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Vancouver International Film Festival 2015 | Sep 24 - Oct 9 |
VIFF Announces BC Spotlight and Canadian Images Awards
Fractured Land wins Best BC Film Award
The Devout wins BC Emerging Filmmaker Award
Sleeping Giant wins Best Canadian Film Award
The Sound of Trees wins Emerging Canadian Director Award
Blue-Eyed Blonde wins Best Canadian Short Film
Never Steady, Never Still wins Most Promising Director of a Canadian Short Film
Vancouver, BC (October 3, 2015) – The 2015 winners of the 34th annual Vancouver International Film Festival's BC Spotlight and Canadian Images Awards were announced at the BC Spotlight Awards Gala screening of Patricia Rozema's Into the Forest this evening at The Centre for the Performing Arts in Vancouver.

The award for Best BC Film went to Damien Gillis and Fiona Rayher's Fractured Land. The BC Spotlight jurors stated, "Fractured Land introduces audiences to a compelling central character whose personal story parallels the larger environmental issues he champions."

Meanwhile, the award for BC Emerging Filmmaker went to Connor Gaston for The Devout. The jury stated, "The Devout features strong performances and an incredible chemistry among the cast – as well as a thoughtfully executed storyline – that resonated with the jurors."

The jury also offered an Honourable Mention to Mark Sawers' No Men Beyond This Point for Best BC Film, stating, "No Men Beyond This Point utilizes multiple storytelling devices – including animation, fake archival footage and earnest interviews – to present a hilarious and thoughtful take on what a women-driven world would look like."

The BC Spotlight jury included Sabrina Furminger, Catherine Lough Haggquist and Andrew Huculiak.

Andrew Cividino's debut feature Sleeping Giant won Best Canadian Film. The jury stated, "For its courage, vision and authenticity, and for creating high drama out of the everyday through the eyes of naturalistic characters, the jury recognizes Andrew Cividino for Best Canadian Film with Sleeping Giant. It had a real heart beating beneath the impressive landscapes, and real people in every frame."

The jury next awarded Emerging Canadian Director to François Péloquin for his film, The Sound of Trees. They stated, "We were won over by his confidence with the camera and direction in telling a unique coming of age story. A great portrait of adolescence and obsolescence, and what gets lost in a constantly changing world."

The jury also made two Honourable Mentions. The first was to Le Dep's Sonia Bonspille Boileau for Emerging Canadian Filmmaker, "for telling the story of a whole community within one small, detailed space." The second was to acknowledge the performance by an Emerging Actress in Sean Garrity's Borealis. "The jury recognizes Joey King as a new light in the Canadian sky for playing Aurora in Borealis."

The Canadian Images features jury included Alan Black, Eve Gabereau and Katherine Monk.

Best Canadian Short Film, another new award for 2015, went to Pascal Plante's Blue-Eyed Blonde. The jury said, "For its authenticity and the remarkable central performances, the jury awards Best Canadian Short Film to Blue-Eyed Blonde. Clear-eyed and nuanced in its storytelling, this film is a beautiful and complex portrait of a mother and four-year-old daughter as they negotiate their way through the murky waters of child competitions and conflicting desires.

The Most Promising Director of a Canadian Short Film award was presented to Kathleen Hepburn for Never Steady, Never Still, with the jury stating, "For the strength of its voice, subtle performances and its evocation of place, the jury awards Most Promising Director of a Canadian Short Film to Never Steady, Never Still. Kathleen Hepburn's film is a well-crafted and layered story that resonates with the themes of family and home."

The jury also made an Honourable Mention, stating, "In recognition of the incredible true story at its core that brings the ravages of the Iraq-Iran War to Vancouver and reminds us of the human costs of war and displacement, the enduring power of a human act in an inhuman environment, and the possibilities of redemption and reconciliation, the jury awards an Honourable Mention to Ann Shin's My Enemy, My Brother."

The Canadian Images Shorts jury included Marie Clements, Kris Elgstrand and Julia Kwan.

The 34th annual Vancouver International Film Festival runs through October 9, 2015.

VIFF's 2015 BC Spotlight and Canadian Images Awards:
Best BC Film
Fractured Land (dirs. Damien Gillis, Fiona Rayher)
$10,000 development bursary
Sponsored by The Harold Greenberg Fund
+$15,000 post-production services credit
Supplied by Encore Vancouver

BC Emerging Filmmaker
The Devout (dir. Connor Gaston)
$7,500 cash prize
Sponsored by the Union of BC Performers and Actra Fraternal Benefits Society
+$10,000 equipment credit
Supplied by William F. White

Best Canadian Film
Sleeping Giant (dir. Andrew Cividino) $10,000 cash prize
Sponsored by Directors Guild of Canada (BC District Counsel)

Emerging Canadian Director
The Sound of Trees (dir. François Péloquin)
$2,000 cash prize
Sponsored by Directors Guild of Canada (BC District Counsel)
* New award for 2015 *

Best Canadian Short Film
Blue-Eyed Blonde (dir. Pascal Plante)
$2,000 cash prize

Most Promising Director of a Canadian Short Film
Never Steady, Never Still (dir. Kathleen Hepburn)
$2,000 cash prize

About VIFF

Founded in 1982, the Greater Vancouver International Film Festival Society is a not-for-profit cultural society and federally registered charitable organization that operates the internationally acclaimed Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF), the annual VIFF Industry Conference and the year-round programming of the Vancity Theatre at the Vancouver International Film Centre. Its mandate is to encourage understanding of the world's cultures through the art of cinema, to foster the art of cinema, to facilitate the meeting in British Columbia of cinema professionals from around the world, and to stimulate the motion picture industry in British Columbia. In its 34th year, the Vancouver International Film Festival welcomes the world to Vancouver from September 24-October 9, 2015 as it showcases the top BC, Canadian and international films and plays host to industry professionals from around the globe.

VIFF gratefully acknowledges the generous support of our Premier Partners Rogers Communications and Telefilm Canada. VIFF also extends its thanks and appreciation to the City of Vancouver, Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Community, Sport, and Cultural Development's Community Gaming Grants program, as well as the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage's Building Communities through Arts & Heritage program.

To reach the VIFF press office, please contact:
Lauren Stasila
Jive Communications

For more information on Canadian film programming, please contact:
Charlene Coy