Alanis Obomsawin Wins Technicolour Clyde Gilmour Award

Alanis Obomsawin

By Pat Mullen

Canada’s leading Indigenous filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin is the recipient of another major honour. Obomsawin is set to receive the Technicolour Clyde Gilmour Award from the Toronto Film Critics Association at this year’s TFCA awards. The award lets Obomsawin bestow $50,000 in services upon an emerging filmmaker of her choosing. Obomsawin recently received the Prix Albert Tessie, Quebec’s highest honour in film.

The Technicolor Clyde Gilmour Award recognizes a Canadian industry figure who has made a substantial and outstanding contribution to the advancement and/or history of Canadian cinema. This includes, but is not limited to writers, directors, producers, distributors, actors, academics, cinematographers and technicians.

“I’m deeply touched by this recognition from the Toronto Film Critics Association,” said Obomsawin in a statement released today from the TFCA. “But what’s most special for me is the opportunity you are offering me to help a young filmmaker with $50,000 in services. I think that’s a truly wonderful idea! Thank you to the TFCA and Technicolor for this award and for allowing me to assist a fellow artist – something that is very near and dear to my heart.”

Alanis Obomsawin is the world’s most honoured Indigenous filmmaker. An officer of the Order of Canada and twice a Governor General’s Award winner, the Abenaki director, writer and singer has won the Pioneer Prize from the U.S.-based International Documentary Association, the Outstanding Achievement Award from Toronto’s Hot Docs festival, the Lifetime Achievement Award from Chile’s Valdiva Festival and been named a Grand Officiere de l’Ordre national du Québec. She has worked with the National Film Board since 1971. Over her career, she has made over 45 films, the vast majority of which are point-of-view documentaries that represent Indigenous peoples: their history, politics and singular lives.

Obomsawin, 84, most recently debuted her new featured-length doc — and one of her most acclaimed films — We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice. The film is the subject of the current cover story of POV with an in-depth interview about the doc with editor Marc Glassman.

The Toronto Film Critics Association will announce the bulk of its 2016 awards on December 11, 2016, including the Stella Artois Jay Scott Prize for an emerging artist which carries a $5,000 cash prize. The TFCA will also name the three finalists for the coveted Rogers Best Canadian Film Award, by far Canada’s richest film prize at $100,000 with $5,000 going to each of two runners-up.

The winner will be announced at the 20th annual TFCA Awards, a gala dinner held in Toronto at The Carlu on Tuesday, January 10, 2017. The event will be co-hosted by Cameron Bailey, artistic director of the Toronto International Film Festival and actress extraordinaire Mary Walsh.