The TFCA 100K Cash Prize Facelift + Eros on Film, Part VII

November 29, 2012 | By

Your creative net worth may be 1/10th of this.

CBC News reported the first prize winnings of the Toronto Film Critics Association’s Best Canadian Film Award was boosted to a whopping $100,000, an augmentation largely the result of sponsor Rogers Communications.

In a country where we grew up seeing game show winners earning a GE toaster or new box spring for their first mattress purchase at Eaton’s, this is unusually rich, if not lucrative. Perhaps it’s a move to inspire filmmakers to Try Harder and Make More Movies so Rogers is seen as a supporter of CanCon, or maybe it’s a suave P.R. move to make up for the lack of original CanCon on TV (of which all networks and providers are guilty of neglecting).

It’s a swelling prize, but I’m a little curious about the large gap between the top winner and the second + third prize winners, each of whom receives  $5,000 cash.

Not to smack down a great thing for the top winner, but the cash prizes kind of reflect the psychological gap audiences and some critics have between those who make movies locally and those who come back from the U.S. with a studio deal, if not a career with films that actually enjoy normal theatrical exhibition. I’m not sure if the disparity represents a wide qualitative spectrum between any First Prize winner and The Rest, but wouldn’t it make sense to stagger the three prizes  thusly: $100,000 / $50,000 / $30,000 so that the winners could feel somehow tied to a common tier of skill and merit, and with their significant honorarium, be able to make more movies?

Quoted by the CBC, TFCA President Brian D. Johnson stated “It represents a tremendous vote of confidence in Canadian filmmakers, and in the discerning role that Toronto’s robust community of film critics can play in recognizing and rewarding brilliance.”

If the prize is meant to encourage, foster, ignite, and assist in furthering existing talent, the current prize allotments represent a discrete breakdown of critical stances that could be classified as A) You Made It!  + B) We Know How It Feels: Here’s Some Rent Money + C) Hey… Come on… You’re As Good As That Guy to the the top 3 filmmakers of 2012.

It’s great that Rogers was compelled to assist in the rewarding and encouragement of talent, but this one needs a re-think, because what adjective suits the other two filmmakers who numerically and collectively represent apparently 1/10th of the winner’s talent?


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Moving on to something more lighthearted: Part 7 of Eros on Film.

Yes, this moment of Wrongness actually happens.

Cult Epics recently released Tinto Brass’ Cheeky! / Trasgredire [M] (2000) on Blu-ray, a sign the label is hopefully working its way through its existing Brassian catalogue and perhaps getting closer to the two films available absolutely nowhereDropout (1970) and La vacanza (1971). Both star Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero.

I said: both star Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero.

Next we have Salvatore Semperi’s Dark Side of Love / Fotografando Patrizia [M]) (1984) from One 7 Movies, a naughty tale of sibling incest with music by Fred Bongusto, and cinematography by Dante Spinotti.

Again: cinematography by Dante Spinotti.

Lastly, we have the return of Walter Boos in Schoolgirl Report #9: Mature Before Graduation / Schulmädchen-Report 9: Reifeprüfung vor dem Abitur [M] (1975) from Impulse Pictures / Synapse Films. Not the best in the ludicrous franchise, but still very silly, and very German (which you can interpret however you like).

Coming next: reviews of classic soundtracks by Ernest Gold, Dimitri Tiomkin, Franz Waxma, Victor Young, and J.S. Zamecnik.



Mark R. Hasan, Editor ( Main Site / Mobile Site )

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