The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) held its Closing Gala on Friday, October 12 with an awards ceremony for the festival’s most popular films and the screening of Jason Reitman’s political drama The Front Runner. VIFF opened on 27th September, with awards in Canadian categories announced mid-festival.
Film and television awards.
Edge of the Knife (Sgaawaay K'uuna), a drama set in 19th Century Haida Gwaii, has won both the Best BC Film Award and Best Canadian Film Award at the Vancouver International Film Festival.
Blending mythical and natural drama, the film was shot in two dialects of the Haida language. There are only a few handfuls of fluent Haida speakers left.
Love 'em or hate 'em, millions around the world tune in each year for the melodrama, the tears, the frocks, the excruciating speeches, and the occasional faux pas.
It's all totally over the top. At least, it is to us mere mortals. The movies themselves rarely live up to the gilded words and the self-aggrandising promise of the Oscars ceremony. But those coveted little gold men can seal careers and ensure a healthy future in the movie business for anyone fortunate enough to walk away with one in gripped fist.
The Hurt Locker was expected to fare well at the Oscars, but even the team behind the Afghanistan-set feature looked like they never dreamed of doing quite as well as this. In the end, they took six Oscars, including the big two - Best Picture and Best Director, for Kathryn Bigelow (as I predicted in my Oscars preview).Amazingly, this was the first time a woman has ever won a Best Director award. The Hurt Locker also won Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Screenplay.
“After you're nominated, it's like a crapshoot, it's like throwing dice.” Morgan Freeman
Freeman was talking about the Oscars, of course. If I was a betting man I'd put money on him for his performance as Nelson Mandela in Clint Eastwood's Invinctus. I like a long shot every now and then and with William Hill putting Freeman at 26 to 1 he has the longest odds of the group of five leading actors.
Hollywood's other big awards race, the Oscars, may be more avidly followed, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's annual awards nevertheless carry some clout in the biz.
The event is always well attended, with plenty of familiar Hollywood faces gracing the red carpet to warrant television coverage in 160 countries worldwide. The Golden Globes includes gongs for television as well as film.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ballot system is still done in the same way as it was in 1936 - by hand.
This is a description of how the Academy decides Oscar-winners.
The Academy likes Oltmanns and Rosas, the secretive agents of Oscar, to be safe and dull.Monty Python's sketch about the chartererd accountant who wanted to become a lion tamer (watch on YouTube) may have had fun sending up this "dull, dull, dull" profession.
Composer Alan Menken has won more Oscars than Jack Nicholson and Tom Hanks combined: he won two for Best Score and Best Song in 1990 for The Little Mermaid, two more in 1992 for Beauty and The Beast, another couple in 1993 for Aladdin and topped up with two more in 1996 for Pocahontas. He has also been nominated for Oscars for Little Shop of Horrors, Hercules and The Hunchback Of Notre Dame.
Here Menken talks about some of the creative decisions he and lyricist Glenn Slater made on the Western-themed, Disney animation Home On The Range, which is now out on DVD.
There's no doubting Oscar's effect on us.
The Oscars mean...
Studios hold back their best until the Academy Awards draw close. They want their films to be fresh in the notoriously short memories of the 6000-odd Academy members when they vote in January. For films to qualify they have to be released by Christmas.
The Oscars mean...
Waiting even longer for that topical documentary to appear on television because of the Academy's rules forbidding television (or internet) broadcast during the competition period.
The Oscars mean...