Posted on September 23, 2020

CIFF is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 CIFF Jury Awards. These films are recognized as the best of the festival by our esteemed Jury of film industry members from across North America, including some CIFF alumni.

Audiences, don't miss your chance to see these exceptional films at this year's festival, online or in the cinema. 

Here are the winners...

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Best Emerging Canadian Artist Award

RBC Emerging Canadian Artist Award & $10,000 CAD: Madeleine Sims-Fewer & Dusty Mancinelli, VIOLATION 

JURY STATEMENT: "This assured feature debut delivers on the promise of the duo’s previous short films. Bringing together exquisite cinematography by Adam Crosby, a haunting score by Andrea Boccadoro, and a (literally) gut-wrenching central performance by Sims-Fewer herself, these filmmakers craft their own subversive take on the revenge thriller, denying the audience any of the female exploitation or easy catharsis commonly found in the genre." 

Screening September 27, 8:45 p.m. MST at Cineplex Eau Claire, and online.

Directors Madeleine Sims-Fewer & Dusty Mancinelli will also be taking part in the Behind the Screen event, Filmmaker Chat: Telefilm Talent to Watch.

Best Emerging Canadian Artist Award Honourable Mention

Honourable Mention Emerging Artist: Pascal Plante, NADIA, BUTTERFLY

JURY STATEMENT: "NADIA, BUTTERFLY takes the viewer past the intensity and competitiveness of the world of elite swimming, this beautifully humane film shows the pressures these athletes put on themselves as they face the complexities of friendship, fear of failure, and the difficult choice to retire at a very young age."

Screening September 29, 5:30 p.m. MST at Globe Cinema, and online.

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Best Canadian Documentary Award

DGC Best Canadian Documentary Award & $5,000 CAD: Kim O'Bomsawin, CALL ME HUMAN 

JURY STATEMENT: "A moving portrait of Innu poet Josephine Bacon as she transforms the boundaries of her existence into a language that is as powerful and as soulful as the land in which she was born.”

Screening online September 24 - October 4, 2020.

Best Canadian Documentary Award Honourable Mention

Honourable Mention Canadian Documentary: Lulu Wei, THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE THIS PLACE, ANYPLACE

JURY STATEMENT: "An emotional story about the corporate redevelopment of historic Toronto landmark Honest Ed's, revealing the human collateral damage caused by gentrification.”

Screening September 26, 2:00 p.m. MST at Cineplex Eau Claire, and online.

Director Lulu Wei will also be taking part in the Behind the Screen event, Filmmaker Chat: Telefilm Talent to Watch.

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Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short

Best Narrative Short Award & $2,500 CAD: Francesca Canepa, THE SILENCE OF THE RIVER

JURY STATEMENT: "This meditative, mysterious work invites us into a timeless world rich with fable. Its themes of parent-child connection and the power of storytelling are brought to life through exquisite cinematography and precise, commanding performances."

This juried award also qualifies the winner for consideration in the Live Action Short Film category of the Academy Awards®

Screening on September 26, 12:00 p.m. MST at Cineplex Eau Claire, and online, as part of SHORTS PACKAGE: DRAMATIC FANATIC.

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Best Alberta Short Film Award

Best Alberta Short Film Award & $1,000 CAD + $5,000 CAD Gift Certificate from William F. White International: Weston Snider, DICHROME

JURY STATEMENT: “For its originality, cinematography, and filmmaking with intention, DICHROME is an enthralling short film from a rising voice in Alberta filmmaking."

Screening September 26, 7:00 p.m. MST at Cineplex Eau Claire, and online, as part of SHORTS PACKAGE: ALBERTA SPIRIT.

Director Weston Snider will also be taking part in the Behind the Screen event, Filmmaker Chat: Meet the Young Filmmakers.

Best Alberta Documentary Short Special Mention

Honourable Mention, Alberta Documentary Short: Lese Skidmore, (RE)CLAIMING INDIAN STATUS

Screening September 26, 7:00 p.m. MST at Cineplex Eau Claire, and online, as part of SHORTS PACKAGE: ALBERTA SPIRIT.

