Reviews include Dear Evan Hansen, Maria Chapdelaine, and Saint-Narcisse.
Anne at 13,000 ft Wins Rogers Best Canadian Film Award
March 9, 2021
Anne at 13,000 ft, a compelling drama and character study by Kazik Radwanski about a young woman with alienating eccentricities, has won the Toronto Film Critics Association’s 2020 Rogers Best Canadian Film Award.
The $100,000 award is the richest annual film prize in Canada. It was presented to director Radwanski live on YouTube at the TFCA’s first-ever online public awards gala, filmed inside Toronto’s storied Paradise Theatre.
Virtual acceptance speeches were presented from filmmaker Chloé Zhao (Best Picture and Best Director, Nomadland), Riz Ahmed (Best Actor, Sound of Metal), Daniel Kaluuya (Best Supporting Actor, Judas and the Black Messiah), Maria Bakalova (Best Supporting Actress, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), Lee Isaac Chung (Best Screenplay, Minari), Radha Blank (Best First Feature, The Forty-Year Old Version), Kleber Mendonça Filho (Best International Film, Bacurau), Tomm Moore & Ross Stewart (Best Animated Feature, Wolfwalkers) and Alexander Nanau (Allan King Documentary Film Award, Collective).
Anne at 13,000 ft stars Deragh Campbell as a daycare worker whose quirks develop into unpredictable and dangerous behaviours. Last year, Campbell won the TFCA’s Jay Scott Award for emerging talent.
As runners-up, $5,000 prizes from Rogers Communications went to director Louise Archambault (And the Birds Rained Down) and jointly to White Lie co-directors Yonah Lewis and Calvin Thomas.
Creative director R.T. Thorne (“Utopia Falls,” “Blindspot”) and producers Ashleigh Rains (Canadian Strain) and Canadian Film Fest founder Bern Euler had TFCA members channel the spirits of Siskel & Ebert as they paired off to discuss some of the year’s most talked-about films.
“We always have a hard time choosing our Rogers Award winners, but the excellence of all three nominees made the choice this year especially difficult,” said TFCA President Peter Howell.
“Our selection of Anne at 13,000 ft for the TFCA’s top prize reflects our admiration of Kazik Radwanski’s masterful filmmaking and a stellar title performance by Deragh Campbell, as a woman on the verge of vertigo.”
“It’s gratifying and satisfying to see the TFCA’s critics celebrate Anne at 13,000 ft,” said Rogers Vice Chairman Phil Lind. “It’s a movie that shows the sheer power of a single performance. It’s an achievement that is exactly what this award is designed to encourage.”
The TFCA awarded the Clyde Gilmour Award to Jason Ryle, an Indigenous producer who is the outgoing executive director for the imagineNATIVE film festival. The award is named for the legendary Toronto Star film critic, and recognizes a Canadian industry figure who has made a substantial and outstanding contribution to the advancement and/or history of Canadian cinema.
Kelly Fyffe-Marshall was announced as the winner of the Jay Scott Prize for an emerging artist. Her short Black Bodies debuted to international acclaim last year and earned her a shot at her first feature. The award is named for the late, prestigious Globe and Mail critic, who famously championed young film talent.
In its mission to recognize new voices in film criticism, the TFCA jointly gave Mark Hanson and Rose Ho the Cineplex Entertainment Emerging Critic Award.
The TFCA is extremely grateful to founding sponsor Rogers Communications for the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award, and to Cineplex Entertainment and the Paradise Theatre for helping keep the spirit of Canadian cinema alive.
Under the TFCA’s rules, eligible contenders for the awards include films released in theatres or streaming in Toronto in 2020 as well as films that qualify for the 2020 Academy Awards and have a Toronto release scheduled by the end of March 2021.
The full list of TFCA Award winners and nominees for the 2020 season is available here.
Watch the virtual gala below!