Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Screen Award Nominations Highlight 'Movement' of Upstart Filmmakers

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Screen Award Nominations Highlight 'Movement' of Upstart Filmmakers

Article excerpt

CSA nominations highlight 'movement' of new filmmakers

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TORONTO - Among the nominees for this year's Canadian Screen Awards are some upstart filmmakers who are making waves in this country and beyond.

Of the 10 films up for best picture on Sunday, several are directed by up-and-comers, including Kevan Funk for "Hello Destroyer," Chloe Leriche for "Before the Streets," Matt Johnson for "Operation Avalanche," and Johnny Ma for "Old Stone," which won best Canadian first feature at the Toronto International Film Festival.

"I think you see it in the nominations ... I think you've seen it in what's been programmed at TIFF the last couple of years ... there is a very real movement of this generation of, I think, very interesting, exciting, young Canadian filmmakers -- this new infusion of talent," says Funk, who was born in Vancouver and grew up in Banff, Alta.

"That's a really exciting thing to be a part of."

Those filmmakers are up against titles by more established names including Bruce McDonald for "Weirdos," Zacharias Kunuk for "Searchers," and Xavier Dolan for "It's Only the End of the World," which got a leading nine Canadian Screen Award film nominations. The film also won three Cesar Awards -- which are often nicknamed the "French Oscars" -- including a best director nod for Dolan, the best editing prize, and best actor for Gaspard Ulliel.

The list of best picture nominees is rounded out by Louis Belanger's "Bad Seeds," Stephen Hopkins's "Race," and "Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves" by Mathieu Denis and Simon Lavoie.

Funk, who also wrote "Hello Destroyer," about a young hockey player's downward spiral after on-ice violence, says the new crop of film talent in this country -- which also includes several others who are not nominated for Canadian Screen Awards -- is diverse.

"It's not a movement as in a stylistic movement, like mumblecore where there's a cool thing to do in Toronto and everyone is doing that," he says.

"There's a pretty broad diversity of interests, style and scope to all those things."

And yet many of the emerging movie makers are also connected, if not close friends. …

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