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Cinéfest reveals 2023 award winners

‘The Old Oak’ wins Audience Choice Award for Best Feature
“The Old Oak” won the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature at Cinéfest Sudbury 2023.

Cinéfest Sudbury has revealed the 2023 award winners for the 35th edition of Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival.

The winners include:

  • Outstanding Canadian Feature Film Award
    • Seagrass
    • Directed by Meredith Hama-Brown | Game Theory Films | Canada, 2023
    • The film Follows a Japanese-Canadian woman grappling with the death of her mother as she brings her family to a retreat. When her relationship with her husband begins to affect the children's emotional security, the family is forever changed.
  • Outstanding International Feature Film Award
    • The Royal Hotel
    • Directed by Kitty Green | Elevation Pictures | Australia/UK, 2023
    • US backpackers Hanna and Liv take a job in a remote Australian pub for some extra cash and are confronted with a bunch of unruly locals and a situation that grows rapidly out of their control.
  • French Language Feature Film Award
    • Vampire humaniste cherche suicidaire consentant (Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person)
    • Directed by Ariane Louise-Seize | H264 Distribution | Canada, 2023
    • Sasha is a young vampire with a serious problem: she's too sensitive to kill. When her exasperated parents cut off her blood supply, Sasha's life is in jeopardy. Luckily, she meets Paul, a lonely teenager with suicidal tendencies who is willing to give his life to save hers. But their friendly agreement soon becomes a nocturnal quest to fulfill Paul's last wishes before day breaks. 
  • Cinema Indigenized Outstanding Talent Award
    • Aitamaako'tamisskapi Natosi: Before the Sun
    • Directed by Banchi Hanuse | Taxam Films | Canada, 2023
    • A young Siksika woman, Logan Red Crow, prepares to compete in the Indian Relay, a sport for the brave, where bareback riders vault from horse to horse in short, exhilarating races.
  • Outstanding Female-Led Feature Film Award
    • Smoke Sauna Sisterhood (Savvusanna sõsarad)
    • Directed by Anna Hints | Sherry Media | Estonia, 2023
    • In the darkness of a smoke sauna, women share their innermost secrets and intimate experiences, washing off the shame trapped in their bodies and regaining their strength through a sense of communion.
  • Inspiring Voices & Perspectives Feature Film Award
    • Close to You
    • Directed by Dominic Savage | Mongrel Media | Canada/UK, 2023
    • Follows Sam who has the chance to encounter with an old friend on his way back home to a dreaded family reunion that forces him to confront long-buried memories.
  • Outstanding Short Film Award
    • I Promise You Paradise (Paradis)
    • Directed by Morad Mostafa | H264 Distribution | France/Egypt/Qatar, 2023
    • Following a violent incident, Eissa, a 17-year-old African migrant in Egypt, strives to beat the clock to save his loved ones whatever it takes.
  • Outstanding Northern Ontario Short Film Award
    • Walter's Room
    • Directed by Austin Lindsay | Canada, 2023
    • A movie about a dying old man, and his son that forgot about him.
  • Outstanding Animated Short Film Award
    • Return to Hairy Hill (Retour à Hairy Hill)
    • Directed by Daniel Gies | Canada, 2023
    • Ethel's childhood ends abruptly when her mother flies away, leaving Ethel alone to care for an isolated homestead and her younger siblings. As a merciless winter descends upon them, Ethel must decide whether to resign herself to fate or to try her luck in the wide world...

Audience Choice Award Winners:

  • Audience Choice Award for Best Feature
    • The Old Oak
    • Directed by Ken Loach | Photon Films | UK/France/Belgium, 2023
    • The future for the last remaining pub, The Old Oak, in a village of Northeast England, where people are leaving the land as the mines are closed. Houses are cheap and available, thus making it an ideal location for Syrian refugees.
  • Runner-up:
    • Anatomy of a Fall
    • Directed by Justine Triet | Elevation Pictures | France, 2023
    • A woman is suspected of her husband's murder, and their blind son faces a moral dilemma as the sole witness.
  • Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary
    • Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe
    • Directed by Robert McCallum | Distribution 360 | Canada, 2023
    • Take a detailed look about at famed, iconic television show from Canada that impacted multiple generations across its 39 year presence on television and its on-going legacy.
  • Runner-up:
    • Swan Song
    • Directed by Chelsea McMullan | Blue Ice Docs | Canada, 2023
    • A deep look of the incredible devotion, artistry and sacrifices that Karen Kain and the National Ballet of Canada dancers make in their pursuit of creating something unique, meaningful, and beautiful.
  • Audience Choice Award for Best Short
    • À mort le bikini! (Death to the Bikini!)
    • Directed by Justine Gauthier | Travelling Distribution | Canada, 2023
    • Lili, 10 years old, rebels when her parents force her to wear a bikini top, even though she has always swam topless.
  • Runner-up:
    • Lingering Pieces
    • Directed by Jacqueline Lamb | Canada, 2023
    • When someone exits an abusive situation, the abuse and harm do not automatically disappear, the impact and trauma can still linger in their daily life. This short film portrays someone who left an abusive situation, and we are seeing in her daily life how it still effects her.



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