Ilan Sargosti's Exiles InLotus Land won the C$10,000 BorsosAward for Best New Canadian Feature as the 5th annual Whistler FilmFestival closed on Sunday.
The National Film Board ofCanada-financed film, which follows Quebecois street youth who have gravitatedto Canada's West Coast, was the lone documentary in the competition of six newfeatures.
The dramatic features wereAnita Doron's The End Of Silence,David Ray's Fetching Cody, JohnnyKalangis's Love Is Work, DavidChristensen's Six Figures, andRaphael Assaf's The Zero Sum.
In a statement, the Borsosjury - Canadian producer Robert Lantos, actor-writer-director Don McKellar andactress Molly Parker - wrote, "We found several films of merit in thecompetition which showcase some very promising new Canadian talent. Thedecision to give the award to Exiles In Lotus Land was based on the film's compassion, human insightand fundamental intelligence." Lantos was also the subject of the festival'stribute.
As for the documentarycompetition proper, the $5,000 CBC Newsworld Award went to Joel Secter's TheBest Of Secter & The Rest Of Secter, a film about Secter's uncle, Canadian independent filmmaker DavidSecter. The elder Secter's debut, Winter Kept Us Warm, was selected for Cannes in 1965 but commercialsuccess eluded him. Andrew Johnson, a Newsworld commissioning editor, acceptedthe prize on behalf of Secter and gamely admitted denying the project funding;however, he mitigated his error by acquiring the film for broadcast.
The documentary jury commented "The film is a fascinating documentary about alittle-known chapter in Canadian film history: An intimate portrait of anartist, and a moving image of the relationship between a nephew and his uncle,the art and the times, and the transformative power of the independent filmvision."
The newly-introduced BestMountain Culture Film prize went to Jason Berry's Off Road To Athens. The festival's audience prize will be announced onDecember 6.