This year, our 2017 Awards Reception was again held at the Momofuku Daisho in Downtown Toronto. We want to congratulate all of our award winners and filmmakers! We wish you the best in your future projects and stories. You can visit our Awards & Jury page for the full breakdown of awards and prizes.
Full list of winners:
Menkes Audience Choice Award
BAD GENIUS by Nattawut Poonpiriya
So You Think You Can Pitch? Emerging Category Winner
TELL IT TO MY MOTHER by Alice Liu & Bianca Linhares-Huang
So You Think You Can Pitch? Established Category Winner
HARU’S NEW YEAR by Alice Il Shin
National Bank Best First Feature Film Award
A PIECE OF PARADISE by Patrick Alcedo
Jury Statement: We were impressed and moved by the film’s thoughtful and beautifully nuanced portrayal of women who face the seemingly impossible tasks of living in two places at once and of somehow finding purpose and fulfillment in both worlds. The jury believes that the film’s intelligence and sensitivity makes it all the more remarkable as a first feature.
Best Documentary Award
A WHALE OF A TALE by Megumi Sasaki
Jury Statement: On paper this film seems like an impossible task. However, with grace and nuance, this film deftly brings compassion and understanding to a hotly controversial debate. The jury recognizes the filmmaker’s skill and courage to strip away the sensationalism, bitterness and hysteria and truly find the humanity. In doing so, this film continued to resonant and challenge long after the final credits rolled.
Centennial Best Canadian Film Award
A PIECE OF PARADISE by Patrick Alcedo
Jury Statement: An intimate portrait of the lives of three Filipina women who have come to Canada as foreign domestic workers in Toronto. A Piece of Paradise is a rumination on the challenges of family, home, identity and the pursuit of one’s own personal paradise. Shot in three countries over a five year period, the jury was impressed by the filmmaker’s honest portrayal of these women lives and their dedication to their faith, their community and their family.
TEIICHI: BATTLE OF SUPREME HIGH by Akira Nagai
Jury Statement: The jury was completely taken by this outrageous, wickedly sharp and hilarious satire that never ceased to surprise and delight from the first frame to the last. This is cinema at its most alive and unruly, not afraid to confidently exist in a register all its own. An exhilarating piece of work.
Fasken Martineau Best Feature Film Award
WOMEN OF THE WEEPING RIVER by Sheron Dayoc
Jury Statement: A film that’s both small and huge, this film brought us intimately into a unique world, with characters we soon won’t forget. Cruel but also tender, the film quietly builds, methodically revealing new layers, until by the end, you’re left floored. This is a testament to the filmmaker’s assuredness of vision and command of storytelling. The jury was so impressed by this filmmaker’s distinct and profound cinematic voice.
Air Canada Short Film or Video Award
These short films displayed powerful storytelling in a compact amount of time, displaying masterful handling of content ranging from complex family dynamics to personal freedoms at work.
THE BOSS 老大 by Evan Wu
Jury Statement: A well-told, convincing portrayal of a delicately changing relationship between two brothers, moving and empowering the lives of people with developmental disabilities.
GUO MIE by Joseph Chen-Chieh Hsu
Jury Statement: A beautiful, complex portrait of a matriarch saying goodbye to a lost love, hello to his new girlfriend and the family dynamics in the wake of his death. It will make you hungry for her shrimp rolls and want to ride in a karaoke cab with her. Such skillful storytelling with a strong lead character, featuring wonderful moments of humour blended throughout the film.
MY TURN by Nakyung Kim
Jury Statement: Intimate and chilling, this gut-wrenching film provides a fresh perspective on a very timely topic. Very believable portrayal of how people’s need to protect their self interest can turn so quickly to coldness and harshness.
SUMMER HOURS by Liong Siew-Hong
Jury Statement: Quietly heartbreaking, this film was beautifully acted by its young cast, expressing more with a gesture than any words could convey.
FOX AND THE WHALE by Robin Joseph
Jury Statement: We were immediately drawn into the stunning visuals of the lush natural environment, combined with a touch of whimsy, playfulness, and wonder. Enjoyable for any age, this film needs to be shared to many audiences.
DGC & WIFT-T Award
OVER TIME by Mariam Zaidi
Jury Statement: Commendable doc that provides an intimate portrait bringing us to the heart of a changing Regent Park.