Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival
|Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival|
|Location(s)||Sudbury, Ontario, Canada|
Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival, also known as Cinéfest and Cinéfest Sudbury is an annual film festival in Sudbury, Ontario, held over nine days each September. It is one of the largest film festivals in Canada.
First held in 1989, Cinéfest quickly became a popular destination for Canadian filmmakers. Unlike the larger film festivals in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, Cinéfest offered filmmakers a chance to gain exposure among more typical film audiences in a city which, at the time of its launch in 1989, had never had a venue for screening independent and non-mainstream films. Cinéfest presents an annual programme of over 135 films, both domestic and international, often screened towards English and French language audiences.
Patricia Rozema's I've Heard the Mermaids Singing was presented in Sudbury in 1988 at a special test screening. Planned as a onetime event, Sudbury was being used as a test market for alternative Canadian films in small communities. The result surprised everyone, with over 900 people attending the sold out screening. Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival was established a year later in 1989 as the Sudbury Film Festival, and despite some remaining skepticism, local citizens proved that a mining-oriented community could be receptive to repertory film culture, as approximately 9,000 cinema buffs crowded theatres during the three-day event. The event proved so popular, in fact, that despite having booked opening gala Jesus of Montreal in a 600-seat hall rather than a movie theatre, 1,500 people lined up for the screening and the festival had to quickly add two follow-up screenings. Director Cameron Haynes noted that not even the Toronto International Film Festival had been as wildly popular in its first year of operation.
By 1993, Cinéfest evolved into a full-service film organization, with the festival growing to include upwards of 60 films over five days. Cinéfest Sudbury has become recognized as one of Canada's premiere film festivals. The festival has developed a distinct identity and role within its community and the media arts industry, winning provincial and national acclaim. Cinéfest currently boasts a nine-day repertoire of film programming for local, national and international guests. It is administrated by the non-profit Cultural Industries Ontario North.
Northern Film Circuit
Cinéfest Sudbury has a long history of promoting Canadian cinema and supporting the local film industry. One of the organization's most ambitious projects was the establishment of the Northern Film Circuit (NFC) in 1992. An attempt to build audiences in Northern Ontario for Canadian and international film, the NFC began with only four members. The NFC was eventually used as a model for the Film Circuit, which was developed in partnership with the Toronto International Film Festival and now operates in over 110 communities throughout Ontario.
Constantly working to bring knowledge to the north, Cinéfest introduced Industry Forum to the Festival's framework in 2003, an initiative that has since provided emerging and mid-career film artists with access to key film representatives, and invited partnerships between Festival, industry and educational institutions. Since the introduction of industry forum, Cinéfest has established itself as a focal point for independent filmmakers, and programmers. While the festival has a long history of presenting and supporting films that represent the output of Canada's independent film artists, Cinéfest Sudbury has also over the years extended significant support to its regional film artists. Through programs such as Northern Connections (introduced in 2003), a program which highlights the best and brightest of regional film talent, and the CTV Best in Shorts Competition, which has awarded over $92,000 in cash prizes to up-and-coming regional film talent since it was established in 2001, the festival has served as a place for regional artists to have their work seen and celebrated.
Since the overwhelming success of Cinéfest Sudbury in 2003, which saw 80 per cent of festival screenings either reach or exceed capacity, festival organizers have worked aggressively to ensure accessibility for its audiences. The Festival Expansion Initiative was developed and launched in 2004, through which the festival was expanded from six to nine days. A plan was also developed at that time to establish Cinéfest as a year-round venue to showcase the best in film. In 2006, Cinéfest Sudbury introduced two new mini-festivals, Canadian Spotlight and Show & Tell Children's Film Showcase). These events are now providing audiences with even greater access to the works of Canadian film artists and are providing area schools with educational and inspirational film works that meet the needs of each curriculum.
In 2010, Cinéfest Sudbury introduced The Cinema Summit, a presentation, exchange and development series devoted to the celebration, promotion and advancement of Canada's new and emerging filmmaking talent. Aside from expanding the number of film screenings attended by talent associated with selected films, Cinema Summit features additional panel discussions, master classes and lectures with specific topics of focus, and introduces attendees to experts in the film and media arts industries. Cinema Summit represents Cinéfest's next efforts to inspire audiences, talent, students and industry.
Cinéfest Sudbury Film Series
In 2010, Cinéfest Sudbury further expanded its year-round presence by introducing the Cinéfest Sudbury Film Series, a monthly film presentation series typically held on the last Thursday of each month, featuring the best in Canadian and international cinema.
