Toronto Film Critics Name ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ Top Doc

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?


By Pat Mullen

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood for Torontonians! The Toronto Film Critics Association named Morgan Neville’s Mr. Rogers doc Won’t You Be My Neighbor? the year’s top documentary. The film won the RBC Allan King Documentary Award, which carries a cash prize of $5,000 generously sponsored by the Royal Bank of Canada, in the live vote held this afternoon. The doc was a hit for audiences and critics alike in Toronto when it had its international premiere at Hot Docs this spring. (Read more about the film here in our interview with Neville.)

Runners-up in the documentary race were Jennifer Baichwal, Nick de Pencier and Edward Burtynsky’s Anthropocene: The Human Epoch and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s Free Solo. Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma was the overall favourite from the TFCA winning Best Picture and Best Director.

Three finalists for the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award will be named shortly. The category recognizes the best Canadian feature film to received a theatrical release in Toronto within the calendar year. The award comes with a cash prize of $100,000 to the winner and $5,000 for the runners-up. The winner will be announced at the TFCA award ceremony in January 2019.

Updated (12/10): The TFCA released the three nominees for the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award. Anthropocene is among the three finalists with Baichwal, Burtynsky, and de Pencier looking to complete the trifecta of wins in this category, as the first two films in their environmental trilogy, Manufactured Landscapes and Watermark, won the awards in previous years. Sofia Bohdonwicz’s Maison du bonheur adds another documentary nominee to the mix. The film is a Varda-esque portrait of an elderly and eclectic Parisian woman. Sadaf Foroughi’s drama Ava rounds out the trio with a compelling character study of a young girl in Tehran fighting against an oppressive society. It was also announced that Technicolor Clyde Gilmour Award winner Tantoo Cardinal has selected filmmaker Darlene Naponse as the recipient of the prize’s pay-it-forward honour that allows an industry veteran to bestow $50,000 in post-production services to an emerging talent. Naponse directed Cardinal in this year’s drama Falls Around Her, which finally gave the star her first lead role with top-billing in her long and remarkable career.

The full list of TFCA Award winners is as follows:

Best Picture: Roma
Runners-up: Burning, First Reformed

Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Runners-up: Lee Chang-dong, Burning; Paul Schrader, First Reformed

Best Actor: Ethan Hawke, First Reformed
Runners-up: Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate; Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

Best Actress: Olivia Colman, The Favourite
Runners-up: Regina Hall, Support the Girls; Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Best Supporting Actor: Steven Yeun, Burning
Runners-up: Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?; Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther

Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Runners-up: Emma Stone, The Favourite; Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

Best Screenplay: (tie) First Reformed, Paul Schrader; The Favourite, Tony McNamara, Deborah Davis
Runner-up: Roma, Alfonso Cuarón

RBC Allan King Documentary Award: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Runners-up: Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, Free Solo

Best Animated Feature: Isle of Dogs
Runners-up: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Ralph Breaks the Internet

Best First Feature: Sorry to Bother You
Runners-up: Eighth Grade, Hereditary

Best Foreign Language Film: Burning
Runners-up: Cold War, Roma

Technicolor Clyde Gilmour Award: Tantoo Cardinal

Rogers Best Canadian Film Award nominees: Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, Ava, Maison du bonheur_

Stella Artois Jay Scott Prize: to be announced