Steve Gravestock, longtime programmer of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), will receive the Company3 Luminary Award this year from the Toronto Film Critics Association (TFCA). The award, formerly known as the Company3 Clyde Gilmour Award, acknowledges a member of the Canadian film community who has made a significant contribution towards enriching the appreciation and understanding of our national cinema. The award invites Gravestock to select an emerging filmmaker to receive $50,000 in production services, courtesy of Company3. The pay-it-forward nature of the award is a fitting send-off for Gravestock, who is retiring as TIFF’s senior programmer after launching the careers of numerous Canadian filmmakers.
Gravestock’s programming has raised Canadian voices who went on to win the TFCA’s own prizes, including Stella Artois Jay Scott Prize winners Molly McGlynn (Mary Goes Round) and Bretten Hannam (Wildhood), and the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award like Incendies, Monsieur Lazhar, The Forbidden Room, and The Stairs, or in some cases both, like Ashley McKenzie’s Werewolf. Gravestock has also been instrumental in shaping the Canadian canon through TIFF’s Canada’s Top Ten and brought Canadian films out of the archives with the See the North series in addition to a substantial body of work as a writer.
Stella Artois Jay Scott Prize and Emerging Critic
The TFCA also announced Carol Nguyen as the winner of the Stella Artois Prize for an Emerging Artist. The award carries a cash prize of $10,000, courtesy of Labatt’s. Nguyen has quickly established herself a born filmmaker on the Canadian scene, rising from student shorts competitions to major international film festivals. Her short documentaries include Every Grain of Rice (2017) and No Crying at the Dinner Table (2019).
The latter was an official selection for over 80 festivals including TIFF, IDFA (where she was invited to deliver the festival’s opening remarks), RIDM, and SXSW where it won Best Short Documentary. No Crying at the Dinner Table was selected for Canada’s Top Ten, nominated for a Canadian Screen Award, and distributed by The New Yorker. Her 2022 short drama Nanitic won the IMDBpro Short Cuts Share Her Journey Award at TIFF last fall and made Canada’s Top Ten. It will next play the Berlinale.
The TFCA also tapped a rising star in Michelle Krasovitski with the Telefilm Canada Emerging Critic Award. Krasovitski is currently working on a Master’s thesis that considers the integration of Quebecois film into French classrooms in Ontario. She has contributed to outlets such as Xtra, Bitch Media, and Little White Lies. The Telefilm Canada Emerging Critic award comes with a cash prize of $1,000, courtesy of Telefilm Canada.
The TFCA will present the winners with their awards at the TFCA Awards Gala on March 6. The event will be hosted by Amanda Brugel of The Handmaid’s Tale and Canada’s Drag Race at the OMNI King Edward in Toronto. At the Gala, the TFCA will reveal the winner of the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award, which carries a cash prize of $100,000, courtesy of Rogers. This year’s nominees are Brother, directed by Clement Virgo; Crimes of the Future, directed by David Cronenberg; and Riceboy Sleeps, directed by Anthony Shim.
Previous winners of the Company 3 Luminary Award include David Cronenberg, Jason Ryle, Alanis Obomsawin, Piers Handling, Michèle Maheux, and Tantoo Cardinal. Previous winners of the Stella Artois Jay Scott Prize include Bretten Hannam, Kelly Fyffe-Marshall, Deragh Campbell, Xavier Dolan, and Anne Émond.