- Best Canadian Film Award: An Imaginary Tale (Une histoire inventée), André Forcier
- Best International Film Award: The Nasty Girl, Michael Verhoeven
- Best Canadian Film Award: The Adjuster, Atom Egoyan
- Best International Film Award: A Mere Mortal (Simple mortel), Pierre Jolivet
- Best Canadian Film Award: Careful, Guy Maddin
- Best International Film Award: Like Water for Chocolate, Alfonso Arau
- Best Ontario Film: The Twist, Ron Mann
- Best Canadian Film Award: Zero Patience, John Greyson
- Best International Film Award: Naked, Mike Leigh
- Best Canadian Film Award: Exotica, Atom Egoyan
- Best International Film Award: Caro diario, Nanni Moretti
- Best Ontario Film: Picture of Light, Peter Mettler
- Best Canadian Film Award: The Confessional (Le Confessionnal), Robert Lepage
- Best International Film Award: The White Balloon, Jafar Panahi
- Audience Choice Award: The Eighth Day (Le huitième jour), Jaco Van Dormael
- Best Canadian Film Award: Hard Core Logo, Bruce McDonald
- Best International Film Award: The Eighth Day (Le huitième jour), Jaco Van Dormael
- Audience Choice Award: Ma vie en rose, Alain Berliner
- Best Canadian Film Award: The Hanging Garden, Thom Fitzgerald
- Audience Choice Award: Life is Beautiful, Roberto Benigni
- Best Canadian Film Award: Nô, Robert Lepage
- Audience Choice Award: Happy, Texas, Mark Illsley
- Best Canadian Film Award: New Waterford Girl, Allan Moyle
- Audience Choice Award: The Barbarian Invasions (Les Invasions barbares), Denys Arcand
- Best Ontario Film: Falling Angels, Scott Smith
- Audience Choice Award: Incendies, Denis Villeneuve
- Best Canadian First Feature: Oliver Sherman, Ryan Redford
- Best Documentary: Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie, Sturla Gunnarsson
- Best in Shorts – First place, open category: Bedtime Stories by Ben Brumueller
- Best in Shorts – Second place, open category: Freshwater Plague by Jake Chirico
- Best in Shorts – Third place, open category: The Appointment by Katrina Saville
- Best in Shorts – Student category: Singing in the Brain by J.P. Bouchardt
- Best in Shorts – Northern Flicks Award: Never Been Kissed by Gina Simon
- Best Animation Award: Bedtime Stories by Ben Brumueller
- CTV Best Script Award: The Appointment by Katrina Saville
- Audience Choice Award: Cloudburst, Thom Fitzgerald
- National Film Board of Canada Carolyn Fouriezos Best Canadian Documentary Award: The Guantanamo Trap, Thomas Wallner
- Best in Shorts – First place, open category: The Standoff by John Alden Milne
- Best in Shorts – First place, student category: Shoes! by Ryan Ongaro
- Best in Shorts – Second place, student category: Ad Noctvm by Josh Herd
- Best in Shorts – Third place, student category: Introspection by Sam Desrosiers
- Northern Flicks Award: Sugaring by Ryan Mariotti
- Best Animation Award: Private Snuffy by Ben Sainsbury
- Audience Choice Award: In Return, Chris Dymond
- Northern Flicks Award: Morning Zombies, Kevin Hoffman
- Best Animation Award: Reesor Siding, Paul Rodrigue
Special Presentations: All in Good Time, Amour, Crooked Arrows, Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang, The Hunt (Jagten), Inescapable, Laurence Anyways, Rust and Bone (De rouille et d'os), The Suicide Shop (Le Magasin des suicides), No, Revolution, Safety Not Guaranteed, Stories We Tell, War Witch (Rebelle)
- Audience Choice Award: Gabrielle by Louise Archambault
- Best Canadian Feature Film Award: Gabrielle by Louise Archambault
- Best Foreign Feature Film Award: The Lunchbox [Dabba] by Ritesh Batra
- Best Canadian Independent Song in A Feature Film Award: Ariane Moffatt, "Too Late" from Sarah préfère la course
- Best Northern Ontario Feature Film Award: The Story of Luke by Alonso Mayo
- Best of Audience Choice Award – Audience Votes: Life is Beautiful, Roberto Benigni
Special Presentations: Les 4 soldats, Adore, All Is Lost, The Armstrong Lie, Les beaux jours, The Face of Love, Gloria, La grande bellezza, Jeune & Jolie, Shoshite chichi ni naru, Louis Cyr: L'homme le plus fort du monde, The Lunchbox [Dabba], Le passé, La vie d'Adele (chapitres 1 et 2)
- Audience Choice Award: Elsa & Fred by Michael Radford
- Audience Choice Award Best Documentary: I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story by Dave LaMattina and Chad N. Walker
- Audience Choice Award Best Short Film: Little Brother (Petit frère) by Rémi St-Michel
