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Denis Côté, Denis Villeneuve & Xavier Dolan Selected Among 2013 Canada’s Top Ten Films

Last night in a packed theatre at the TIFF Bell Lightbox an eclectic group of film critics, the who’s who of top local film producers and filmmakers, and TIFF executives gathered to hear the unveiling of the 13th annual Canada’s Top Ten films of the year. The room buzzed with excitement with many discussing the NYFCC winners, predicting the Board of Review winners and, of course, noting which filmmakers were in attendance (assuming that was a clear cut sign of who made the list).

A hushed silence came over the crowd when Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of TIFF, took to the podium on stage to introduce the evening’s host, beloved local comedian Steve Patterson. “As a 15 year veteran of comedy, I know what it’s like not to be recognized”, Patterson cracked, making light of Canadian gems often going overlooked on the world stage. This year, however, there were plenty of treasured favorites for the short and feature film juries to choose from. The lists were kept such a secret that even the filmmakers in attendance didn’t know which films were chosen until the reveal. There were a few shocking snubs and surprises on the lists and it was with true Canadian grace and class that the teams behind startling non-winners Our Man in Tehran and Empire of Dirt toasted the victors following the announcement. From the French-Canadian side we find snubs in the shape of the Sundance-Berlin preemed Le météore from François Delisle, Sébastien Pilote’s Cannes-selected Le Démantèlement and the anglo-Quebecois title Whitewash from director Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais (not to be missed) which preemed at Tribeca and Karlovy Vary. The most glaring non-mention is Matt Johnson’s The Dirties.

The 10 day festival runs from January 3 to January 12, 2014 at TIFF Bell Lightbox and includes two remarkable (and sure to be popular) In Conversations with bookending the festival- Denis Villeneuve and Jake Gyllenhaal on January 5 and Canadian filmmaker John Greyson on January 12.

The following is the list of Canada’s Top Ten short film selections for 2013:

A Grand Canal, Johnny Ma (Maktub Films)
Quelqu’un d’extraordinaire (An Extraordinary Person), Monia Chokri (La Distributrice de films)
The Chaperone 3D, Fraser Munden and Neil Rathbone
The End of Pinky, Claire Blanchet (NFB)
In guns we trust, Nicolas Lévesque (Travelling)
Noah, Walter Woodman and Patrick Cederberg
Nous avions, Stéphane Moukarzel (Travelling)
Paradise Falls, Fantavious Fritz
Subconscious Password, Chris Landreth (NFB)
Yellowhead, Kevan Funk

Canada’s Top Ten feature films for 2013 are:

Asphalt Watches, Shayne Ehman and Seth Scriver (Delusional Brothers)
Enemy, Denis Villeneuve (Entertainment One Films)
The F Word, Michael Dowse (Entertainment One Films)
Gabrielle, Louise Archambault (Entertainment One Films)
Rhymes for Young Ghouls, Jeff Barnaby (Entertainment One Films)
Sarah préfère la course (Sarah Prefers to Run), Chloé Robichaud (Les Films Seville)
Tom à la ferme (Tom at the Farm), Xavier Dolan (Entertainment One Films)
Vic et Flo ont vu un ours (Vic + Flo Saw a Bear), Denis Côté (Films We Like)
Watermark, Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky (Mongrel Media)
When Jews Were Funny, Alan Zweig (KinoSmith)

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Leora Heilbronn is a Toronto-based writer. Top Films From Contemporary Film Auteurs: Almodóvar (Volver), Coen Bros. (Burn After Reading), Dardennes (Lorna's Silence), Haneke (The Piano Teacher), Hsiao-Hsien (Three Times), Kar-wai (In the Mood for Love), Kiarostami (Certified Copy), Lynch (Mulholland Drive), Tarantino (Inglorious Basterds), Van Sant (Good Will Hunting), von Trier (Melancholia)

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