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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