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Best International Narrative Feature

Best International Narrative Feature Award & $1,000 CAD: Srdan Golubović, FATHER (OTAC)

Screening September 24, 7:30 p.m. MST at Cineplex Eau Claire, and online.

JURY STATEMENT: “From its bracing opening scene to its patient absorbing finale, this story about a Serbian man fighting a corrupt bureaucracy for the right to parent his own children is brilliantly told. Confident direction and a superb minimalist lead performance transform misery into something like inspiration, not through simplistic triumph but from dogged loving persistence."

Best International Narrative Feature Honourable Mention

Honourable Mention International Narrative Feature: Samuel Kishi Leopo, THE WOLVES (LOS LOBOS)

Screening September 26, 11:00 a.m. MST at Cineplex Eau Claire, and online.

JURY STATEMENT: "An unexpected thematic companion to our winner, the jury would like to extend an honorable mention to another film about extreme poverty and parenting. Kishi's deft hand with child actors and the sensitive inventive storytelling make for a warm and moving film about parenting, community, and survival."

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Best International Documentary Feature

Best International Documentary Feature Award & $1,000 CAD: Shalini Kantayya, CODED BIAS

JURY STATEMENT: “A powerful and necessary examination of the impact of technology on marginalized communities, artfully and thoughtfully crafted through the prism of racial bias, and for sounding the alarm at a crucial moment in history”

Screening September 26, 1:30 p.m. MST at Cineplex Eau Claire, and online.

Best International Documentary Feature Honourable Mention

Honourable Mention International Documentary: Ala'A Mohsen, A NEW BEGINNING

JURY STATEMENT: “A compelling and deeply compassionate portrayal of a Syrian father & son as they navigate their new life in Norway, with all the challenges and breakthroughs of joy.”

Screening online September 24 - October 4.

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Best Student Short Film Award

Best Student Short Film Award & $1,000 CAD: Kargo Chen, CHEN CHEN

JURY STATEMENT: "For its emotional connectivity, mature directing, and captivating storytelling, CHEN CHEN is an eye-opening story shared with beautiful execution."

Screening on September 26, 12:00 p.m. MST at Cineplex Eau Claire, and online, as part of SHORTS PACKAGE: DRAMATIC FANATIC.

Best Student Short Film Award Honourable Mention

Honourable Mention Student Short Film: Kevin Haefelin, TRUMPET

Screening September 27, 2:30 p.m. MST at Cineplex Eau Claire, and online, as part of SHORTS PACKAGE: LINDA AND THE MOCKINGBIRDS.

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Best Live Action Short Film Award

Best Live Action Short Film Award & $1,000 CAD: Camille Hollett-French, FREYA

JURY STATEMENT: “Rhona Rees’s courageous lead performance propels this story of a single woman’s sudden struggle for personhood and body autonomy in a reality not too far from our current moment. FREYA is essential viewing.”

Screening October 1, 8:30 p.m. MST at Globe Cinema, and online, as part of SHORTS PACKAGE: LATE SHIFT.

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Best Documentary Short Film Award

Best Documentary Short Film Award & $1,000 CAD: Julia Jansch, MY FATHER THE MOVER

JURY STATEMENT: "For its poetic and joyful depiction of a father sharing his life's passion with his daughter. While a distinct portrait of a South African community transcending hardships through the art of dance, its universal themes of love and freedom offer inspiration in this uncertain time."

Screening September 24, 5:30 p.m. MST at Cineplex Eau Claire, and online, as part of SHORTS PACKAGE: FAMILY AFFAIR.

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Best Animated Short Film Award

Best Animated Short Film Award & $1,000 CAD: Catherine Lepage, THE GREAT MALAISE

JURY STATEMENT: “A slow-moving beautiful disaster with a smart aesthetic and strong artistic vision, that explores the perfectly imperfect state of being human." 

Screening October 4, 12:45 p.m. MST at Globe Cinema, and online, as part of SHORTS PACKAGE: ANIMATION NATION.

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These aren't the only awards we'll give out this year! On October 6, after the festival is over, look out for the CTV Audience Choice Awards. We'll be calculating your votes - online and in cinema - for your favourite shorts and features of the festival, as decided by you - the audience!

 

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