TORONTO — The coming-of-age drama “Beans” has won the Toronto Film Critics Association’s $100,000 Best Canadian Feature Award.
Director Tracey Deer was named the winner of the Rogers Award for Best Canadian Film at a lavish gala dinner Monday night, where the film’s co-writer and executive producer Meredith Vuchnich accepted on her behalf.
Past honorees and directors Jennifer Baichwal and Sarah Polley presented the award at an indoor event that restored many celebratory conventions of yesteryear.
Filmmaker David Cronenberg, director Don McKellar, “Never Have I Ever” star Maitreyi Ramakrishnan and Toronto International Film Festival CEO Cameron Bailey were among the luminaries to gather for the party.
Customers were tested for COVID-19 in advance and were required to wear masks when not eating or drinking.
Pandemic precautions forced the previous edition online, but Bailey said he was “delighted” to reunite with other film professionals.
“I see friends, I see colleagues. It’s an important thing for us to do,” Bailey said on the red carpet.
“Everyone works in isolation, especially over the past two years, and it’s important to remember that we’re not alone in this, that we have a community and we’re telling stories that resonate with people.”
“Beans” centers on a 12-year-old Mohawk girl who came of age during the Oka Crisis in 1990.
Ahead of the awards ceremony, Vuchnich recounted the film’s acclaimed journey since its selection at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival.
“The whole time we’ve been on this journey with ‘Beans,’ doors have opened for this movie that I’ve never seen open for other movies in my career,” she said. .
“I think it’s because Canadians are ready to hear this story. But this movie wouldn’t exist without Tracey Deer. It’s such a personal film for her and we had the chance to help her tell it. I’m proud of her.
Finalists “Night Raiders,” directed by Danis Goulet, and “Scarborough,” directed by Shasha Nakhai and Rich Williamson, each received $5,000.
Cronenberg was on hand as the recipient of the previously announced Clyde Gilmour Award, which recognizes a Canadian figure in the film industry who has made a significant contribution to Canadian cinema.
It allows the writer/director to award $50,000 in production services to a fellow filmmaker of their choice. His choice has not yet been announced.
Bailey presented two-spirited L’nu director Bretten Hannam with the previously announced $10,000 Stella Artois Jay Scott Award for Emerging Artist. Hannam wrote and directed “Wildhood,” which was recently nominated for six Canadian Screen Awards.
Last month, the TFCA also awarded Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s “Drive My Car” with Best Picture, Best International Film and Best Screenplay.
Other previously announced TFCA winners include Olivia Colman for Best Actress for her performance in ‘The Lost Daughter,’ which also won Best Supporting Actress for Jessie Buckley and Best Debut Feature for the writer and director. Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Denzel Washington won Best Actor for playing the title role in Joel Coen’s ‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’, while Bradley Cooper won Best Supporting Actor for his work in Paul’s ‘Licorice Pizza’. Thomas Anderson.
Other wins included Jane Campion as Best Director for ‘The Power of the Dog’, ‘Flee’ for Best Animated Feature, while the Allan King Documentary Film Award went to ‘Summer of Soul’. .
Comedian Rick Mercer presented independent film critic Rachel Ho with the Emerging Critics Award.