Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Shot-in-Canada Films Flood Oscar's Best Picture Race

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Shot-in-Canada Films Flood Oscar's Best Picture Race

Article excerpt

Shot-in-Canada films flood best picture race

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Canadian talent looms large at the Oscars this year, with the acclaimed shot-in-Canada co-productions "Brooklyn" and "Room" both going up against high-profile giants in the best picture battle.

The one-two punch marks a rare achievement for homegrown features. The last time a Canadian co-production competed for best film was 1982, when Louis Malle's "Atlantic City," a partnership with France, lost to "Chariots of Fire."

"Brooklyn" and "Room" face stiff competition -- this year's race is dominated by big-budget, star-packed titles including "The Big Short," "Bridge of Spies," "Mad Max: Fury Road," "The Martian," "The Revenant" and "Spotlight."

Irish-Canadian writer Emma Donoghue picked up a best adapted screenplay nomination for "Room," based on her award-winning novel of the same name about a young boy held captive in a shed with his mother.

Filmed in Toronto, "Room" was a Canada-Ireland co-production that pooled creative, technical and financial resources.

"A lot of people in those two countries are thrilled to see this Canadian-Irish co-production manage to be up there in the big leagues with huge studio pictures," Donoghue said from Nice, France.

"It's just wonderful to see a fairly low-budget film, made mostly with state money, can do so well."

The period romance "Brooklyn," a Canada-U.K.-Ireland co-production largely shot in Montreal, stars Saoirse Ronan as a young Irish woman torn between two countries and two men.

Co-producer Pierre Even said he's thrilled to see Canadian talent compete head-to-head with bigger features, touting a cast and crew peppered with Montreal talent, including actresses Jessica Pare and Emily Bett Rickards.

"With successes like 'Room' and 'Brooklyn' it brings back a lot of marketability for Canadian films and Canadian crews and Canadian industry," Even said from Montreal.

U.K.-based producers Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey are listed as the filmmakers who would get a trophy if "Brooklyn" wins.

But Even said that doesn't take away from the achievements of Canadian artists.

"It's important that Telefilm continues to support these types of projects," he said. …

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