Now in its third thriving year, AN EVENING WITH CANADA’S STARS was held last night at the prestigious Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. Leading into the Academy Awards and Canadian Screen Week, the Gala honours Canadian accomplishments in Cinema during Awards Season and if any year, this was the year to celebrate. The Gala is brought to us by Telefilm Canada, the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television and the Consulate General of Canada in Los Angeles.
Canada notched over 20 nominations at the Academy Awards this year and one Technical Achievement Award! This also marks the first time ever Canada has had two Films in the running for Best Picture, with Canadian Co-Productions ROOM and BROOKLYN both being nominated.
It was an at-capacity crowd as Canadian talent and notables filled the venue. Being honoured with the Academy‘s Legacy Award are two iconic Canadian screen veterans, Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy, whom after making us laugh many years on SCTV, still continue to do so on CBC Series, Schitt’s Creek. Both walked the Carpet tonight with their loved ones before taking the stage to accept their honours.
The fashion was bold and elegant on the Red Carpet with presenter Emmanuelle Chriqui in a gorgeous red and white floral print dress making a subtle Canadian statement. Amanda Brugel was a vision in wavy white, reminding us again what a triumph she was in ROOM as a quick thinking police officer who helps save the day. Laura Vandervoort simply never disappoints and chose a fashion-forward pink lace number. Katie Boland was a stunner in a magenta dress, looking classic and chic. Missy Peregrym continues to rock our world with her amazing choices including a dyed pixie cut and short black dress shirt-like number. Academy Award-nominated Shoreh Aghdashloo was effortlessly chic in simple, flattering red. Stealing the entire show though was dapper Jacob Tremblay, star of ROOM in a perfectly-tailored and patriotic red suit which had us both jealous and in “awww”. Did we mention his swoon-worthy police detective dad Jason was there too? Effortlessly cool in a non-stagedad way.
Why don’t you be the judge of that? Let’s gawk at some of that Canadian beauty which the World can’t seem to get enough of:
Presenters Lyriq Bent + Emmanuelle Chriqui
Legacy Award honourees Catherine O’Hara + Eugene Levy
Catherine O’Hara + Guest
Jacob Tremblay + Amanda Brugel
Toronto Mayor John Tory + Guests
Sarah Blackwood of Walk Off the Earth
George Stroumboulopoulous with Air Canada‘s Bambina Marcello + Robert Trudeau
Martin Katz, Academy Chair
Stephan Moccio (co-wrote “Earned It” by The Weeknd for Fifty Shades of Grey)
Co-Presenter (and Canadian Screen Award Nominee) Lyriq Bent sums-up the spirit of An Evening with Canada’s Stars best by telling the room “We’ve got to show the world what we’re all about because that’s what it takes to be great. We need to understand ourselves before we need others to understand us.”. After he and Chriqui called to stage all Canadian Academy Award Nominees this year, last but not least was the brilliant young star of ROOM himself, Tremblay. “I need you all to understand – this is the future generation. This is why when we see talent, we need to embrace talent, not just tell him how great he is, but to show this young man what it is to be a good man. That’s our responsibility in this industry.”.
Suicide Squad star Adam Beach, who also presented, had a two or thing to say about Tremblay too!
See the Video:
So everybody was trying to crash this Party!
Canadian Screen Week runs Monday, March 7 through Sunday, March 13, 2016, the night of the Canadian Screen Awards.
With great sadness, we must say farewell to another TIFF. And with fatigue, a limp in my right foot and great pain in my neck today after a gruelling run these past 11 days, I look back at the happy times, the regrets and what TIFF ’14 might hold. Despite all these mixed emotions, I know it won’t be long before I’m begging for more! I live for the Toronto International Film Festival – the greatest in Film Festival the World – and wouldn’t rather be anywhere else.
Here’s a look back at some of the Highlights for me of the Festival in Compiled Lists:
MR. WILL’S MOST GRACIOUS 10
Anyone who encountered these Stars up-close and personal during TIFF ’13 can vouch that they deserve a warm round of applause for the respect, appreciation and courtesy they’ve shown our City. Whether it be Jessica Chastain‘s consistent grace and humility towards her Fans, Brad Pitt‘s surprise Red Carpet appearance in which he took several Photos with Fans at the 12 Years a Slave Premiere, Hugh Jackman stopping in the rain outside the Press Conference for Prisoners to meet and great all his Supporters individually – these Stars understand exactly what the Festival is all about for us Fans!
1. Jessica Chastain
2. Sandra Bullock
3. Tom Hiddleston
4. Daniel Radcliffe
5.. Brad Pitt
6. Josh Brolin
7. Hugh Jackman
8. Jennifer Aniston
9. Nicolas Cage
10. Emma Thompson
MR. WILL’S SUCCESSFUL 6
These six Films gained a great amount of buzz and momentum coming out of TIFF ’13 in advance of their forthcoming Awards Season Best Picture Campaigns. Sadly, August: Osage Country didn’t wind up getting critical love universally (I enjoyed it much!) hoped for, but it still remains a major Contender in the Acting categories – especially for a heartbreakingly-absent Queen Meryl Streep.
1. 12 Years a Slave
2. Labor Day
3. Dallas Buyers Club
MR. WILL’S EMERGING 5
These five up-and coming Stars caused quite a stir wherever they spotted around TIFF ’13. This time next year, expect to know them pretty much on a first name-basis.
1. Benedict Cumberbatch
2. Emilia Clarke
3. