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September 14, 2023

WIFF ANNOUNCES 2023 PRIZE IN CANADIAN FILM NOMINEES

Learn about the 2023 nominees of the Canadian Prize.


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This past weekend at the annual WIFF at TIFF party, we were beyond thrilled to announce the sophomore nominees for the WIFF Prize in Canadian Film. Through an extensive amount of research and film watching, our programming committee has chosen ten films to be considered for this year’s prize. 

Without further ado, the nominees are (in alphabetical order): 

BLACKBERRY, directed by Matt Johnson

THE DISHWASHER, directed by Francis Leclerc

FRONTIERS, directed by Guy Édoin

HUMANIST VAMPIRE SEEKS CONSENTING SUICIDAL PERSON, directed by Ariane Louis-Seize

IRENA’S VOW, directed by Louise Archambault

MY MOTHER’S MEN, directed by Anik Jean

THE NATURE OF LOVE, directed by Monia Chokri

ONE SUMMER, directed by Louise Archambault

SEVEN VEILS, directed by Atom Egoyan

SOLO, directed by Sophie Dupuis

WIFF is committed to celebrating excellence in Canadian film by honouring Canadian films and filmmakers with an annual cash prize. All ten films will be shown during the Festival’s opening weekend, and the winner of the $25,000 prize will be announced at a special event on Sunday, October 29, 2023. An independent jury comprised of industry professionals will be announced at a later date.

Learn more about this year’s nominees:

BlackBerry, directed by matt johnson

Every era has its visionaries, and ‘BlackBerry,’ co-written by Director Matt Johnson and Producer Matthew Miller,
investigates the brilliance of the individuals who invented the world’s first smartphone. Recounting the Canadian
company’s humble yet chaotic rise to market dominance, ‘BlackBerry’ is a darkly comedic telling of the tragic tale
of a Canadian company that revolutionized the way we communicate, before swiftly plummeting into
obsolescence.


It’s 1996, and Mike Lazaridis (Jay Baruchel) and his business partner and best friend Douglas Fregin (Matt
Johnson) are on the edge of creating the world’s first smartphone. Unfortunately for them, they are less business
savvy than they are tech, and struggle to keep their company, Research in Motion, afloat. Everything changes
when cunning business man Jim Balsillie (Glenn Howerton) agrees to join the company, bringing with him the
money and experience needed to create and sell a prototype of their invention.


Seemingly overnight the three men revolutionize the way people work, communicate and connect. Celebrities,
politicians and businessmen are now addicted to their Blackberrys. The company’s value skyrockets, yet within a
few short years shady business dealings, personal grievances, and, perhaps most dangerously, the iPhone,
threaten the company’s incredible success.

the dishwasher, directed by francis leclerc

Montreal, winter 2002. Stephane is on a downward spiral: he is addicted to gambling. Hoping to make some cash, he takes a job as a dishwasher in a popular restaurant.

frontiers, directed by guy Édoin

Diane Messier lives on a farm in the Eastern Townships, near the American border, with her daughter Sarah and her two sisters, Carmen and Julie. Following a tragic accident, Diane feels constantly threatened and even believes her house is haunted. Worried by her daughter’s actions, Angèle returns from Florida to bring comfort to Diane and try to reunite the family clan.

humanist vampire seeking consenting suicidal person, directed by Ariane Louis-Seize

Sasha is a young vampire with a serious problem: she’s too sensitive to kill! When her exasperated parents cut off her blood supply, Sasha’s life is in jeopardy. Luckily, she meets Paul, a lonely teenager with suicidal tendencies who is willing to give his life to save hers. But their friendly agreement soon becomes a nocturnal quest to fulfill Paul’s last wishes before day breaks.

irena’s vow, directed by louise archambault

Through the eyes of a strong-willed woman comes the remarkable true story of Irena Gut Opdyke and the triumphs of the human spirit over devastating tragedy. 19-year-old Irena Gut is promoted to housekeeper in the home of a highly respected Nazi officer when she finds out that the Jewish ghetto is about to be liquidated. Determined to help twelve Jewish workers, she decides to shelter them in the safest place she can think of: the basement of the German commandant’s house. Over the next two years, Irena uses her wit, humour, and courage to hide her friends until the end of the German occupation, concealing them in the midst of countless Nazi parties, a blackmail scheme, and even the birth of a child. Her story is one of the most inspiring of our time.

my mother’s men, directed by anik jean

Young Elsie is shocked to learn that her eccentric mother wanted her ashes to be scattered among her five ex-husbands. Elsie is adamant about carrying out her mother’s wishes, but the trip fundamentally alters her course.

the nature of love, directed by monia chokri

Sophia, a 40-year-old philosophy professor, is in a stable if somewhat socially-conforming relationship with Xavier. From gallery openings to endless dinner parties, ten years have already flown by. Sylvain is a craftsman, renovating Sophia and Xavier’s new country house. When Sophia and Sylvain meet, Sophia’s world is turned upside down. Opposites attract, but can they last?

one summer, directed by louise archambault

For more than 25 years, street chaplain and parish priest Marc Côté has lived with the poor and the homeless at his church. Exhausted and with bills piling up, Marc faces the prospect of shutting everything down. Like a call from Providence, he inherits a property in the Bas-du-Fleuve region and takes a group of homeless people there on vacation with him.

seven veils, directed by atom egoyan

Earnest theatre director Jeanine (Amanda Seyfried) has been given the task of remounting her former mentor’s most famous work, the opera “Salome”. Haunted by dark and disturbing memories from her past, Jeanine allows her repressed trauma to colour the present as she re-enters the opera world after so many years away.

solo, directed by sophie dupuis

Solo is a 2023 Canadian romantic drama film written and directed by Sophie Dupuis. The film stars Théodore Pellerin as Simon, a young emerging drag queen in Montreal who is drawn into a passionate but complicated romance with Olivier (Félix Maritaud), while simultaneously navigating a reunion with his estranged mother Claire (Anne-Marie Cadieux), whom he has not seen since she left Canada 15 years earlier to pursue her career as an opera singer.

Tickets will be available online on October 5, 2023, and in person at our box office on October 19, 2023.

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