(February 2, 2017 – Toronto, ON) The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television has announced that director Johnny Ma has won the Academy’s Best First Feature award, sponsored by Telefilm Canada, for his feature film, Old Stone. The award celebrates the outstanding debut of a first-time feature filmmaker.
“Johnny Ma’s nuanced feature debut draws the viewer into a world of suspense with a maturity that is authentic and remarkable. He is an exciting talent for Canada to count as our own!” said Academy CEO, Beth Janson.
In Johnny Ma’s thrilling debut feature, Old Stone, starring Gang Chen, Nai An (Suzhou River, When Night Falls) and Wang Hongwei (Platform, Unknown Pleasures, Still Life), a Chinese taxi driver finds himself plunged into a Kafkaesque nightmare where no good deed goes unpunished. Beginning as a gritty social-realist drama before u-turning into a blood drenched noir, Old Stone follows the repercussions of a car accident in a society where life is cheap and compassion is ruinously expensive.
Old Stone is nominated for 5 Canadian Screen Awards including Best Motion Picture, Performance by an Actor in Leading Role (Gang Chen), Achievement in Cinematography (Mingkai Leung), Original Screenplay (Johnny Ma), and Achievement in Editing (Michael Long).
The film had its North American premiere at TIFF in the Discovery Programme and was awarded the City of Toronto Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film. The film can be pre-ordered on iTunes for viewing after April 7, 2017.
The Canadian Screen Awards will be broadcast live on CBC from Toronto’s Sony Centre for the Performing Arts on Sunday, March 12, 2017 at 8 pm (9 pm AT; 9:30 pm NT).