Toronto Film Critics to Award Best Canadian Film

For the first time, the winner of the Toronto Film Critics Association award for Best Canadian Film will also receive a cheque for $10,000, thanks to sponsor Rogers Communications. The award will be one of a slate of honours handed out at the 11th annual TFCA Awards Dinner, to be held January 6, 2009 at swish Toronto restaurant Nota Bene. All Canadian features released theatrically in 2008 are eligible for the cash prize.

Apparently, the annual dinner is being opened up to the industry and the media for the first time, although I’m not quite sure what that means to film bloggers like me. Are we media, industry, or critics ourselves? Either way, it’s unlikely that I’ll be noshing with this year’s host Cameron Bailey or the presenter of the award for Best Canadian Film, Sarah Polley, who was last year’s winner (alas, without the cash) for her directorial debut, Away from Her.

Award categories include Best Picture, Best Male Performance, Best Female Performance, Best Supporting Male Performance, Best Supporting Female Performance, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Canadian Film, Best First Feature, Best Animated Feature, Best Foreign Language Film and Best Documentary Feature.

Nominations will be announced on December 17th, including the three finalists for Best Canadian Film.

This is just the beginning of awards season, so I won’t get into any guessing games about the bulk of the awards, but as far as the single Canadian film to be honoured, how about Tout est parfait (Everything’s Fine), directed by Yves Christian Fournier? (UPDATE: I watched the film and have posted my review. Though it’s a solid enough film, I suspect it will be eclipsed by another film from Québec, C’est pas moi, je le jure! (It’s Not Me, I Swear!), mentioned by Matt MacKinnon in the comments.)

I’m realizing that “feature” probably excludes docs, but I’m not completely sure. As well, it’s often difficult to determine what qualifies a film as “Canadian”. How much of the production has to be funded by Canadian partners? What about films that have Canadian subject matter? Maybe someone can enlighten me.

Not being a particularly astute observer of Canadian films, I’m bound to be missing most of them. What Canadian film from 2008 would you honour with a $10,000 cash prize?

P.S. Hey TFCA, how about updating that web site a bit more often?!

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3 Responses to Toronto Film Critics to Award Best Canadian Film

  1. I wonder if they have a list of what qualifies for nominations. The Canadian films that are tip-top on my list are all from TIFF 2007 and Canada’s Top Ten 2007 so me thinks they wouldn’t apply. They are:
    Continental, un film sans fusil / Continental, a Film Without Guns, My Winnipeg, Up the Yangtze and Amal.

    I’d say two of the biggest Canadian films released this year are Young People Fucking and Passchendaele but what is leading the pack for my fave is Global Metal.

    I’ll be very curious to hear the results as well as feature nominations!

  2. I thought I’d add my two cents of what Canadian film should win the prize: C’EST PAS MOI, JE LE JURE! (IT’S NOT ME, I SWEAR!). One of my favourite films at TIFF this year – it’s dark, hilarious, and deeply affecting: a rare trinity. Not to mention extremely well-made.

    And thanks for your article on Evokative Films – as it happens, I was just trying to find the distributor of Le Tueur!

  3. James McNally says:

    Well, the award for Best Canadian Film was handed out tonight and the winner was Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg, a film I’ve yet to see. Congratulations Guy and hopefully I’ll get to see what all the fuss was about soon.

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