TORONTO – The Canadian Filmmakers Festival (CFF) marks the end of its fourth year with record-high box office sales and numerous sold out screenings at the Varsity and Carlton Cineplex Odeon Cinemas. The Festival, which ran from March 22nd – 25th, 2007, is presented by Schweppes and is the only Toronto film festival dedicated solely to the celebration, advancement and promotion of Canadian film.
Canadian Filmmakers Festival Awards
The Best Feature, Best Short, Reel Canadian Indie, and Best Screenwriting awards in addition to the special jury prizes were selected by a distinguished panel of judges, including director and last year’s CFF Best Feature winner, Anita Doron (END OF SILENCE); writer/producer Michael Sparaga, winner of the 2006 CFF People’s Pick for Best Flick award for his film SIDE-KICK; and director Kris Booth (FOR ALL THE MARBLES, SAFE). The People’s Pick for Best Flick award was chosen based on ballots cast by Festival filmgoers.
Best Feature Award
The Best Feature Award, presented by key sponsor Schweppes, was given to THE ZERO SUM, directed by Raphael Assaf and written by Armen Evrensel. THE ZERO SUM follows Leonard (Ewen Bremner – TRAINSPOTTING, SNATCH), a thief responsible for landing his brother in jail. Leonard falls in love with one of his victims, Leah (Sarah Strange – WHITE NOISE, THE L WORD), and struggles to balance the relationship with his secret life of crime and the secret reason why he must continue on with it.
Best Short Award
The Best Short Award, also presented by Schweppes, was given to WHEN ERMA MADE HERMAN, written and directed by Alana Cymerman. A magical fable about the imperfections of love, WHEN ERMA MADE HERMAN, follows Erma (Janine Theriault) a busy oddball inventor, who cuts out the man in her life when he proves to be too distracting. Left with a large whole in the wall of her home, the incoming breeze awakens her dead grandmother who tells her she must find a man to fill the hole. When Erma makes a new man, the unexpected arises: her invention is now a loving human.
People’s Pick for Best Flick Award
This year’s People’s Pick for Best Flick Award, presented by Cineplex Odeon, was given to the feature documentary THE ROAD, directed by Sean Buckley and written by Sean Buckley and Jim Kiriakakis. Shot over a period of five years, THE ROAD follows Syd Vanderpool, a celebrated Canadian boxer as he fights his way from a humble training facility in Kitchener, Ontario to the Super Middleweight Championship at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas.
Reel Canadian Indie Award
The Reel Canadian Indie award, presented by William F. White International Inc. honours the film that exemplifies the truest form of independent filmmaking. This year’s winner was presented to the short film, THE PERFECTION OF THE MOMENT, written and directed by Corey Lee and based on a story by John Gould. The film offers an unapologetic re-examination of one bad night which unfolds as the narrator walks alone down a deserted city street, is threatened by drunks and called upon to question his own sexuality.
Best Screenwriting Award
Presented by Meridian Artists, the Best Screenwriting Award was given to the short film FILLIDOR, written and directed by Michael Vass. The film follows a bitter feud between two rival professors which escalates to new levels of cruelty and absurdity when they start demonstrating their conflicting theories about reality on each other’s wives.
Special Jury Prizes
This year’s special jury prize for Filmmaker to Watch was presented to writer/director/producer Peter Ricq for his animated short film, GLITCH. The Male Achievement in Acting prize was presented to Jefferson Brown for his performances in MOST LIKELY TO and DEAD MARY. The Female Achievement in Acting prize was awarded to Sarah Strange for her performance in this year’s Best Feature winner, THE ZERO SUM.
One of the Festival’s mandates is to help advance the Canadian film industry by promoting Canadian filmmaking talent, providing a venue to feature these films for audiences to view and enjoy. This year, 11 feature and 27 short films (15 screenings all together) from across the country were screened at the Varsity and Carlton Cineplex Odeon Cinemas, with seven sold out shows. The Festival welcomed over 3,000 attendees at screenings, panel discussions and gala parties this year.