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ANTIGONE directed by Sophie Deraspe
ANTIGONE directed by Sophie Deraspe

Québécois writer/director Sophie Deraspe’s feature ANTIGONE swept the coveted 16th edition of the Borsos Competition awards at the 2019 Whistler Film Festival, taking home four of the five awards including Best Canadian Feature Film. The jury stated: “ANTIGONE is a stunning, provocative film that captures the heartbreaking and complex realities of immigration, directed with a singular boldness.”

The jury also awarded Deraspe with the Best Borsos Director Award presented by the Directors Guild of Canada, British Columbia as well as Best Screenplay of a Borsos Film. Deraspe has premiered three of her films at WFF to date and is the only filmmaker to have won the Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Feature twice, winning in 2009 for her film LES SIGNES VITAUX (VITAL SIGNS). ANTIGONE is Canada’s official submission for best international feature for the 2020 Academy Awards.


Nahéma Ricci, star of ANTIGONE, was the recipient of this year’s Best Performance in a Borsos Competition Film Award with an honorable mention to Ella Ballentine for her performance in Nicole Dorsey’s directorial debut BLACK CONFLUX.

Best Cinematography in a Borsos Film went to cinematographer Celiana Cárdenas for her work in THE CUBAN directed by Sergio Navaretta. The jury said they presented this to the film that they felt showed an expressive quality to the lighting and emotional use of color that supports the narrative.

The World Documentary Award was presented to ONCE WERE BROTHERS: ROBBIE ROBERTSON AND THE BAND directed by Daniel Roher with an honorable mention going to PANDORA’S BOX: LIFTING THE LID ON MENSTRUATION directed by Rebecca Snow.

The new Just Watch Us: Best BC Director Award went to director Tony Dean Smith for VOLITION, which had its Canadian premiere at the festival.

The Best Mountain Culture Film Award went to COMING HOME directed by Ryan Scura and Dylan Ladds, with an honorable mention to NEBULA directed by Jay Trusler.

The $1,000 Canadian ShortWork Award went to MY FAVOURITE FOOD IS INDIAN TACOS, MY FAVOURITE DRINK IS ICED TEA AND MY FAVOURITE THING IS DRUMMING directed by Derius Matchewan. The jury also awarded an honorable mention to DOG directed by Pascal Sanchez.

The International ShortWork Award went to DAUGHTER, directed by Daria Kashcheeva; the BC ShortWork Student Award went to NEW WASHING MACHINE directed by Mitch Huttema and the MPPIA Short Film Award was awarded to Heather Perluzzo for WILD FLOWER.

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists presented this year’s EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Feature to two films, LIBERTÉ: A CALL TO SPY directed by Sarah Megan Thomas and ANTIGONE directed by Sophie Deraspe. The jury also gave a Special mention to PANDORA’S BOX: LIFTING THE LID ON MENSTRUATION directed by Rebecca Snow.

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists presented the EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Short Film to EXAM directed by Sonia K. Hadad. The Women in the Director’s Chair 2019 Feature Film Award was presented to Pamela Gallant on behalf of her film MONICA’S NEWS.

In addition, Hedyeh Bozorgzadeh won the WFF Power Pitch on December 6 with her “BROTHER MAN: THE ANTONIO JOAO STORY” project, receiving a $41,000 prize package that included a $1,000 cash prize and a $40,000 production package featuring a $10,000 post production credit from Encore Vancouver, and a $10,000 studio credit, a $10,000 lighting and grip credit and a $10,000 camera credit from Sim. WFF’s Power Pitch had seven Canadian producers with feature projects in development participating in the program designed to set them up for success by fine-tuning their project packages and pitching skills.

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