VIFF announces 2019 People’s Choice, Impact and Eco Warrior Award Winners
38th Vancouver International Film Festival
September 26 – October 11, 2019
VANCOUVER, B.C. (October 11, 2019) – The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) held its Closing Gala on Friday, October 11 with an awards ceremony celebrating the festival’s most popular films and exceptional filmmakers. The awards were followed by a special presentation of the festival’s closing film, La Belle Époque by Nicholas Bedos, a dramatic comedy that takes the sci-fi concept of time travel and brings it down to earth as a cynical 70-ish cartoonist chooses to make use of a new “Time Travellers” business enterprise, going back to the day in 1974 when he met his wife.
Three of the most notable awards of the evening were the Super Channel People’s Choice Award, won by Parasite (dir. Bong Joon-Ho), the Impact Award won by Resistance Fighters (dir. Michael Wech), and the Rob Stewart Eco Warrior Award, given to Peter Nelson for The Pollinators. The Rob Stewart Eco Warrior Award, created by VIFF in honour of the late documentary filmmaker, recognizes an individual whose work as an activist and storyteller advances social impact agendas and changes the way we think and act in the world. The Pollinators will be screening in cinema’s across Canada from Nov 11.
Below is a full list of awards and winners:
Super Channel People’s Choice Award
- Winner: Parasite by Bong Joon Ho
VIFF Most Popular International Documentary Award
- Winner: Coup 53 by Taghi Amirani
VIFF Most Popular Canadian Feature Award
- Winner: Red Snow by Marie Clements
VIFF Most Popular Canadian Documentary Award
- Winner: Haida Modern by Charles Wilkinson
Presented by the Lochmaddy Foundation. A $5,000 prize awarded to one of the issue-oriented documentary films in the Impact competition.
- Winner: Resistance Fighters by Michael Wech
- Jury comments: “It was incredibly challenging to pick one film from such a powerful diversity of selections – each issue was compelling and every film crafted skillfully. From the hopeful solutions presented in The Pollinators, to the wonder of The Great Green Wall, to the powerful empathy displayed in The Whale and the Raven, each of the films nominated challenged assumptions about this world and the power we have to act in it. No film more so than our Award winner, Resistance Fighters (Germany, director Michael Wech) whose urgency and concise storytelling moved us to do our part as Jury Members to amplify its message.”
Rob Stewart Eco Warrior Award
Presented by RBC and Cineplex. A $5,000 prize given to an individual whose work as an activist and storyteller advances social impact agendas and changes the way we think and act in the world.
- Winner: Peter Nelson, director of The Pollinators
Women in Film and Television Vancouver – Artistic Merit Award
The WIFTV Artistic Merit Award is presented to a Canadian produced or co-produced feature film at VIFF 2019 directed by a woman.
- Winner: The Whale and the Ravenby Mirjam Leuze (Germany/Canada)
- Jury comments: “This is a story that demonstrates the parallels between the social structures of whales and the Gitga’at First Nation on Gil Island in Northwest BC. The Whale and the Raven brought the viewer into a sacred place, a place that embraces an Indigenous way of being that also has an urgent message we ought to heed.”
In addition to announcing the festival’s award winners, VIFF has also released its schedule of repeat screenings. Below is a full list of VIFF Repeats coming to Vancity Theatre:
- Amanda (dir Mikhaël Hers)
- Beyond the Visible – Hilma af Klint (dir Halina Dyrschka)
- Children of the Sea/Kaijuu no Kodomo (dir Watanabe Ayumu)
- Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains/Chun jiang shui nan (dir Gu Xiaogang)
- Escher: Journey Into Infinity/Escher: Het Oneindige Zoeken (dir Robin Lutz)
- Human Nature (dir Adam Bolt)
- Jordan River Anderson, the Messenger (dir Alanis Obomsawin)
- Lara (dir Jan-Ole Gerster)
- The Laundromat (dir Steven Soderbergh)
- Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom (dir Pawo Choyning Dorji)
- Melancholic (dir Tanaka Seiji)
- The Men’s Room (dirs Petter Sommer, Jo Vemund Svendsen)
- A Seat at the Table dirs David Nash, Simon Mark-Brown
- Still Human (dir Chan Olivier Siu Kuen)
- The Whale and the Raven (dir Mirjam Leuze)
- Who You Think I Am (dir Safy Nebbou)
- Yuli (dir Icíar Bollaín)
Visit viff.org for information on these screenings and other festival news.
About VIFF | viff.org
Founded in 1982, the Greater Vancouver International Film Festival Society is a not-for-profit cultural society and federally registered charitable organization that operates the internationally acclaimed Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) and the year-round programming of the Vancity Theatre at the Vancouver International Film Centre. VIFF produces screenings, talks, conferences and events that act as a catalyst for the community to discover the creativity and craft of storytelling on screen. For its 38th year, VIFF welcomes the world to Vancouver from September 26 – October 11, 2019 as it showcases the top international, Canadian and BC films and plays host to industry professionals from around the globe.
Nora Eastwood and Orna Daly (Yulu PR)