×

Whistler Fest Names ‘Felix and Meira’ Big Winner

“Felix and Meira, an unconventional love story between a lonely Montreal man and a married Hasidic Jewish mother, emerged the big winner at the Whistler Film Fest awards brunch Dec. 7, sweeping up all four Borsos Awards including the best Canadian feature, best screenplay, best director for Maxime Giroux, and with the best performance award going to Hadas Yaron.

The Borsos jury included Kim Cattrall (Maverick Award Honouree at WFF), WFF’s honorary ambassador Jason Priestley, and principal at the Entertainment and Media Finance Group, Michael Hirsh.

The Borsos Awards, which include $15,000 in cash and $15,000 in post-production services from Encore, are Canada’s second biggest cash prize for film. The pic previously took the best Canadian film award at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival.

Priestley, who brought his directorial feature film debut to WFF last year with “Cas & Dylan,” said that “it’s getting more difficult for indie films to be seen” and credited the festival with giving them a home. “Business is getting done on a bigger scale every year at WFF,” he remarked.

The World Documentary Award was awarded to Madeleine Grant’s “The Backward Class,” which follows the first graduating class of a special private school for promising low-caste children in India. Grant spent five years working on the project.

The doc was also honored by the New York-based Alliance of Women Film Journalists (AWFJ) with its EDA Award for its “eye-opening,” “moving” and “exceptionally well-crafted” take on the challenges, sacrifices, and ethical dilemmas that are being faced. The film tied for best female directed film with Anne Fontaine’s “Gemma Bovery.”  AWFJ’s jury also cited “That Guy Dick Miller” as honorable mention.

Variety’s 10 Screenwriters to Watch were also honored at the brunch.

The festival, in its 14th year, showcased eclectic 41 features, including “A Most Violent Year,” “Still Alice,” “A Life in Dirty Movies,” as well as warmly received Canadian films such as “Mountain Men,” a comedy/drama about two brothers lost in the wilderness starring Chace Crawford and Tyler Labine.

Honorees included Cattrall, “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise director/writer Dean DeBlois, veteran producer Don Carmody and actress Sarah Gadon.

For the first time, the fest also played host to the CBC ComedyCoup, an accelerator/competition for comedy creators that climaxed with a packed “Big Deal” pitch event on Dec. 6. The winning pitch, “HumanTown,” will receive $500,000 in production financing towards the creation of a half-hour comedy special to air on CBC next year. In a surprise move, CBC also struck a development deal for pitch “Depflies.”

Four projects were also picked up for development through the China Canada Gateway for Film Script Competition, which returned to Whistler for the third year.

 

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • "Weathering With You" directed by Makoto

    Toho Unveils Dual Media Romance 'Love Me, Love Me Not' at Tokyo Market

    Japan’s biggest film company, which produces, distributes and exhibits its own product in partnership with leading media companies, Toho has brought a line-up to TIFFCOM full of present and future hits. The biggest is “Weathering with You,” the love story animation by Makoto Shinkai that surpassed the $100 million mark only a month after its [...]

  • Hit Me Anyone One More Time

    TIFFCOM: Pony Canyon Saddles up FujiTV's Smash 'Hit Me Anyone'

    One of Japan’s five major broadcast networks, Fuji TV has also been a pioneer and leader among the networks in feature film production. This year at TIFFCOM long-time partner Pony Canyon is representing Fuji TV films that have recently hit number one at the Japanese box office. Among the hottest, with three straight weeks atop [...]

  • Martin Scorsese Avengers

    Are Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola Right About Marvel? (Column)

    If you want to shoot holes in the comments that Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola made recently about Marvel movies (Scorsese: “That’s not cinema”; Coppola: “Martin was being kind when he said it wasn’t cinema. He didn’t say it was despicable, which is what I say”), then go right ahead, because they’ve practically handed [...]

  • Women in Motion

    Kering and Tokyo Festival Bring 'Women in Motion' Talk Series to Japan

    Actress Shinobu Terajima, director and photographer Mika Ninagawa, and Japanese-British artist Sputniko! will take part in Women in Motion, on Thursday next week. The event is a special symposium hosted by the Tokyo International Film Festival and global fashion conglomerate Kering, and is the first time that the Cannes-based Women in Motion series has touched [...]

  • Ji.hlava Festival Director Marek Hovorka on

    Ji.hlava's Marek Hovorka on Documentaries With a Cinematic Sensibility

    Nine international documentary films and one judge. That’s the unique competition format for Opus Bonum, the section dedicated to international documentary titles at Ji.hlava Intl. Documentary Film Festival (Oct. 24-29). Films from France, the U.K., Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy, Switzerland, India, Madagascar, Egypt and Palestine play in the competition section, and the winner will [...]

  • Tessa Thompson, Justin Theroux and dogs'Lady

    'Lady and the Tramp' Cast on Remaking a Classic, Premiering on Disney Plus

    The divas on display at Tuesday’s special screening of “Lady and the Tramp” were of the four-legged variety. It was a night that brought out A-listers such as Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux, but those stars were outshone by Rose and Monte, the two canine actors who portray the title characters in the live-action remake [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content