(April 4, 2016 – Toronto, ON) The 10th edition of the Canadian Film Fest (CFF) announced the 2016 award recipients last night following the closing night film. The films that received top honours were two films fresh off their premieres at Slamdance – How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town, which took the Best Feature award, the new award for Best Costume Design juried by CAFTCAD, and award for Best Ensemble cast. Winter Hymns nabbed the prize for Best Short, Best Cast, and Best Director for a Short Film. Additionally, the short Julia Julep received the William F. White Reel Canadian Indie award, Dead Rush won HMV’s People’s Pick For Best Flick, Sean Garrity won the DGC Ontario Best Director award for Borealis, and the NAB Show Best First Feature was Across The Line by Director X. The winner and runner-up of the Harold Greenberg Screenplay Contest were also revealed on Saturday night.
“Unlike any other festival across the country, we unabashedly celebrate only Canadian films and this year, more than ever, there is a true sense of pride in the films and filmmakers. The slogan on our t-shirts proved true – ‘Canadian Movies Kick Ass,” said Bern Euler, Executive Director and Founder of the Canadian Film Fest.
Following is the complete list of award winners:
WILLIAM F. WHITE REEL CANADIAN INDIE
The winning film receives a $5000 gift certificate to William F. White.
Director: Alana Cymerman
HMV’s PEOPLE’s PICK FOR BEST FLICK
As voted by the audience, the winning film receives a $500 gift certificate to HMV.
Director: Zach Ramelan
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Juried by CAFTCAD
How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town
Costume Designer: Marissa Schwartz
Canadian Film Fest Special Jury Prizes:
Three phenomenal industry professionals made up the 2016 jury – Amanda Brugel (actor: Room, Orphan Black, Maps to the Stars), Susan Curran (Founding Partner and President of Marketing and Development United Front Entertainment), and Gail Harvey (director: Lost Girl, Murdoch Mysteries, Looking is the Original Sin). They selected the following awards including the new categories for Best Director and Best First Feature Film.
BEST FIRST FEATURE
Presented by NAB Show. The winning film receives a SMART PASS to The NAB Show (April 16-21) and free hotel.
Across The Line
Director: Director X
BEST ACTRESS IN A SHORT
BEST ACTOR IN A SHORT
BEST ENSEMBLE CAST
How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town
Director: Jeremy LaLonde
Cast: Jewel Staite, Ennis Esmer, Katharine Isabelle, Lauren Lee Smith, Jonas Chernick, Tommie-Amber Pirie, Kristian Bruun, Mark O’Brien, James McGowan, Lauren Holly, Natalie Brown, Christine Horne, and Gugun Deep Singh.
Writer: Madeline Sims-Fewer
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE, SHORT FILM
Director: Christine Buijs
2016 Canadian Film Fest – Harold Greenberg Screenplay Contest
Grand Prize Winner:
Ava by Patrick Whistler
A brooding, understated rhythm develops into great energy and urgency with Whistler’s character journey set against the circus that is the Calgary Stampede. Ava’s wants and needs are deflected or neglected by a cast of imminently relatable but indelible characters in her way. The writing is crisp, concise and helps create the electric pace of the story.
The Swearing Jar by Kate Hewlett
Hewlett has crafted a memorable, brilliant tragi-comedy, heartwarming and sad at the same time. It’s a bit of a puzzle film too, since it goes back and forth in time for many sequences, effortlessly weaving together a tale of love and loss. Shows the mark of a great writer as incredible human stories come together amidst hilarity and sadness. A true gem and possibly a fantastic romantic tour-de-force film, which brought us to tears.
The Canadian Film Fest and The Harold Greenberg Fund partnered on this unique opportunity for screenwriters. Open to Canadian screenwriters who’ve written a feature-length screenplay, the CFF’s Harold Greenberg Screenwriting competition received over 170 submissions. Patrick Whistler received $10,000 in financial support as the Grand Prize winner. In addition to the development funding, a Harold Greenberg executive involved in the selection of the winning script will provide feedback on the script as well as guidance throughout one development round. Patrick Whistler and Kate Hewlett also receive passes to the Toronto Screenwriting Conference taking place in April 2016. In addition, all top ten scripts and the honorable mentions will be added to Canadian Film Fest/Harold Greenberg Fund It List, which is a list of the best-unproduced scripts in Canada – a great resource for producers.
Also announced during the CFF, A71 Entertainment picked up the Canadian rights to Cody Campanale’s feature Jackie Boy.
The Canadian Film Fest is a non-profit organization devoted to the celebration, promotion and advancement of Canadian filmmaking talent.