Ian Caddell’s legacy honoured at Vancouver Film Critics Circle awards

"We were both partisans for Canadian cinema," recalled VFCC co-founder David Spaner

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      Film critic and author David Spaner told a nice story about Ian Caddell at the Vancouver Film Critics Circle awards ceremony, tonight (January 7) at the Railway Club. Spaner founded the VFCC in 2000 with the late Georgia Straight scribe, recalling a relationship that began with a brief meeting in 1971.

      “Fifteen years later we met again,” Spaner said. “He was an NDP activist out in Burnaby, and he happened to mention that he’d started writing for the Georgia Straight and I was also at the same time writing movie reviews for a suburban weekly chain. And so we talked about movies for the first time.”

      In 2000, Spaner and Caddell created the VFCC. But, he added, “Neither of us bought into the idea of objective journalism. We were both partisans for Canadian cinema, and we decided that the world really didn’t need another critics organization giving another award to Gladiator. What Canadian filmmakers could really use was a little bit of publicity, and we decided that this organization should really emphasize Canadian film…”

      Spaner also related the tale of the time that Roger Ebert eavesdropped on an excited conversation he was having with Caddell about Vancouver’s independent film scene during a Manhattan movie junket. “And he stood up and gave us this look, like, ‘What the hell are you two talking about?’”

      What they were talking about was something that connects intimately with tonight’s presentation, in which a tiny local film—Beyond the Black Rainbow—received a whopping and well deserved three awards from the VFCC. Actor Michael Rogers was on hand to accept the prizes, including his own for best actor, one for first time director Panos Cosmatos, and another for best British Columbia film.

      “This is one of those rare occasions,” said Rogers, “when everybody can look at what made it to the screen and it exceeded everybody’s expectations. Thanks to Panos Cosmatos for an extreme, unyielding, and uncompromising vision. Thank God for his crazy mind.” Rogers mentioned that his daughter described the film as “a moving piece of art”—and indeed it is.

      Caddell would have been proud. When Alan Franey accepted the first Ian Caddell Award for Achievement, he remarked, “Here in a week when Texas Chainsaw 3D is the box office champion, we can look at alternative cinema, independent film, subtitled films, foreign language films, and share our pleasure in them. Thank you all for understanding, like Ian did, just what is involved in making good, smart films. Thank you very much.”

      INTERNATIONAL AWARDS

      BEST FILM
      Zero Dark Thirty

      BEST ACTOR
      Joaquin Phoenix, The Master

      BEST ACTRESS
      Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty

      BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
      Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master

      BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
      Amy Adams, The Master

      BEST DIRECTOR
      Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty

      BEST SCREENPLAY
      Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty

      BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
      Holy Motors

      BEST DOCUMENTARY
      Searching for Sugar Man

      CANADIAN AWARDS

      BEST CANADIAN FILM
      Rebelle (a.k.a. War Witch)

      BEST ACTOR IN A CANADIAN FILM
      Michael Rogers, Beyond the Black Rainbow

      BEST ACTRESS IN A CANADIAN FILM
      Rachel Mwanza, Rebelle

      BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A CANADIAN FILM
      Serge Kanyinda, Rebelle

      BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A CANADIAN FILM
      Sarah Gadon, Cosmopolis

      BEST DIRECTOR OF A CANADIAN FILM
      Panos Cosmatos, Beyond the Black Rainbow

      BEST CANADIAN DOCUMENTARY
      The World Before Her

      BEST BRITISH COLUMBIA FILM
      Beyond the Black Rainbow

      IAN CADDELL AWARD FOR ACHIEVEMENT
      Alan Franey, Vancouver International Film Festival

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