The Toronto International Film Festival Group has inaugurated a list of the 10 Best Canadian films of 2001. And, in inimitable Canadian style, the list is not ranked but alphabetical. The Group is the umbrella organisation for the annual film festival as well as the Spockets Childrens' Film Festival and the ongoing programming of the Cinematheque Ontario and its library.
The films are:
Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner), dir. Zacharias Kunuk
La Femme Qui Boit, dir. Bernard Emond
Ginger Snaps, dir. John Fawcett
The Heart Of The World, dir. Guy Maddin
Khaled, dir. Asghar Massombagi
Last Wedding, dir. Bruce Sweeney
Mariages, dir. Catherine Martin
Parsley Days, dir. Andrea Dorfman
Un Crabe Dans La Tete, dir. Andre Turpin
The Uncles, dir. Jim Allodi
The list mirrors the Best Picture line-up for the Genie Awards in that the majority - in this case, six of the ten -- are feature debuts. But it diverges because its looser eligibility requirements allowed the selectors a broader sweep.
Each film has to have either premiered at a Canadian film festival or had a commercial theatrical release in Canada in 2001: such criteria effectively covers two years of production given that most Canadian films with commercial prospects premiere at Montreal or Toronto and go into the marketplace the following year. In addition, documentaries and short films are also eligible. Included in the Top Ten is Guy Maddin's The Heart Of The World, one of ten short films commissioned by the Toronto festival for its 25th anniversary celebration.
Said Toronto Executive Director Piers Handling, "We need to create more profile for Canadian film. We do it at the festival but that accounts for only ten days of the year. Canadian film is close to my heart and it's key to our mandate as an organisation."
As to the absence of ranking, Handling said he didn't want publicity to gravitate to the top film but to spread the kudos across the board.