VIFF 2012 Award Winners
Octoer 15, 2012
IT'S A WRAP! The Vancouver International Film Festival is over for another year. 380 films from 75 countries were presented at 600+ screenings over 15 days. A BIG thanks goes out to all of our fantastic volunteers, sponsors, staff and most of all, our enthusiastic audiences & participating filmmakers.
The Canadian Images jury announced two awards. The jury included popular Vancouver actor Jay Brazeau, Montreal filmmaker Anne Émond and Colombian–American media personality Claudia Mendoza–Carruth.
Best Canadian Feature Film Award
The Award for Best Canadian Feature Film, and its $10,000 cash prize, goes to Jason Buxton of Nova Scotia for Blackbird. The winner was selected from twelve films in competition. The jury selected this film "for its years of research by the director on the juvenile correctional system; how it transforms the life of a creative kid. The supporting characters are extremely well crafted, free of clichés. We look forward to the development of the careers of both newcomer Connor Jessup and first–time feature director Jason Buxton."
Canada | Dir: Jason Buxton
Related Links: Official Website | Trailer
Jason Buxton's film concerns a troubled teen, Sean Randall, who is falsely accused of planning a Columbine shooting scenario. Sean's only hope is to overcome his dark image and prove his innocence to both his unlikely love and to his community.
Honourable Mention for Canadian Feature Film
Becoming Redwood, directed by Jesse James Miller of BC, for its "beautiful journey that transports you to the 1970s. Ryan Grantham carries the film with extraordinary gravitas on his 14–year–old shoulders, winning the audience over."
Most Promising Director of a Canadian Short Film Award
The Canadian Images jury, represented by Jay Brazeau, has awarded a $2,000 cash award from an anonymous donor to Juan Riedinger of BC for Float. The jury selected this film as "a dark and large subject treated with simplicity and truth. The director handled these seasoned actors with finesse."
Canada | Dir: Juan Riedinger
Tom has finally agreed to let his wife teach him to swim. His first lesson helps him learn to stay afloat all on his own.
Honourable Mention for a Canadian Short Film
Peach Juice, directed by Brian Lye, Callum Paterson and Nathan Gilliss of BC. "Funny, with a great sense of humour. A different kind of take on animation showed much promise. We look forward to seeing more. It was a bittersweet story."
PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED AWARD
Dragons & Tigers Award for Young Cinema
The $5,000 Dragons & Tigers Award for Young Cinema, which is generously supported by donor Brad Birarda, went to director Li Luo of China for Emperor Visits The Hell (Tang Huang You Difu). 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 4th. The distinguished jury was comprised of Joäo Pedro Rodrigues, Shinozaki Makoto and Chuck Stephens.
(Tang Huang You Difu)
China | Dir: Li Luo
Related Links: "Emperor Visits the Hell" wins the VIFF Dragons and Tigers Award for Young Cinema
Using a wonderful cast, Li Luo adapts an episode from the Ming Dynasty novel Journey to the West (aka Monkey) to the modern China of bureaucrats and gangsters: brilliant, straight-faced social satire with a real kick.
Rogers People's Choice Award
The Hunt, directed by Thomas Vinterberg, has won the Rogers People's Choice Award. All of the festival's 236 feature films – dramas and nonfiction – 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).
Denmark/Sweden | Dir: Thomas Vinterberg
Related Links: Trailer
Thomas Vinterberg's best film since Celebration stars Mads Mikkelsen as a kindergarten teacher accused of child abuse. "Vinterberg makes a storming comeback with this superbly thrilling drama… Forthright, powerful, composed and directed with clarity and overwhelming force, yet capable of great subtlety and nuance."—Guardian. Winner, Best Actor, Cannes 2012.
VIFF Most Popular Canadian Film Award
The audience chose Becoming Redwood, directed by Jesse James Miller, for the VIFF Most Popular Canadian Film Award.
Canada | Dir: Jesse James Miller
Related Links: Official Website | Trailer | Twitter | Facebook
In this light-hearted tale set in the 70s, Jesse James Miller (Uganda Rising, VIFF '06) introduces us to the tumultuous world of 11-year-old Redwood, who is only one shot away from defeating Jack Nicklaus at the Masters, freeing his father from jail and reuniting his parents forever. Or so he thinks.
VIFF Most Popular Canadian Documentary Award
Blood Relative, directed by Nimisha Mukerji, won the VIFF Most Popular Canadian Documentary Award.
Canada | Dir: Nimisha Mukerji
Related Links: Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Trailer
Director Nimisha Mukerji's (65_RedRoses, VIFF 09) documentary follows an activist fighting to save two young adults dying from Thalassemia, a rare blood disease. Suffering stunted growth and without access to medication, they remain trapped in the bodies of children. Chronicling one man's battle, the film exposes modern India's broken healthcare system.
VIFF Most Popular International Documentary Film Award
The audience chose Nuala, directed by Patrick Farrelly and Kate O'Callaghan, for the VIFF Most Popular International Documentary Film Award.
Ireland | Dir: Patrick Farrelly, Kate O'Callaghan
Given Nuala O'Faolain's renowned candour—the author/journalist's memoir and deathbed interviews captivated Ireland—one can't envision a more appropriate tribute than her longtime friend Marian Finucane's clear-eyed investigation of O'Faolain's uncompromising, contradictory life. Patrick Farrelly and Kate O'Callaghan direct. Winner, Critics Award: Best Irish Film, Dublin 2012.
VIFF Most Popular Environmental Film Award
lution, directed by Rob Stewart, won the VIFF Most Popular Environmental Film Award.
Canada | Dir: Rob Stewart
Related Links: Official Website | Clip | Article
The true-life adventures of Rob Stewart, this follow-up to his acclaimed Sharkwater takes him through 15 countries over four years, where he'll discover that it's not only sharks that are in grave danger—it's our oceans and, indeed, humanity itself.
VIFF Most Popular International First Feature Award
The audience chose I, Anna, directed by Barnaby Southcombe, for the VIFF Most Popular International First Feature Award.
UK/Germany/France | Dir: Barnaby Southcombe
Related Links: Trailer
North American Premiere
Charlotte Rampling is at her commanding peak in this stylish crime thriller, directed by her son Barnaby Southcombe. She is the titular Anna, a femme fatale entangled in a murder who falls for the very detective (the ace Gabriel Byrne) investigating the death. London is the perfect background for this lovingly rendered—and beautifully acted—homage to classic film noir.
Women in Film and Television Artistic Merit Award
The unanimous decision for the 2012 WIFTV Artistic Merit Award goes to Manon Briand, writer-director of Liverpool.
Canada | Dir: Manon Briand
Related Links: Trailer (French language)
Manon Briand mixes 60s style with Internet-era activism in this romantic comedy/thriller about Émilie, a coat-check wallflower in a popular nightclub, and Thomas, a computer nerd hampered by an inability to interact in the real world…