Bruce Sweeney’s film The Dick Knost Show was awarded VIFF’s first ever Best BC Film award last night (October 5), prior to a packed and lively gala screening of Down River at the Vancouver Playhouse. Accepting the prize, Dick Knost himself—aka actor-writer Tom Scholte—found himself being heckled by a roomful of friends and peers. “Where’s your hair?” cried one audience member. “I’m glad you’re wearing pants,” shouted another.
Sweeney’s film walked away with a $10,000 development bursary provided by Astral's Harold Greenberg Fund and $10,000 in post-production services from Finale Editworks. Terry Miles’ Cinemanovels also received an honourable mention from the jury.
Director Matthew Kowalchuk scored the BC Emerging Filmmaker Award for his adaptation of the Morris Panych play Lawrence & Holloman. The prize is worth $7,500 in cash, plus a further $10,000 in equipment rental from William F. White.
The jury also made special mention of both Down River and Salmon Confidential. “If ever there was a must-see B.C. film, it’s that one,” remarked Terry McEvoy about the eye-opening Twyla Roscovich documentary. The Canadian Images programmer also mentioned that VIFF struggled to choose only 12 features out of all the entries for the festival’s inaugural BC Spotlight year.
Finally, festival-goers voted Leap 4 Your Life as the winner in the social media Must See BC campaign, giving yet another boost to the buzz surrounding the Taylor Hill-written comedy. You can catch Leap 4 Your Life on October 12, at the Must See BC Audience Red Carpet Screening at Vancity Theatre.
Lawrence & Holloman screens again on Wednesday (October 9) at SFU; The Dick Knost Show returns on Wednesday to SFU, and the Cinematheque on Friday (October 11); and Down River—which received an almighty roar of approval after its premiere last night—plays again on Wednesday at the Rio. Don’t miss it.