceremony that is supposed to honor the tenacity and vigor with which actors forge new ground in their film choices, it certainly left you wondering why you were stuck in the dingy Lobero listening to nonsensical dribble. They even had SBIFF volunteers hand the actors their statues, and completely irrelevant actor Dennis Franz (“NYPD Blue”) gave their award speech. I’m not sure I understand how the “virtuosos” are supposed to feel honored when it looks like nobody takes them seriously.

Either way, the actors truly showed their professionalism and senses of humor onstage.

“There’s a lot of yelling in my career,” Saarsgaard said, summing up the strange selection of clips.

The most professional recipient of the evening, the thickly Austrian-accented Waltz — whose only clips were from “Inglorious Basterds,” completely ignoring his non-American career — reminded us why we love his character Hans Landa so much.

“You could teach a university course with this character,” he says. “It doesn’t even fall behind Richard III.”

Not to give himself all the credit, though, Waltz says, “The author is likely to be as smart as the character he’s written,” and added, “If you start messing with [Quentin Tarantino’s] scripts, that’s stupid.”

Later, after Durling took Farmiga’s purse so she could sit down, the clutch started vibrating during a question.

“Your purse is buzzing,” he told her with a beet-red face.

“I see that,” she retorts, making sly glances at his lap. The audience bursts into laughter for several seconds before Durling can regain his composure. Even Tucci — who accepted his award via pre-recorded video — was more engaging than Durling. In New York directing a new play, he apologized but said barring being fired, he would not be present. “So, I hope I won’t be there.”

Despite a struggling moderator and a poor venue, the night’s actors were truly engaging, and each proved their abilities as cinema vanguards.