Shot-in-Canada films 'Brooklyn,' 'Room' in best picture race

Canadian talent looms large at the Oscars this year, with the acclaimed shot-in-Canada co-productions "Brooklyn" and "Room" both going up against high-profile giants in the best picture battle.

See Full Article

The one-two punch marks a rare achievement for homegrown features. The last time a Canadian co-production competed for best film was 1982, when Louis Malle's "Atlantic City," a partnership with France, lost to "Chariots of Fire."

"Brooklyn" and "Room" face stiff competition -- this year's race is dominated by big-budget, star-packed titles including "The Big Short," "Bridge of Spies," "Mad Max: Fury Road," "The Martian," "The Revenant" and "Spotlight."

Irish-Canadian writer Emma Donoghue picked up a best adapted screenplay nomination for "Room," based on her award-winning novel of the same name about a young boy held captive in a shed with his mother.

Filmed in Toronto, "Room" was a Canada-Ireland co-production that pooled creative, technical and financial resources.

"A lot of people in those two countries are thrilled to see this Canadian-Irish co-production manage to be up there in the big leagues with huge studio pictures," Donoghue said from Nice, France.

"It's just wonderful to see a fairly low-budget film, made mostly with state money, can do so well."

The period romance "Brooklyn," a Canada-U.K.-Ireland co-production largely shot in Montreal, stars Saoirse Ronan as a young Irish woman torn between two countries and two men.

Co-producer Pierre Even said he's thrilled to see Canadian talent compete head-to-head with bigger features, touting a cast and crew peppered with Montreal talent, including actresses Jessica Pare and Emily Bett Rickards.

"With successes like 'Room' and 'Brooklyn' it brings back a lot of marketability for Canadian films and Canadian crews and Canadian industry," Even said from Montreal.

U.K.-based producers Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey are listed as the filmmakers who would get a trophy if "Brooklyn" wins.

But Even said that doesn't take away from the achievements of Canadian artists.

"It's important that Telefilm continues to support these types of projects," he said.

"It will help us as producers and creators to get more jobs and to do more business in the future."

Telefilm, the Crown corporation in charge of promoting and developing the Canadian film industry, said it provided $4,518,881 to "Room" for production and marketing efforts, while "Brooklyn" got $3,227,904.

"We know that co-production is something that, when it's done right, works amazingly well and I think these are two success stories that we should be very proud of," Telefilm executive director Carolle Brabant said from Toronto.

"Room" producer David Gross said co-productions are a necessity these days.

"The films have gotten too expensive, there's not enough money here to really just exist inside of Canada so it's forced producers to take a more global outlook," he said from Toronto, adding that partnerships also open a film up to foreign markets.

"Spotlight," meanwhile, has its own share of Cancon thanks to the involvement of Toronto-born executive producer Michael Bederman, who was instrumental in getting much of the interior newsroom and courthouse scenes shot in Toronto and Hamilton.

"The Revenant" boasts strong Canadian ties, too, with much of the film having been shot in Alberta and British Columbia. It features a heavy contingent of local background performers and technical talent, several of whom earned nominations in categories including sound mixing, visual effects, production design, and makeup and hairstyling.

Bederman said he spent the morning texting "Spotlight" writer/director Tom McCarthy, writer Josh Singer and Canadian actress Rachel McAdams, who scored a best supporting actress nomination.

Although the story is set in Boston, the Toronto-born filmmaker touted the many Canadian connections to the film.

"Ninety-five per cent of our crew are Toronto locals and they were fantastic," Bederman said from New York, where he now lives.

"There does seem to be a unique Canadian perspective that filmmakers have and creative people have that seems to fit in very well with American sensibilities."

This year's Academy Awards show, to be hosted by Chris Rock, is on Feb. 28.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Victory for 'Dunkirk' and 'Girls Trip' at box office

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- It's victory for "Dunkirk" at the box office this weekend. Studios on Sunday say the Christopher Nolan World War II epic earned an estimated $50.5 million to top the charts, with $11.7 million of that coming from IMAX screens. Source
  • Charlize Theron talks equal pay, female action stars at Comic-Con

    Entertainment CTV News
    SAN DIEGO -- Charlize Theron has a message to audiences: See female-driven movies, and studios will make more. "I always say to studios, 'Make more female-driven movies,' " Theron said. "They said, 'We would if people go and see them. Source
  • Chicago festival marking Pokemon Go anniversary goes awry

    Entertainment CBC News
    A major Pokemon Go festival in Chicago Saturday to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the virtual game went badly awry when technical glitches prevented many fans from logging on. The problems forced Niantic Inc., the developer of the wildly popular augmented reality game, to issue a statement saying everyone who registered for the event would get a full refund for the $20 tickets and $100 in credits for use of the app. Source
  • Black Panther cast members reveal new details about film

    Entertainment CBC News
    Black Panther stole the show Saturday night at Marvel Studios' Comic-Con presentation, outshining the Ant-Man, Thor and even the ultimate Avengers team-up, Infinity War. Fans went wild for the exclusive sneak peek at the upcoming superhero pic, featuring star Chadwick Boseman T'Challa intercepting a sketchy vibranium trade between Andy Serkis' Klaw and Martin Freeman's Everett. Source
  • Hilary Duff's apartment broken into, jewelry stolen after she posted vacation pics from Canada

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Hilary Duff has reportedly lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in jewellery after thieves broke in to her apartment. The multi-talented singer and actress is believed to have been targeted after posting pictures of her holiday on Instagram, making eagle-eyed robbers aware that her Beverly Hills apartment was empty while she was on vacation. Source
  • Prince William, Harry regret final rushed conversation with Diana

    Entertainment CBC News
    Britain's Prince William and Harry have spoken of their regret over the last conversation they had with their mother Princess Diana before she died, saying the telephone call was "desperately rushed". In a documentary called Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Diana's death in a Paris car crash on Aug. Source
  • Prince William, Prince Harry regret final rushed conversation with Diana

    Entertainment CBC News
    Britain's Prince William and Harry have spoken of their regret over the last conversation they had with their mother Princess Diana before she died, saying the telephone call was "desperately rushed". In a documentary called Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Diana's death in a Paris car crash on Aug. Source
  • ‘Ballers’, ‘Room 104’ and ‘Puss in Boots’ top this week’s TV must-sees

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Ballers Season Premiere Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson returns to his role as retired athlete turned financial manager when the series picks up where it left off. Spencer Strasmore is looking for more high-profile clients to pay off the debt he’s racked up. Source
  • Marvel bewitches Comic-Con with 'Black Panther' and 'Thor: Ragnarok'

    Entertainment CTV News
    SAN DIEGO -- "Black Panther" stole the show Saturday night at Marvel Studios' Comic-Con presentation, outshining the Ant-Man, Thor and even the ultimate Avengers team-up, "Infinity War." Fans went wild for the exclusive sneak peek at the upcoming superhero pic, featuring star Chadwick Boseman T'Challa intercepting a sketchy vibranium trade between Andy Serkis' Klaw and Martin Freeman's Everett. Source
  • Warner Bros. previews D.C.'s Justice League at Comic-Con as Affleck shuts down exit rumours

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    SAN DIEGO — Ben Affleck is still Batman. The actor shot down rumours that he would be hanging up his cape for the stand-alone Batman film, even though he recently ceded directing responsibilities. Speaking to a crowd of about 6,500 fans at San Diego Comic-Con, Affleck unequivocally assured the crowd that he is still starring in “The Batman. Source