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TIFF Final – Awards 2023

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TIFF Final – Awards 2023
by Staff Editors

(September 18, 2023 – Toronto, ON) The 48th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) came to a close last night. As is the tradition of the festival, a variety of awards were handed out in the closing hours. The big news, for us anyway, was the naming of Sophie Dupuis’ Solo as Best Canadian Feature Film. The announcement was made at the TIFF 2023 Awards Breakfast by the jury of V.T. Nayani, Susan Maggi, and Ricardo Acosta. Starring Théodore Pellerin, Félix Maritaud, Vlad Alexis and Anne-Marie Cadieux, Solo is a vibrant coming-of-age story taking place in Montréal’s drag community.

The jury statement read, in part, “Sophie Dupuis’s Solo is a specifically intimate and deeply affecting film, full of palpable care and honesty. Whatever your entry point to this film, there is a place for you as part of a larger story and conversation, which is more critical than ever. This coming-of-age narrative is ultimately a film about family, both blood and chosen, and the complications and beauties of both. And it is a story of love, in all of its iterations, of how it can both fail us and set us free.”

“I am thrilled with this honour and I share it with the cast and crew who became my family while filming,” said Dupuis. “Solo is a story of the universal themes of love, intimacy and healing that connects us all.”

Produced by Étienne Hansez on behalf of Bravo Charlie, with the financial participation of SODEC, Telefilm Canada, Société Radio-Canada and Super Ecran, Solo is distributed in Canada by Axia Films. The film is currently playing in Québec and will open in the rest of Canada on October 6, 2023. Also read our review of Solo, by Québec correspondent Maurie Alioff, who was in Toronto to cover the festival.

Kanaval, which was also reviewed for us by Maurie Alioff, was honoured with the Amplify Voices Award for Best BIPOC Canadian Feature. The film also picked up an Honourable Mention for Best Canadian Feature Film. The story behind the film inspired by writer-director Henri Pardo’s own story of his family immigrating to Canada from Haiti in the 70’s.

“I salute all the BIPOC filmmakers at TIFF 2023, their presence and determination encourage me to shout out who I am and where I come from,” said Henri Pardo.

Motherland, set in 1979 at the height of the Iran hostage crisis and featuring Behtash Fazlali, was named Best Canadian Short Film. “I’m incredibly honoured to win the Best Canadian Short Film this year at TIFF. Motherland is a very personal story for me honouring my father, an Iranian immigrant who was on the ground in the US during the height of the 1979 Iran hostage crisis,” said writer-director Jasmin Mozaffari. “I hope this story is a reminder of the journey of diaspora from the perspective of Iranian storytellers and a reminder of the strength and resilience of the Iranian people.”

Seagrass, movie, image,

Seagrass, which premiered to a sold out crowd on September 8th, 2023 as a part of TIFF’s Discovery Programme, has won the International Film Critics Awards FIPRESCI Prize. The award, which promotes film-art and new and young cinema, was selected by a jury of members of the Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique (FIPRESCI), which consists of international film journalists and is awarded at international film festivals or at film festivals of particular importance. Written and directed by Meredith Hama-Brown, it is her debut feature film. It will also sceen at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

Tautuktavuk (What We See), co-directed by Lucy Tulugarjuk (Tia and Piujuq, One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk, Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner) and Carol Kunnuk (Welcome to my Qammaq, Being Prepared, Attagatuluk), won the Amplify Voices BIPOC & Canadian First Feature Award presented by Canada Goose. It will also be screening at the Atlantic International Film Festival (AIFF) and due to the hurricane, the screening has been rescheduled for 6:15 PM on Wednesday, Sept. 20 in Cinema Park Lane Theatre 2.

Also, TIFF 2023 People’s Choice Award was given to Cord Jefferson’s American Fiction. First Runner-up was Alexander Payne’s The Holdovers and the Second Runner-up: Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron, which opened the 48th edition of the festiva.

TIFF 2023 People’s Choice Documentary Award was given to Robert McCallum’s Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe. First Runner-up was Jen Markowitz’s Summer Qamp and the Second Runner-up was Lucy Walker’s Mountain Queen: The Summits of Lhakpa Sherpa.

TIFF 2023 People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award went to Larry Charles’s Dicks: The Musical. First Runner-up was Nikhil Nagesh Bhat’s KILL and the Second Runner-up was Finn Wolfhard and Billy Bryk’s Hell of a Summer.