Oscar-winning producer Denise Robert says that being the first woman to win the Canadian Media Production Association award makes her feel “honoured … like one of the boys! And I’ve been waiting for that for a long time.”

Robert graciously and immediately handed over the C$10,000 cheque that accompanies the fifth-annual CMPA (formerly CFTPA) Producer’s Award with “no strings attached” to writer/director Louis Belanger. Their project Route 132 screens in TIFF’s Contemporary World Cinema this weekend.

Asked why she handed over the winnings, Robert told Screen: “I have trouble taking money I didn’t earn. I’ve had a terrific time with this excessively talented writer/director.”

Robert (Cinémaginaire) is well known for her work on critically acclaimed films as well as box office hits such as The Barbarian Invasions and The Confessional.

“Denise Robert’s body of work speaks for itself,” says Piers Handling, TIFF Director and CEO, in a statement. “She has been instrumental in bringing to the screen stories that resonate with Canadians.” 

This year’s winner was selected from a group of five nominees chosen from all the Canadian films being screened at the Festival this year. The jury included chair Kevin Tierney (President, Park Ex Pictures), Michael Kennedy (Executive Vice-President, Filmed Entertainment, Cineplex Entertainment LP), Kari Skogland (Filmmaker, Skogland Films Ltd.), Julia Rosenberg (Producer, January Films Limited) and Judy Gladstone (Executive Director, BravoFACT!).