An interview with Swan Song director Chelsea McMullan about their Rogers Best Canadian Documentary nominee on Karen Kain’s Swan Lake.
Nomadland Leads 24th Annual TFCA Award Winners
February 7, 2021
Nomadland wins Best Picture of 2020, Best Director and Best Actress for filmmaker Chloé Zhao and star Frances McDormand
And the Birds Rained Down, Anne at 13,000 Ft., and White Lie compete for Rogers $100,000 Best Canadian Film Award
Nomadland, a socially evocative film about a community of the “RV homeless,” found a home with the Toronto Film Critics Association, taking three top awards at the organization’s annual vote.
Nomadland was awarded Best Picture, Best Director for Chloé Zhao, and Best Actress for Frances McDormand.
The TFCA chose Riz Ahmed as Best Actor for his role as a drummer who loses his hearing in Sound of Metal.
Newcomer Maria Bakalova, who pranked Trump administration lawyer Rudy Giuliani while shooting Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, was named Best Supporting Actress for her part in the Sacha Baron Cohen sequel. TFCA members chose Daniel Kaluuya as Best Supporting Actor for his role as Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in the ’60s activist drama Judas and the Black Messiah.
Lee Isaac Chung won in the Best Screenplay category for his film Minari, about a Korean American family that takes over a farm in the 1980s in Arkansas.
Radha Blank’s comedy The Forty-Year Old Version, about a schoolteacher who becomes a hip-hop artist in her 40s, was awarded Best First Feature. Blank wrote, directed, produced and starred.
The awards were voted by TFCA members at a virtual meeting on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021. They will be presented along with the prestigious Rogers Best Canadian Film Award at a virtual gala in Toronto, March 9, 2021, which will air live on YouTube at 8 p.m. The three finalists chosen for the $100,000 Rogers award are And the Birds Rained Down by Louise Archambault, Anne at 13,000 Ft. by Kazik Radwanski and White Lie by Yonah Lewis and Calvin Thomas. Runners-up will each receive $5,000. The virtual gala will be co-hosted by Elaine “Lainey” Lui and Kathleen Newman-Bremang.
Best International Film went to the provocative Bacurau, a Most Dangerous Game-type tale of an isolated and colourful Brazilian village that must protect itself against an invasion by high-tech armed foreigners. Juliano Dornelles and Kleber Mendonca Filho are the co-directors.
Collective, by Alexander Nanaua, a Romanian documentary about investigative journalists putting their lives in jeopardy uncovering corruption, was given the Allan King Documentary Film Award.
Wolfwalkers, the finale of Tomm Moore’s animated fantasy adventure, Irish Folklore Trilogy, was named Best Animated Feature.
“Chloé Zhao’s sublime road movie, Nomadland, brilliantly speaks to our shared 21st-century examination of our life journeys, which is why we made it our most celebrated film this year with three prizes,” said Peter Howell, TFCA president and gala executive producer.
“Our three nominees for the $100,000 Rogers Best Canadian Film Award represent the best in current Canadian cinema: the emotional directness of Anne at 13,000 Ft., the truth-telling of White Lie, and the late-life discoveries of And the Birds Rained Down,” Howell said.
Also announced Feb. 7 was the 2021 recipient of the Clyde Gilmour Award, Jason Ryle, an Indigenous producer, curator, and story editor who is the outgoing executive director of the imagineNATIVE film festival. The award, named for the legendary Toronto Star film critic, 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 film 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 & Mail critic, who famously championed young film talent.
Also announced Feb. 7 was the Cineplex Entertainment Emerging Critic Award, awarded in a tie vote to Mark Hanson and Rose Ho. The TFCA thanks Cineplex Entertainment for its sponsorship of this award, and gives special thanks to our newest sponsor, the Paradise Theatre.
The TFCA is extremely grateful to founding sponsor Rogers Communications for the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award, and for its continuing commitment to Canadian film in the form of one of the country’s largest arts prizes.
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.
“Change and uncertainty have been anxious realities for the past year, but we are delighted to be able to continue our annual tradition of celebrating the best in film at home and abroad,” Howell said. “And here’s some change we can all embrace: the TFCA invites movie lovers to join us for the first virtual version of our gala awards show, which you can watch for free via YouTube.”
The full list of 2020 Toronto Film Critics Association Awards winners and runners-up:
First Cow (MK2 Mile End)
Minari (Elevation Pictures)
ROGERS BEST CANADIAN FILM
And the Birds Rained Down (MK2 Mile End)
Anne at 13,000 Ft. (MDFF)
White Lie (levelFilm)
Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal) (Pacific Northwest Pictures)
Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) (Netflix)
Mads Mikkelsen (Another Round) (Mongrel Media)
Frances McDormand (Nomadland) (Searchlight)
Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) (Netflix)
Sidney Flanigan (Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Always) (Focus Features)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah) (Warner Bros)
Leslie Odom, Jr. (One Night in Miami) (Amazon Prime Video)
Paul Raci (Sound of Metal) (Pacific Northwest Pictures)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm) (Amazon Prime Video)
Olivia Colman (The Father) (Elevation Pictures)
Yuh-jung Youn (Minari) (Elevation Pictures)
Chloé Zhao (Nomadland) (Searchlight)
Kelly Reichardt (First Cow) (MK2 Mile End)
Lee Isaac Chung (Minari) (Elevation Pictures)
Minari (Elevation Pictures)
Sound of Metal (Pacific Northwest Pictures)
BEST FIRST FEATURE
The Forty-Year-Old Version (Netflix)
The Father (Elevation Pictures)
Promising Young Woman (Focus Features)
Wolfwalkers (Apple TV+)
The Willoughbys (Netflix)
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Bacurau (Kino Lorber)
Another Round (Mongrel Media)
Beanpole (Kino Lorber)
ALLAN KING DOCUMENTARY AWARD
Collective (Mongrel Media)
Crip Camp (Netflix)
David Byrne’s American Utopia (Crave/HBO Canada)
Time (Amazon Prime Video)
CLYDE GILMOUR AWARD
JAY SCOTT AWARD
TFCA CINEPLEX EMERGING CRITIC AWARD
The TFCA virtual gala will stream live on YouTube on March 9, 2021 at 8 p.m.