WIFTV Artistic Merit Award Presented to Two Filmmakers at VIFF: Patricia Rozema and Christy Garland

On Friday, October 12th, the Women in Film and Television Vancouver (WIFTV) Artistic Merit Award was presented at Closing Gala Awards Ceremony of the Vancouver International Film Festival’s (VIFF).

The WIFTV Artistic Merit Award is presented to a Canadian film at VIFF 2018 directed by a woman. This year, two films were recognized; a drama and a documentary.

WIFTV would like to extend a special thank you to this year’s jury Elisa McRae (Writer/Actor), Aisha Amijee (Executive Director of Voices of Muslim Women), and Ali Liebert (Actor/Producer/Director).

This year’s Artistic Merit Award for drama goes to Patricia Rozema for the film Mouthpiece, which she directed and co-wrote with Amy Nostbakken and Norah Sadava. This well-crafted film, with a hauntingly beautiful score, took artistic risks in its direction, cinematography and editing. The use of double characters to express Cassandra’s inner turmoil grasped the attention of the jury and pulled them in. “The honest storytelling had me replaying and connecting with Mouthpiece in my mind for days later,“ said jury member Aisha Amijee.

The Artistic Merit Award for documentary goes to Christy Garland for the film What Walaa Wants, which she directed and shot. The jury selected What Walaa Wants for its vibrant portrait of a fascinating and dynamic young Palestinian woman. Garland succeeded in creating a raw and shockingly honest film in a form that was simultaneously intimate and expansive.

A special mention also goes to the narrative drama The Grizzlies, directed by Miranda de Pencier. It was a very challenging and close decision for the jury.

Other 2018 Artistic Merit Award contenders included:

  • Edge of the Knife by Helen Haig-Brown
  • Finding Big Country by Kathleen S. Jayme
  • Fausto by Andrea Bussman
  • Firecrackers by Jasmin Mozaffari
  • Inside My Heart by Debra Kellner
  • Level 16 by Danishka Esterhazy
  • The New Romantic by Carly Stone
  • The Oslo Diaries by Mor Loushy
  • Quiet Killing by Kim O’Bomsawin
  • Roads in February by Katherine Jerkovic
  • A Sister’s Song by Danae Elon
  • Song of a Seer by Aïda Maigre-Touchet
  • What Is Democracy? by Astra Taylor