I spent the morning at the Deluxe Toronto Awards Brunch. Nice morning, though, the actual brunch was a little curious: a stick of ham, cherry tomato, pineapple, and potato. Very odd.
Anyways, highlights included meeting some of the people I have only seen from afar or know through their films. I had a nice conversation with Chris (A Bug and a Bag of Weed) Cuthbertson about his project's, Gillian Davidson Did What at Biblecamp?!, journey from outline to treatment and finally to the big pitch last Sunday. I was finally introduced to Cory Bowles, who wondered allowed if I was going to put the DVDs Clark Johnson was signing for me up for sale on the internet. (No way, man! They are signed 'To Hillary' so unless Hillary Clinton is a big fan of The Wire, I don't know who else would be interested.) I was also introduced to Treevenge and Hobo With a Shotgun producer Rob Cotterill, to whom I professed my love of Hobo by saying, "I bought the t-shirt!"
After the awards, Eva Madden's Sweet Nothing was read aloud by actors Beth Amiro, Michael McPhee, Andria Wilson, Jody Richardson and Josh McDonald, in the afternoon. It tells the story of Shawn, a hot-shot A&R rep recently let go from her job at a major label - a victim of the changing landscape of the music business - who travels back to Halifax to her old friends and to neglected family in Cape Breton. Of course, she reconnects with an old flame and makes fast friends with one of the young musicians this city produces, like other cities produce smog.
I admire the way Madden steered the narrative away from the Sweet Home Alabama-y trappings from which it was heading. Danny, the old flame that Shawn takes up with values his isolated life on the Cape and doesn't want the same things Shawn is looking for, and Madden makes her feisty enough to look elsewhere for happiness. If Shawn was a victim of the old way of doing business in the music industry, the conclusion has her taking advantage of the new digital age, with her own boutique label that exploits the internet and downloads for profit.
A large portion of the people at the reading were students. I sat next to a few of them while they 'ohhed' and 'awwed' their way through the romantic parts. This was annoying until the Donny character started to take a turn for the worse and the girls gave out a disgusted 'Jesus!' at his behavior. Sing it, sisters!
I really enjoyed Choke tonight. I thought it could have gone even farther in portraying such an outwardly unlikable character, but the overall story is good, crass, even a little touching. Radiohead's Reckoner from In Rainbows closed the film - it is actually quite a sincere song for such a snarky movie, but it creates a pretty tender moment. The damn song has been in my head all night!
Here is the full list of winners for you to peruse. I'm sure they all want to thank the academy:Atlantic Awards
Best Atlantic ShortBedroom – Jordan Canning
Best Atlantic FeatureDown to the Dirt - Justin Simms
Michael Weir Award for Best Original ScreenplayDown to the Dirt - Justin Simms, Sherry White
Rex Tasker Documentary AwardNorm - Kent Nason, Teresa MacInnes
Ed Higginson Cinematography AwardPassage - Kent Nason
Best DirectorPassage - John Walker
CBC Award for Outstanding Contribution to the IndustryBill Niven, Producer, Idlewild Films
PowerPost Craft Awards:
Best Art DirectionGrowing Op - Taavo Soodor, Alan MacLeod
Best EditingTreevenge - Jason Eisener
Best Sound DesignFor Wendy - Jacquelyn Mills, Andreas Mendritzki
Best Original ScoreOutside Afghanistan - David Christensen
Best Canadian Short Next Floor - Denis Villeneuve Honourable Mention: Passages - Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre
Best Canadian FeatureC'est pas moi, je le jure! - Philippe Falardeau
Best Canadian DocumentaryThat’s My Time – Adamm Liley
Best ActorC'est pas moi, je le jure! - Antoine L’Écuyer
Best ActressNurse.Fighter.Boy - Karen LeBlanc
Inspired Script:Dot’s Will, Scott Simpson