VIFF 2010 Awards

The 29th Vancouver International Film Festival ended Friday, October val 15 with a screening of Sylvain Chomet’s the Illusionist. Parallax View will continue running notes on a few of the featured films over the next week or two, but for now, here is the festival’s official press release:

VIFF 2010 award winners announced

The 29th annual Vancouver International Film Festival concluded its 16-day run today with the closing gala screening the French film THE ILLUSIONIST (L’illusioniste), directed by Sylvain Chomet, in the Visa Screening Room at the Empire Granville 7 Cinemas.

The winners of two juried awards and five audience awards were announced prior to the screening; two other juried awards were announced previously. More award details and the attendance tally will be released next week.

JURIED AWARDS

ET Canada Award for Best Canadian Feature Film ($20,000 prize)

The jury for the Canadian Images program awarded the ET Canada Award for Best Canadian Feature Film and its $20,000 cash prize to director Denis Villeneuve of Quebec for INCENDIES.The winner was selected from eleven films in competition. The jury included Andrea Henning, executive director of Arts and Culture for the Province of British Columbia; actor Deborah Kara Unger, the star of David Fincher’s The Game, Norman Jewison’s Hurricane, David Cronenberg’s Crash, and many other films; and award-winning writer, director, producer and educator Sandy Wilson (My American Cousin, American Boyfriends and Harmony Cats, to name a few). Frank Samson, supervising producer of ET Canada, and jury member Sandy Wilson, presented the award on behalf of ET Canada.

The jury singled out CURLING by Quebec director Denis Côté; the announcement was made by jury member Deborah Kara Unger.

Most Promising Director of a Canadian Short Film

The Canadian Images jury has awarded a $2,000 cash award to director Halima Ouardiri of Quebec for her short film MOKHTAR. The competition was open to first-time filmmakers. Jury member Andrea Henning announced the award

AUDIENCE AWARDS

Rogers People’s Choice Award

WASTE LAND (UK/Brazil), directed by Lucy Walker, has won the Rogers People’s Choice Award. This UK/Brazilian coproduction follows renowned artist Vik Muniz into his three-year artistic collaboration with resident recyclers of the world’s largest landfill outside of Rio. All of the festival’s 359 films – dramas and nonfiction, short, mid- and feature length – were eligible, and festival-goers chose the most popular film by rating every film they saw on a scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent). Thor Diakow presented the award on behalf of Rogers.

VIFF Most Popular Nonfiction Film Award

The audience chose KINSHASA SYMPHONY (Germany),directed by Claus Wischmann and Martin Baer for the VIFF most popular Nonfiction Film Award. This German film set in the Democratic Republic of Congo shows how people living in one of the most chaotic cities in the world find joy by playing classical music.

VIFF Most Popular Canadian Film Award

TWO INDIANS TALKING (Canada/BC) directed by Sara McIntyre, won the VIFF Most Popular Canadian Film Award. Two Indians Talking is director Sara McIntyre’s original take on the relationship of two first nations cousins. Watch for exploding stereotypes and some great performances by Nathaniel Arcand and Justin Rain. The award was announced by Canadian Images programmer Terry McEvoy.

NFB Most Popular Canadian Documentary Award

LEAVE THEM LAUGHING (BC) directed by John Zaritsky, won the NFB’s Most Popular Canadian Documentary award and a prize of $2,500 in NFB technical services toward their next film. Leave Them Laughing is director John Zaritsky’s gripping documentary about Carla Zilbersmith’s struggle with the incurable disease, ALS. Zaritsky captures Carla’s candour and her remarkable sense of humour in a profoundly unfunny situation.

VIFF Environmental Film Audience Award

FORCE OF NATURE: THE DAVID SUZUKI MOVIE (Canada), directed by Sturla Gunnarsson, has won the VIFF Environmental Film Audience Award. Ecologist and scientist David Suzuki serves as veteran filmmaker Sturla Gunnarsson’s subject in this thorough, deep-reaching account of the Canadian icon’s life. Gunnarsson shows how Suzuki’s relationship with his father and the family’s internment during WWII gave Suzuki a sense that history matters and helped shape his critical thinking as an “outsider.” The award was announced by festival director Alan Franey.

PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED AWARDS

Dragons & Tigers Award for Young Cinema

The $10,000 Dragons & Tigers Award for Young Cinema, which is generously supported by donors Brad Birarda and Robert Sali, went to Hirohara SATORU of Japan for Good Morning to the World!. Presented to the director of a creative and innovative film from East Asia that has not yet won significant international recognition, the award was previously announced on October 7th. The distinguished jury was comprised of Mr. BONG Joon Ho, renowned director of films The Host, Mother and a 2000 runner-up in Dragons & Tigers for Barking Dogs Never Bite; Mr. Denis Côté, an award-winning director whose film Curling was screened at VIFF this year; and Mr. JIA Zhangke, leading director of China’s “Sixth Generation”, whose 1998 film Xiao Wu was a Dragons & Tigers winner, and whose I Wish I Knew was screened at VIFF this year. They considered eight films in competition.

Women in Film & Television Vancouver Artistic Merit Award

Women in Film & Television Vancouver presented its Artistic Merit Award to April Telek, lead actress in Amazon Falls. WIFTV award committee member Mary Frymire presented the award, which is given annually to a B.C. woman filmmaker or performer of distinction whose work appeared at VIFF this year.

The press release can also be seen on the website here.