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Whitewash Director Wins Claude Jutra Award
By Staff
;Whitewash Director Wins Claude Jutra Award;
(January 23, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television has announced that filmmaker Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais has won the 2014 Claude Jutra Award for his first feature film, Whitewash. “The Academy is honoured to present filmmaker Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais with the Claude Jutra Award for his darkly comedic drama Whitewash, a story about a snow plow operator who must deal with the aftermath of a terrible accident,” said Richard Speer, who chairs the the Academy’s Quebec wing.

Whitewash premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival in Manhattan where Oscilloscope Laboratories acquired U.S. rights. The film is distributed internationally by eOne Entertainment and distributed in Canada by Les Films Christal. The film is produced by Luc Déry and Kim McCraw, who have a remarkable Academy track record, having twice garnered ;Whitewas, movie poster;the Best Motion Picture award for Incendies and Monsieur Lazhar.

Whitewash is a remarkable debut film which does a lot with a little to create a unique story with highly compelling performances. Whitewash is sure to establish Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais as an upcoming Canadian filmmaker of note,” added Richard Speer.

“I’m extremely grateful to receive the Academy’s Claude Jutra Award,” said filmmaker Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais. “We were elated to have won the Best New Narrative Director prize at 2013 Tribeca Film Festival in New York but this incredible honour to be recognized by one’s own peers at home is deeply touching.”

In addition to the Claude Jutra Award win, Whitewash has also received two Canadian Screen Awards’ nominations: Marc Labrèche for Best Supporting Actor, and Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais and Marc Tulin for Original Screenplay.

Whitewash tells the tale of Bruce Landry (Thomas Haden Church, pictured above), who, on a drunken night, runs over a man (Marc Labrèche) with a yellow snowplow and buries the body before collapsing. When he awakes, he’s deep in a snow-covered forest unaware of his surroundings, and the ensuing story, set in a snowy Northern Quebec winter, is of a man imprisoned in the forest and his quest for survival, redemption and sanity.

Prior to filming Whitewash, Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais was a successful commercial director, winning CREA – Quebec’s major advertising award – for best director in 2004, 2007 and 2008. His short film Marius Borodine was the Jury’s Pick at the 2010 Fantasia Festival and was nominated for a Genie Award in 2011. As an actor, he has several credits to his name including an appearance in 2004’s The Day After Tomorrow. Established in 1993 in honour of the late Quebec filmmaker Claude Jutra who directed the landmark Canadian classic Mon Oncle Antoine, his namesake award celebrates the outstanding debut of a first-time filmmaker. The Academy’s Claude Jutra Award winner is selected by a jury of Canadian filmmakers.

Read more about the 2014 Canadian Screen Award nominees.