The award was presented to Villeneuve by Deepa Mehta at the historic Carlu in downtown Toronto. Also nominated for the award were The F Word, directed by Michael Dowse, and Mommy, directed by Xavier Dolan. As runners-up, Dolan and Dowse each received $5,000 from Rogers Communications.This is the third time Villeneuve has taken home the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award, having previously won in 2009 for Polytechnique and in 2010 for Incendies.
“All three Canadian finalists are Montreal directors, but their films could not be more different, ” said TFCA President Brian D Johnson. “With Enemy, Denis Villeneuve ventured onto David Cronenberg’s home turf and took no prisoners. By embracing this nervy psychodrama, our critics have plucked a dark gem from art-house obscurity and held it up to the light.”
The evening’s host, TIFF Artistic Director Cameron Bailey, introduced a videotaped acceptance speech from filmmaker Richard Linklater, whose remarkable character drama Boyhood took the TFCA’s 2014 awards for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actress (Patricia Arquette).
The Master’s Katie Boland and The F Word’s Tommie-Amber Pirie presented letters and videotaped acceptances from Best Supporting Actor winner J.K. Simmons (Whiplash), Best First Feature director Ritesh Batra (The Lunchbox) and Best Foreign-Language Film director Ruben Östlund (Force Majeure).
Tony-winning writer and actor Bob Martin presented the Manulife Best Student Film Award to Eui Yong Zong for Leftover, a drama about a North Korean family’s experiences as refugees in Toronto. The award carries a cash prize of $5,000 donated by Manulife to celebrate the spirit of volunteerism that is at the heart of student film-making and the power of storytelling in inspiring active citizenship. Manulife’s Martha Hancock, AVP Philanthropy and Sponsorships, Branding and Communications presented Zong with the cheque.
As previously announced, Piers Handling was given the Technicolor Clyde Gilmour Award, which was presented at the event by Wayne Clarkson and Grace Carnale-Davis, Vice-President, Sales & Client Service – Technicolor Toronto. Under the pay-it-forward terms of the award, Technicolor donated $50,000 in services to a filmmaker of Handling’s choosing—Randall Okita , whose The Weatherman and the Shadowboxer was named Best Canadian Short at TIFF last September.
Albert Shin, whose feature debut In Her Place explores social mores in South Korea, received a cheque for $5,000 from Scotiabank as the winner of this year’s Scotiabank Jay Scott Prize for an emerging artist. The prize was presented to Shin by Patricia Rozema and Rick White, Head of Marketing, Scotiabank Global Wealth and Insurance.
Jesse Moss was presented with a cheque for $5,000 by Jennifer Baichwal, Edward Burtynsky and Joe Fresh’s President and Creative Director Joe Mimran. Moss is the director of the American sociological study The Overnighters, winner of this year’s Joe Fresh Allan King Documentary Award.
Coming first in the year, the TFCA Awards kickoff award season. The 72nd Golden Globes will be announced on January 11 and the nominees for this year`s Canadian Screen Awards will be announced in Toronto on January 13.