TORONTO – Anthony Shim’s semi-autobiographical film “Riceboy Sleeps” a couple of Korean single mother who moves to Canada to boost her son, has won the Toronto Film Critics Association’s 2022 Rogers Best Canadian Film Award.
The film, shot within the Vancouver area and in South Korea, premiered at each the Toronto International Film Festival and the Busan International Film Festival, and examines the stresses of growing up between two cultures.
It was included in TIFF’s 2022 Canada’s Top Ten, and its selection for the Critics Association’s award comes with a $100,000 prize.
As runners-up, Clement Virgo who directed “Brother” and David Cronenberg, director of “Crimes of the Future,” each received $5,000.
Considered one of the lead actors of “Riceboy Sleeps,” Ethan Hwang, accepted the award on Shim’s behalf at a gala dinner Monday night on the Omni King Edward Hotel in Toronto.
TFCA president Johanna Schneller says in a press release that while “Riceboy Sleeps” is simply Shim’s second feature, it “shimmers with delicacy, empathy and authenticity.”
“We are able to’t wait to see what he does next,” Schneller said.
The Toronto Film Critics Association is comprised of Toronto-based journalists and broadcasters who focus on film criticism and commentary.
“Movies like ‘Riceboy Sleeps’ are the explanation the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award exists,” said Robin Mirsky, executive director of the Rogers Group of Funds.
“Movies reflect who we’re, and Anthony Shim’s story resonates with so many Canadian immigrant families. It’s a testament to the concept the more specific a story is, the more universal it feels.”
Comedian and TV personality Rick Mercer presented the $10,000 Stella Artois Jay Scott Prize for an emerging artist to filmmaker Carol Nguyen.
Nguyen’s short movies, that are drawn from her life and Vietnamese-Canadian culture, have played at greater than 80 film festivals.
The association gave Michelle Krasovitski the fourth annual Telefilm Canada Emerging Critic Award, noting that Krasovitski is a daughter of Soviet-era Ukrainian immigrants “who taught her to understand a culture of uncensored film.”
Longtime TIFF programmer Steve Gravestock, who recently retired, won this yr’s Company 3 Luminary Award which comes with a pay-it-forward grant of $50,000 in production services to a filmmaker of the recipient’s selection.
Gravestock selected producer/actor Hugh Gibson of “The Stairs” and author/director Frieda Luk of “The Encounter.”
Director Charlotte Wells was awarded Best Picture, Best Director and Best First Feature for “Aftersun” while Paul Mescal won Best Actor for his role in that film.
Ke Huy Quan won Best Supporting Actor for “All the pieces All over the place All at Once,” filmmaker Laura Poitras won the Allan King Documentary Award for “All of the Beauty and the Bloodshed” and Domee Shi won for Best Animated Feature, “Turning Red.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2023.