Two young Québec filmmakers have been singled out for top honours, the Grand Jury and Audience awards, at this year’s Slamdance Film Festival.
The Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Film went to Charles-Olivier Michaud of Québec City for his first feature film, Snow and Ashes. It tells the story of Blaise, a war correspondent confronted by the disappearance of a photographer friend and colleague upon his return from an Eastern European conflict zone. Snow and Ashes stars Rhys Coiro (Entourage, 24), David-Alexandre Coiteux, Lina Roessler and Senator Jean Lapointe.
The Wild Hunt, by Alexandre Franchi, won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Film. Franchi’s thriller follows the main character into a medieval role-playing game on a search for his estranged girlfriend — and the game takes a disturbing turn. The Wild Hunt was singled out last fall at the Toronto International Film Festival for the Best Canadian First Feature Film Award. It is also part of a selection of 13 Québec films that will screen during the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, which gets under way on February 4.
Snow and Ashes and The Wild Hunt were chosen from 5,000 films submitted to this year’s Slamdance Festival. Created in 1995, the annual festival, dedicated entirely to independent cinema, is held at the end of January in Park City, Utah. It bills itself an alternative event to the city’s Sundance Film Festival. The official competition is limited to first films with a maximum production budget of $1 million. Established directors such as Christopher Nolan (Memento, Batman Begins) and Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball, Quantum of Solace) have been discovered at Slamdance.
The Québec government office in Los Angeles, which promotes Québec cinema in the western United States, congratulates both young filmmakers on their Slamdance awards.
Slamdance Film Festival
Québec government office in Los Angeles