The Rogers Best Canadian Film Award Returns March 9

January 20, 2021

The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open
The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open won the 2019 Rogers Best Canadian Film Award

The Toronto Film Critics Association is pleased to announce its Awards Gala for the 2020 movie year will be on Tuesday, March 9, 2021, on YouTube at 8 p.m. ET. One of the early markers of awards season, the 24th TFCA awards have been moved from their traditional January date to align with the 2021 awards season.


Like the movies themselves, the Toronto Film Critics Association is carrying on. In a year when films found audiences via streaming, the TFCA Awards — and their $100,000 Rogers Best Canadian Film Award — are coming to a home theatre near you.  In a year of firsts, the 2021 TFCA Awards show is not ticketed and the public is invited to log onto YouTube on March 9 at 8 p.m. ET and join the celebration for free.


“As strange as it may sound with most theatres closed, 2020 was a bumper year for movies, thanks to streaming,” said Peter Howell, TFCA president and gala executive director. “While enormously disruptive, the pandemic has not prevented filmmakers from connecting with audiences.  The TFCA is excited to move this year’s celebration online where it can be accessed by all.”


The 11 categories of the 24th TFCA Awards will be voted on and live tweeted by the TFCA on February 7, 2021.  The membership will also choose three finalists for the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award and the winner will be announced at the TFCA Awards Gala on March 9, 2021.


R.T. Thorne, director/producer (“Utopia Falls,” “Blindspot”) is creative director for the March 9 gala, which will be produced by Ashleigh Rains (“Things We Feel But Do Not Say”) and Canadian Film Festival founder Bern Euler. 


“We’re excited about the new ideas brought to the table by our production team, led by R.T. Thorne, Bern Euler and Ashleigh Rains,” Howell said.


Thorne added: “Ashleigh, Bern and I are thrilled to be working with the Toronto Film Critics Association to celebrate the year’s best films while highlighting the important relationship between critics and our diversifying film community.”


TFCA members had hundreds of films to consider for their slate of awards nominees.  These include: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best First Feature, Best Foreign Film, Best Screenplay, Best Animated Feature, and the Allan King Best Documentary Film Award.  Winners will be announced at the gala on March 9.


The TFCA Awards also celebrate Canada’s own film community. We are extremely grateful to founding sponsor Rogers Communications for the $100,000 Rogers Best Canadian Film Award, one of the largest arts prizes in Canada.


Other TFCA Awards given to Canadian film talent to be announced February 7 and presented at the March 9 Awards Gala are:  The Clyde Gilmour Award, named for the legendary Toronto Star film critic. The Clyde Gilmour Award recognizes a Canadian industry figure who has made a substantial and outstanding contribution to the advancement and/or history of Canadian cinema.  Past winners have included Deepa Mehta, Alanis Obomsawin and Michèle Maheux.


Additional awards include the Jay Scott Prize for an emerging artist, named for the renowned Globe and Mail film critic, and the Cineplex Entertainment Emerging Critic Award, which comes with a $1,000 prize.  The TFCA thanks Cineplex Entertainment for their sponsorship of this award in 2021.


The TFCA Awards Gala hosts will be announced in the coming days, along with special guest presenters.


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.