2014’s best of Canadian film

The juries have spoken: Mommy and Maps to the Stars both make the list


The juries have spoken, and we have Canada’s Top Ten for 2014.

TIFF’s annual festival of the best in homegrown cinema includes films from directors venerated and unknown, with plenty of room for arguing over what did and didn’t deserve to make the cut. The jury of filmmakers and industry professionals includes critics Jason Anderson and Jason Gorber and directors Terry Miles and Chloé Robichaud.

As expected, David Cronenberg’s alleged Hollywood satire Maps To The Stars and Xavier Dolan’s swooning psychodrama Mommy found their way onto the list, as did Maxime Giroux’s star-crossed Montreal romance Félix & Meira, which beat out both of those films to be named best Canadian film at TIFF.

Other TIFF titles to make the cut include Mathieu Denis’s pre-FLQ docudrama Corbo, Albert Shin’s Korea-set drama In Her Place, Sturla Gunnarsson’s Indian travelogue Monsoon, Harold Crooks’s corporate-malfeasance documentary The Price We Pay and Stéphane Lafleur’s stylish character study Tu Dors Nicole.

Andrew Huculiak’s Violent, which played the Vancouver Film Festival, and Marie-Hélène Cousineau and Susan­ Avingaq’s documentary Sol, an Imagine­NATIVE world premiere, round out the list.

High-powered filmmakers left off this year include Denys Arcand (An Eye For Beauty), Denis Côté (Joy Of Man’s Desiring), Atom Egoyan (The Captive) and Alanis Obomsawin (Trick Or Treaty?). Jeffrey St. Jules’s hallucinatory mutant musical Bang Bang Baby, which won TIFF’s best Canadian first feature prize, was also notable by its absence.

On a personal note, I would have preferred to see Lindsay Mackay’s sensitive coming-of-age drama Wet Bum up there instead of the underwhelming Corbo or the beautiful but empty Monsoon. But Mackay’s young she’ll get into the pantheon eventually.

The chosen features and shorts – as well as a new Student Shorts program – will be screened at the Lightbox January 2 to 11 as part of Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival, with filmmakers and other special guests in attendance. There will also be a special In Conversation With… session featuring Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis, tied to their upcoming documentary This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs. The Climate (January 10).

Apparently it’s never too early to prep next year’s Top Ten.

Canada’s Top Ten Features

Corbo, directed by Mathieu Denis

Félix & Meira, directed by Maxime Giroux

In Her Place, directed by Albert Shin

Maps To The Stars, directed by David Cronenberg

Mommy, directed by Xavier Dolan

Monsoon, directed by Sturla Gunnarsson

Sol, directed by Marie-Hélène Cousineau and Susan Avingaq

The Price We Pay, directed by Harold Crooks

Tu Dors Nicole, directed by Stéphane Lafleur

Violent, directed by Andrew Huculiak

Canada’s Top Ten shorts

Bihttos, directed by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers

Bison, directed by Kevan Funk

The Cut, directed by Geneviève Dulude-De Celles

Cutaway, directed by Kazik Radwanski

Day 40, directed by Sol Friedman

Kajutaijuq: The Spirit That Comes, directed by Scott Brachmayer

Mynarski Death Plummet, directed by Matthew Rankin

Sleeping Giant, directed by Andrew Cividino

Still, directed by Slater Jewell-Kemker

The Weatherman And The Shadowboxer, directed by Randall Lloyd Okita

Canada’s Top Ten student shorts

Backroads, directed by Candy Fox (University of Regina)

Dinner Time, directed by Alexander Mainwaring (Langara College)

Elpis, directed by Akreta Saim (York University)

Fallow, directed by Breanna Cheek (Emily Carr School of Art and Design)

Last Dance On The Main, directed by Aristofanis Soulikias (Concordia University)

Lifers, directed by Joel Salaysay (University of British Columbia)

Never Stop Cycling, directed by Colin Lepper (Sheridan College)

Running Season, directed by Grayson Moore (Ryerson University)

Tomonster, directed by Pui Ka Wong (Sheridan College)

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