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

  • Weinstein paid $1M to silence Italian model who accused him of groping: report

    Entertainment CBC News
    Harvey Weinstein paid $1 million US to silence an Italian model who accused him of groping her in 2015 after prosecutors decided not to charge him, and in the 1990s, his brother paid other accusers from his personal bank account, a magazine reported Tuesday. Source
  • Pixar co-founder John Lasseter steps down over 'missteps' with employees

    Entertainment CBC News
    Pixar co-founder and Walt Disney Animation chief John Lasseter is taking a six-month leave of absence citing "missteps" with employees. In a vaguely worded memo obtained by The Associated Press Tuesday, Lasseter says he knows he has made some employees feel disrespected and uncomfortable. Source
  • Pixar co-founder John Lasseter takes leave over 'missteps' with employees

    Entertainment CBC News
    Pixar co-founder and Walt Disney Animation chief John Lasseter is taking a six-month leave of absence citing "missteps" with employees. In a vaguely worded memo obtained by The Associated Press Tuesday, Lasseter says he knows he has made some employees feel disrespected and uncomfortable. Source
  • Disney Animation, Pixar chief John Lasseter taking leave

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- Just days before Pixar's "Coco" is set to hit theatres, Pixar co-founder and Walt Disney Animation chief John Lasseter announced he is taking a six-month leave of absence citing "missteps" with employees. Source
  • People with facial differences see their stories reflected in Wonder

    Entertainment CBC News
    When Vanessa Wiens was just 12 years old, she was out walking her dog and someone yelled, "Hey you, ugly ... you should go kill yourself." She did contemplate suicide, being the target of cruel comments in her neighbourhood at least four times a week when she was growing up. Source
  • 'He still feels like Michael from Vancouver:' Junos tap 'guy next door' Bublé as 2018 host

    Entertainment CBC News
    After the curtain fell on the 2016 Juno Awards, producers behind the Canadian music celebration received an effusive call from a devoted fan praising the awards telecast: Michael Bublé. "He said: 'I would love to host again. Source
  • Canadian singer Michael Buble is 2018 Juno Awards host

    Entertainment CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- Canadian singer Michael Buble will be the host the 2018 Juno Awards. Buble had been tapped to host the music awards show last year before he bowed out when his son Noah was diagnosed with cancer. Source
  • Anne Murray donates 40 years of memorabilia to University of Toronto

    Entertainment CBC News
    Anne Murray's decision to downsize led to some good news for her Toronto-based fans: the singer has donated 40 years' worth of memorabilia that can now be viewed at the University of Toronto. Packing up her Toronto home to move into a condo meant having to decide what to do with dozens of boxes of memorabilia, and the school convinced the Nova Scotia-born singer to donate it rather than throw it away. Source
  • CBS News, PBS cut ties to Charlie Rose following sex allegations

    Entertainment CBC News
    CBS News has fired Charlie Rose following sexual misconduct allegations. CBS had earlier suspended Rose following Monday's Washington Post story about him, while both PBS and Bloomberg also halted distribution of his nightly interview show. Source
  • Canadian documentary series 'Hip-Hop Evolution' among International Emmy winners

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- A Canadian documentary series about the history of hip hop was among the winners at the 2017 International Emmy Awards gala Monday night in New York. "Hip-Hop Evolution," which is hosted by rapper Shad and was broadcast on HBO, won in the arts programming category. Source