'The Forbidden Room' earns $100,000 Toronto film critics prize

TORONTO -- Veteran Winnipeg filmmaker Guy Maddin and his co-director Evan Johnson nabbed a $100,000 Toronto film critics prize at a rollicking dinner gala Tuesday that saluted the best in homegrown cinema.

See Full Article

The duo snagged the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award for their surreal outing "The Forbidden Room," a series of tales-within-tales featuring international stars including Charlotte Rampling, Geraldine Chaplin, Mathieu Amalric and Roy Dupuis.

The Toronto Film Critics Association announced their top pick at a freewheeling ceremony that also handed $5,000 runners-up prizes to Philippe Falardeau's "My Internship In Canada" and Andrew Cividino's "Sleeping Giant."

"I'm so happy and honoured," Maddin said as he took the stage to claim the big win with Johnson.

"$100,000 is enormously generous, thank you. With it, we hope to bring an NFL franchise to Winnipeg," he said to hoots and cheers from a rambunctious crowd including Falardeau, Cividino and fellow director Deepa Mehta.

Earlier, the critics group named Mehta as the recipient of its Technicolor Clyde Gilmour Award -- an honour which allowed Mehta to bestow $50,000 in film services to a filmmaker of her choice. Mehta chose documentary director Nisha Pahuja.

Other prizes went to director Anne Emond, who claimed an emerging artist award for her second feature "Les etres chers," and York University's Vladimir Paskaljevic, who earned the student film award for his short, "Absence Is Present."

Both awards carry a $5,000 cash prize.

Maddin and Johnson claimed the top award for their bizarre cinematic vision, a wild tribute to classic cinema packed with visual effects.

"I just want to take back every negative thing I've ever said about film critics and corporations. Thank you," Johnson said in his brief acceptance speech.

Earlier backstage, Falardeau heaped praise on Maddin, calling the Winnipeg filmmaker "an amazing artist."

"He is completely alone in his category in Canada," said Falardeau, an Oscar-nominated filmmaker for his francophone tear-jerker "Monsieur Lazhar."

"He is a singular universe for himself and I am so glad that he gets nominated because his work has not been shown to a wider public by the nature of the stuff that he does."

Before learning he had won, Maddin said he's certainly not opposed to chasing broad commercial success: "I've been chasing it for 30 years. I'm just not very good at it."

"You don't really want to work in a complete void. And in lieu of mega box office I'll take this, it feels good."

Presenter and actor Don McKellar used his time at the podium to poke fun at Maddin's well-established reputation for low-budget but critically adored art house fare, including "My Winnipeg," "The Saddest Music in the World," and "Twilight of the Ice Nymphs."

"I'm telling you right now that's too much money for Guy. I'm serious," McKellar joked of the $100,000 purse.

"That's more than his last 45 films combined, their total budgets. If I were you, critics -- and this is just a suggestion -- I would give an annual stipend, like a fund of maybe $10,000 to Guy every year for life. And he would make a film for you.

"And you could show it in your clubhouse or whatever and say, 'That's our film. Guy Maddin made that for us."'



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Didn't like Sean Spicer's Emmy cameo? 'People are reading too much into this,' he says

    Entertainment CBC News
    Sean Spicer says his surprise Emmy Awards appearance was a chance to have some fun, and suggested Tuesday that people who were upset by it were taking things too seriously. Clearly, not everyone was laughing, however. Source
  • In 'Battle of the Sexes,' King passes a baton to Emma Stone

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- Walking through a tunnel alongside Billie Jean King at the grounds of the U.S. Open, Emma Stone gasped at the size of its main court. King, of course, was more familiar with the sprawling tennis centre in Queens, New York -- it's named after her, after all (the stadium itself is named after another tennis legend, Arthur Ashe). Source
  • New Cirque Du Soliel show Volta shocks, awes

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    SARAH HANLON/ 24 HOURS You know that feeling you get at a really good concert or play? The one that only live-action artistry can create - when you know you are experiencing something that will never be heard and seen the same way ever again? In today's world of "Instagram or it didn't happen," these moments are hard to come by, but Cirque du Soleil is ready to change all that. Source
  • 'I'm not her': Reese Witherspoon's daughter mistaken for her at Emmys party

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Reese Witherspoon’s daughter Ava Phillippe was mistaken for the actress at an Emmy Awards party on Sunday. The 18-year-old was accompanying her mum to an HBO after-party when a photographer called her Reese while requesting a photo. Source
  • Mother of all box sets: Gene Simmons to deliver 'vault'

    Entertainment CTV News
    Curious about Kiss songs that never made the band's 20 albums -- and have US$50,000 to spare? Gene Simmons wants to share his unreleased tracks, and will come to you. The bassist and songwriter of the fire-breathing, makeup-wearing hard rockers has announced a box set that is among the most expensive ever created. Source
  • Bill O'Reilly says ouster was a 'political hit job'

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Bill O'Reilly is characterizing his firing from Fox News Channel as a "political hit job" and says the network made a business decision to get rid of him. In a contentious interview with Matt Lauer of NBC's "Today" show on Tuesday, O'Reilly said his conscience was clear about how he dealt with women in the working world. Source
  • The most dangerous celebrity on the web? Avril Lavigne, apparently

    Entertainment CBC News
    One-time pop-punk princess Avril Lavigne has beaten superstar Beyoncé at something, but she may not be totally happy with her victory — she's been named the most dangerous celebrity on the internet. Cybersecurity firm McAfee said Tuesday that Lavigne, whose last album came out in 2013, was the most likely celebrity to land users on websites that carry viruses or malware. Source
  • Small quake prompts Hollywood, L.A. to light up Twitter

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- A small earthquake with an epicenter just outside Los Angeles has gotten people in southern California talking on social media. The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude-3.6 quake hit at about 11:20 Monday night. Source
  • Kevin Hart's ex-wife opens up about his 'lies and infidelity'

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Kevin Hart’s ex-wife Torrei opened up about the “lies and infidelity” that ended their marriage on U.S. TV show Inside Edition on Monday. Torrei was married to the comedian from 2003 and 2011 and is the mother to his children Hendrix and Heaven. Source
  • Jake Gyllenhaal finally answers a question about ex Taylor Swift -- sort of

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Jake Gyllenhaal has finally answered a question about his ex-girlfriend Taylor Swift, after years of avoiding the topic of his former romance during interviews. The 36-year-old actor and the 27-year-old singer dated for just three months in 2010, but the relationship was enough to inspire some of Taylor’s songs including All Too Well. Source