VIFF 2015: Fractured Land takes best B.C. film prize

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      Fractured Land has been named Best B.C. Film at this year's Vancouver International Film Festival.

      The announcement was made during the B.C. Spotlight Awards gala at the Centre for Performing Arts on Saturday (October 3), prior to the screening of Patricia Rozema's B.C.-lensed Into the Forest.

      B.C. Spotlight jurors stated that the documentary by Damien Gillis and Fiona Rayher, about Dene lawyer Caleb Behn, "introduces audiences to a compelling central character whose personal story parallels the larger environmental issues he champions."

      The award includes a $10,000 development bursary
 sponsored by the Harold Greenberg Fund—or, as gala host Tony Pantages put it: "Almost enough to get a table at the Leos." ZING!

      Mayor Gregor Robertson was also on hand to cheerlead, telling a close-to-capacity audience that B.C. was heading towards a $2 billion year for film and television production.

      It was during a Q&A following the screening of her new movie, however, that the Toronto-based Rozema provided the night's most poignant words.

      Expressing reverence for the natural beauty she encountered while making her rainforest-set feature, the filmmaker pleaded: "It costs money to take care of it, but it costs so much more not to."

      Vancouverite Mark Sawers was also given an honorable mention by the jury for his audience favourite, No Men Beyond This Point.

      Victoria's Connor Gaston received the B.C. Emerging Filmmaker award for The Devout.

      Other prizes included:

      Best Canadian Film
      Sleeping Giant (dir. Andrew Cividino)

      Emerging Canadian Director
      The Sound of Trees (dir. François Péloquin)

      Best Canadian Short Film
      "Blue-Eyed Blonde" (dir. Pascal Plante)

      Most Promising Director of a Canadian Short Film
      "Never Steady, Never Still" (dir. Kathleen Hepburn)

      Follow Adrian Mack on Twitter @AdrianMacked