‘Soft Shell’ sweeps Jutras

Turpin pic nabs seven kudos, including best film

MONTREAL — Writer-director Andre Turpin’s “Soft Shell Man” (Un Crabe dans la tete) swept the Prix Jutra, Quebec’s annual film awards Sunday, taking home seven honors including film.

Turpin won three Jutras himself, for director, screenplay and cinematography. It was the helmer’s second consecutive win for cinematography after taking the same prize last year for Denis Villeneuve’s “Maelstrom.”

“Soft Shell Man,” a comic look at a photographer with relationships trouble, also won for supporting actor (Emmanuel Bilodeau), editing (Sophie Leblond) and music (Guy Pelletier, Ramachandra Borcar).

The pic had its world preem as the opening film of Perspective Canada at last fall’s Toronto Intl. Film Festival. It garnered decent box office results in Quebec, and made its U.S. bow at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. It is distributed in Canada by Film Tonic and was produced by Montreal-based Qu4tre par Quatre.

The other big winner at the Prix Jutra was maverick filmmaker Pierre Falardeau’s controversial historical drama “February 15, 1839,” which won four awards, including actor (Luc Picard) and supporting actress (Sylvie Drapeau).

Hockey comedy “Les Boys III” was given the Billet d’Or for top-grossing Quebec film. It was Canada’s top-selling film of the past year. “Maelstrom,” which dominated last year’s Jutra Awards won the award for the film with the most success outside Quebec, winning ex aequo with Lea Pool’s English-language debut “Lost and Delirious”.

Elise Guilbault took actress honors for “The Woman Who Drinks” (La Femme Qui Boit) and the best documentary Jutra was won by Isabelle Raynaud’s “Le Minot d’Or.” A lifetime achievement Jutra was given to seasoned Quebecois filmmaker Anne Claire Poirier.

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