Critics name Baichwal documentary 'Watermark' best Canadian film
Published Tuesday, January 7, 2014 10:38PM EST
TORONTO -- The Canadian documentary "Watermark" has won a $100,000 prize from the Toronto Film Critics Association.
The film group picked Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky's poetic portrait of the vital resource as the latest recipient of its lucrative Rogers Best Canadian Film Award.
It beat out fellow nominees "Gabrielle," directed by Louise Archambault, and "The Dirties," directed by Matt Johnson. As runners-up, those filmmakers each get $5,000.
The awards were celebrated at a bash in downtown Toronto that also saluted the film group's previously announced favourite films of 2013.
They included best picture winner "Inside Llewyn Davis" from Joel and Ethan Coen, best director winner Alfonso Cuaron for "Gravity" and best screenplay winner Spike Jonze for "Her."
It's the second year in a row the film group picked a documentary as its top homegrown film. Last year, it chose Sarah Polley's intensely personal tale, "Stories We Tell."
The group notes this also marks the second time a Baichwal-Burtynsky collaboration has received the film group's top Canadian prize -- in 2006, the duo's examination of the industrial world in "Manufactured Landscapes" earned the TFCA's best Canadian film award, as well as its best documentary award.
Meanwhile, Quebec director Jeff Barnaby nabbed $50,000 in services donated by Technicolor, thanks to veteran filmmaker Norman Jewison.
The "Moonstruck" director was earlier named this year's recipient of the Technicolor Clyde Gilmour Award, which allowed Jewison to give $50,000 in donated services to a filmmaker of his choosing. He chose Barnaby, whose debut feature "Rhymes For Young Ghouls" won a best first feature prize at the Vancouver International Film Festival and made the Toronto International Film Festival's end-of-year Top Ten film list.
Other winners included:
- the Manulife Financial best student film award, including a prize of $5,000, went to Ryerson University students Walter Woodman and Patrick Cederberg for their short, "Noah";
- the BMO Allan King documentary award, including $5,000, went to director Joshua Oppenheimer for his film, "The Act of Killing";
- the newly created Peter Wintonick Documentary Fund awarded $5,000 to filmmaker Mira Burt-Wintonick. The fund commemorates Mira's filmmaking father, Peter Wintonick, whose work includes "Manufacturing Consent." He died in November.
- as previously announced, Johnson won the Scotiabank Jay Scott Prize for an emerging artist for his work on "The Dirties." It came with a cheque for $5,000.
The Toronto Film Critics Association was established in 1997 and is comprised of Toronto-based journalists and broadcasters who specialize in film criticism and commentary.