All You Can Eat Buddha
All You Can Eat Buddha

Ian Lagarde’s first feature ALL YOU CAN EAT BUDDHA, and Jason and Carlos Sanchez’s A WORTHY COMPANION tied to win the Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Feature Film at the 2017 Whistler Film Festival. The jury states “each in their own way convey unique visions and creative storytelling the jury believes have made and will make powerful contributions to the world of cinema.”

A WORTHY COMPANION takes a fresh and new perspective that explores the complexity and humanity within the predator, victim relationship. This film questions how we perpetuate manipulative power dynamics between adult and child through the inner struggle of our female protagonists. ALL YOU CAN EAT BUDDHA is a movie that pushes the boundaries of image and sound and proposes an unusual, and assured cinematic narrative that juxtaposes dream and reality in a lost paradise.

In addition, the jury awarded Ian Lagarde with the Best Borsos Director Award presented by the Directors Guild of Canada, British Columbia.

Evan Rachel Wood, star of the Canadian film A WORTHY COMPANION, was the recipient of this year’s Best Performance in a Borsos Competition Film Award. The jury noted that “Evan gives a brave, raw nuance performance that explores the grey areas between predator and victim”.

The Borsos Award for Best Screenplay went to Grayson Moore, writer and co-director of CARDINALS, which presents a fresh take on the psychological drama that unfolds with the unpredictability of a great novel.

Best Cinematography in a Borsos Film went to cinematographer Sara Mishara for A WORTHY COMPANION, with an honorable mention to Nicolas Bolduc for HOCHELAGA, LAND OF SOULS. The jury wanted to acknowledge the work of a director of photography that managed to create a rich and detailed visual universe through a very subtle crafting of the light.

The World Documentary Award was presented to THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ANDRÉ directed by Kate Novack. The jury stated: “The winner of the world documentary award delivers a fascinating portrait of a larger-than-life personality, but admirably escapes the trappings of simple biography by revealing how a towering, influential figure still thrives in an imperfect world.”

The jury also gave an honourable mention to Alan Zweig, director of THERE IS A HOUSE HERE, which is a film that explores the harsh realities of a fractured community and yet it discovers, in fact, that society can gather together and create a strong and supportive community for those in perpetual need.

The Best Mountain Culture Film Award went to DEPTH PERCEPTION directed by Chip Taylor and Chris Murphy. The jury stated that “DEPTH PERCEPTION was a clever and awesome representation of mountain culture, pure entertainment. It was able to tie in the full ‘story’ with a simple well thought out concept. Beautifully shot with exceptional snowboarding. The writing had the perfect balance of edge, accessibility, and meaning. It was able to transport the judges to a place of imagination just outside of realism but staying grounded in themes of the sport, environmentalism, and spiritualism.”

The $1,000 Canadian ShortWork Award went to WE FORGOT TO BREAK UP, directed by Chandler Levack. The jury stated that “this cinematically stunning short film delivers at every turn. It’s beautifully written with wonderfully naturalistic dialogue, it’s poetic, stylish and superbly performed, most notably by our lead. Captivating from start to finish, this first time director is extremely deserving of this recognition.” The jury has given an honorable mention to CYPHER by Lawrence Le Lam.

The International ShortWork Award went to FEAR US WOMEN directed by David Darg. The jury stated: “Compelling from the opening minute, this honest and raw documentary is an unflinching look at the fearless women on the battle front in Syria. It’s a gritty and honest story with an amazing message – one that needs to be told.”

The $500 ShortWork Student Award went to FLOATING LIGHT, directed by Natalie Murao. The jury stated: “The future of BC filmmaking is in very good hands. This was a very impressive lineup of student shorts, so to standout amongst this group is a major accomplishment. For its impressive performances, dreamy aesthetic, and for the assuredness and subtly in its directorial vision, the jury is pleased to give this award to a stunningly accomplished and inventive film that uses a quiet voice to speak loudly. This is a filmmaker with an extremely bright future.”

The MPPIA Short Film Award was awarded to Veronika Kurz for 20 Minutes to Life. The award consists of a $15,000 cash award plus up to $100,000 in services. The completed project will have its world premiere screening at the 2018 Whistler Film Festival.

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists presented this year’s EDA Award for Best Female-directed Feature to Eisha Marjara’s VENUS, a film that tells the tale of a woman in transition. The jury stated: “VENUS is both a touching drama about the hardship of transition and how it affects family, friendships, and relationships but it’s also a really lovely and reaffirming story of love and the strength of friends and family. And we enthusiastically applaud the brilliant performance from Debargo Sanyal, who moved us to new understanding. Brava Majara and Sanyal.”

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists presented the EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Short Film to Sharren Lee’s THE THINGS YOU THINK I’M THINKING. The jury stated: “At its center is a person you don’t often get to see on the screen: Sean, a burn survivor and amputee who re-enters the world of dating. In a bar, he meets with Caleb, an able-bodied and appealing man who appears to take a romantic interest in him. And while, despite having no hands, Sean has managed to master getting around with great agility and some panache, his next roadblock is himself and being able to overcome his fears, insecurities, and trust issues — something that’s probably familiar to all of us. Ultimately, at the heart of the film are two people looking to make a human connection. And we found that we connect with them, too.”

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists presented a Special Jury EDA Award to Kyra Sedgwick for her directorial debut STORY OF A GIRL. The jury stated: “A well balanced, timely and beautifully crafted film about a teenage girl dealing with the fallout of modern-day bullying. Anchored by a wonderful lead performance from Ryann Shane and memorable turns from Kevin Bacon and Sosie. We take special pleasure and pride in presenting the EDA Award to Kyra because as a young actress she actually played the granddaughter of the Eda for whom the awards are named, activist actress Eda Reiss Merin, the mother of AWFJ president, Jennifer Merin. We look forward to seeing more from Kyra!”

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