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12/12/2016

Toronto Film Critics Announce Canadian Film Noms

How Heavy this Hammer
The Toronto Film Critics Association announced the three finalists for the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award. TFCA kept the contenders within a small radius by nominating three Toronto filmmakers: Kazik Radwanski's engrossing character study How Heavy this Hammer, Hugh Gibson's raw and powerful The Stairs, and Matt Johnson's found footage film Operation Avalanche. The latter nomination is arguably as much (or more) a vote of confidence for Johnson's outspokenness about the state of Canadian film. The winner will be announced at the TFCA awards in January and nets a prize of $100 000 with the runners up receiving $5000.


Canadian films didn't receive much in terms of competitive prizes from the TFCA, although The Stairs appeared as a runner-up in the feature documentary category. (That award went to Kristen Johnson's Cameraperson.) Robert Eggers won the Best First Feature prize for the Mattawa-shot co-production The Witch, which features a handful of Canadian credits in creative roles.

Moonlight won the top award of Best Film, while Toni Erdmann scooped a trio of prizes for Best Director (Maren Ade), Best Foreign Language Film, and Best Actress (Sandra Huller). Peter Simonischek was also a runner-up for Best Actor, as was Toni Erdmann for Best Film. Canadian director Denis Villeneuve saw his Arrival shut out, but was named the recipient of the 20th Anniversary Special Award for Excellence in recognition of his work in the Canuck film scene and for finding success in Hollywood without compromising his independent vision.

The list of winners is as follows:

The full list of 2016 Toronto Film Critics Association Awards winners and runners-up:
BEST PICTURE
“Moonlight” (Mongrel Media)
Runners-up
            “Manchester by the Sea” (Mongrel Media)
            “Toni Erdmann” (Mongrel Media)

BEST ACTOR
            Adam Driver, “Paterson” (Mongrel Media)
Runners-up
            Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”
Peter Simonischek, “Toni Erdmann”

BEST ACTRESS
            Sandra Hüller, “Toni Erdmann”
Runners-up
            Rebecca Hall, “Christine” (The Orchard)
            Isabelle Huppert, “Elle” (Mongrel Media)
            Natalie Portman, “Jackie” (Fox Searchlight)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
           Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”
Runners-up
            Ralph Fiennes, “A Bigger Splash” (Fox Searchlight)
            Michael Shannon, “Nocturnal Animals” (Focus Features)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
            Michelle Williams, “Manchester by the Sea”
Runners-up
            Viola Davis, “Fences”   (Paramount)
            Naomie Harris, “Moonlight”

BEST DIRECTOR
            Maren Ade, “Toni Erdmann”
Runners-up
            Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”  (Entertainment One)
            Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight”
           
BEST SCREENPLAY, ADAPTED OR ORIGINAL
            “Manchester by the Sea” by Kenneth Lonergan
Runners-up
“Moonlight” by Barry Jenkins
            “Toni Erdmann” by Maren Ade

BEST FIRST FEATURE
“The Witch” directed by Robert Eggers  (Elevation Pictures)
Runners-up
“The Edge of Seventeen” directed by Kelly Fremon Craig  (VVS Films)
“Swiss Army Man” directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert  (D Films)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
            “Zootopia” (Walt Disney Pictures)
Runners-up
            “The Red Turtle” (A-Z Films)
“Kubo and the Two Strings” (Focus Features)

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
            “Toni Erdmann”
Runners-up
            “Elle” (Mongrel Media)
            “The Handmaiden” (Mongrel Media)

CANADIAN TIRE ALLAN KING DOCUMENTARY FILM AWARD
            “Cameraperson” (Films We Like)
Runners-up
            “Fire at Sea” (Films We Like)
            “The Stairs” (Midnight Lamp Films)

ROGERS BEST CANADIAN FILM AWARD FINALISTS
            “How Heavy This Hammer” directed by Kazik Radwanski  (MDFF)
“Operation Avalanche” directed by Matt Johnson (Entertainment One)
“The Stairs” directed by Hugh Gibson  (Midnight Lamp Films)