- Best in Shorts First Place, open category: Beautiful Monster by Callam Rodya
- Best in Shorts Runner Up, open category: Bullet-Headed by Zahra Golafshani
- Best in Shorts, student category: 2:00 by Martin Smith
- Best in Shorts Northern Flicks Award: Raising Hope: A Relay for Life Story by Paul W. Los and Nora Burns
- Best in Shorts Best Animation Award: Clarabel by Ben Bruhmuller
- Audience Choice Award: Labyrinth of Lies by Giulio Ricciarelli
- Audience Choice Award Best Documentary: Meru by Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
- Audience Choice Award Best Short Film: Ron Taylor: Dr. Baseball by Drew Taylor and Matthew Taylor
- Best in Shorts, open category: Ordinary Miracle by Martin Smith
- Best in Shorts, open category runner-up: Down South by Shawn Kosmerly
- Best in Shorts, student category: Spree by Eric Harrison
- Best in Shorts, student category runner-up: The Maker by Alek Bélanger
- Best in Shorts Northern Flicks Award: Ordinary Miracle by Martin Smith
- Best in Shorts Innovation Award: Perceptions by Zahra Golafshani
- Audience Choice Award: Maudie by Aisling Walsh
- Audience Choice Award Best Documentary: The Eagle Huntress by Otto Bell
- Audience Choice Award Best Short Film: The Orchard by Darcy Van Poelgeest
- Best in Shorts, open category: Camani by Dale Carrigan
- Runner-up, Shorts, open category: Movin' On by Shawn Kosmerly
- Best in Shorts, student category: This Is Fine by George Bull
- Runner-up, Shorts, student category: Broken by Sheri Shweyer
- Best in Shorts Northern Flicks Award: Camani by Dale Carrigan
- Audience Choice Award: Loving Vincent by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman
- Audience Choice Award Best Documentary: Everyday Heroes (Et les mistrals gagnants) by Anne-Dauphine Julliand
- Audience Choice Award Best Short Film: Fix and Release by Scott Dobson
- Best in Shorts, open category: Farewell Fire by Scott Armstrong
- Runner-up, Shorts, open category: Future Sick by Aaron Martini
- Best in Shorts, student category: Future Sick by Aaron Martini
- Runner-up, Shorts, student category: Versa: This is Where We Disappear, Aaron Martini
- Best in Shorts Northern Flicks Award: Farewell Fire by Scott Armstrong
- Best Feature Film: The Guilty, Gustav Möller
- Best Documentary: You Are Here, Moze Mossanen
- Best Short Film: Animal Behaviour, Alison Snowden and David Fine
Gala presentations: American Woman, And the Birds Rained Down (Il pleuvait des oiseaux), La Belle Époque, The Farewell, Guest of Honour, Judy, The Last Full Measure, The Rest of Us, The Song of Names
- Audience Choice Award: Judy, Rupert Goold
- Audience Choice Award, Runner-Up: By the Grace of God (Grâce à Dieu), François Ozon
- Audience Choice Award, Documentary: Sea of Shadows, Richard Ladkan
- Audience Choice Award, Documentary Runner-Up: The Secret Marathon, Kate McKenzie and Scott Townend
- Audience Choice Award, Short Film: The Depths (Les profondeurs), Ariane Louis-Seize
- Audience Choice Award, Short Film Runner-Up: Unidentified Woman, Katrina Saville
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Canada, organizers announced that the 2020 Cinéfest would proceed with a mix of in-person and online screenings, similarly to the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival.
- Audience Choice, Live Screening: The Father, Florian Zeller
- Audience Choice, Virtual Platform: The Last Vermeer, Dan Friedkin
- Audience Choice, Documentary: Call Me Human (Je m'appelle humain), Kim O'Bomsawin
- Audience Choice, Documentary Runner-Up: Chaakapesh, Roger Frappier and Justin Kingsley
- Audience Choice, Short Film: Cayenne, Simon Gionet
- Audience Choice, Short Film Runner-Up: Zoo, Will Niava
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- "Cinéfest announces award winners". Northern Life, September 28, 2010.
- "Cinéfest announces award winners". Northern Life, October 9, 2011.
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- Heidi Ulrichsen, "'It's going to be a great year': Cinéfest releases full 2019 lineup". Sudbury.com, August 21, 2019.
- "Check out this year's Cinéfest award winners". Sudbury.com, October 3, 2019.
- "2020 Cinéfest will be ‘hybrid’ in-person, virtual festival". Sudbury.com, June 26, 2020.
- "Cinefest Sudbury announces its 2020 award winners". Sudbury Star, October 11, 2020.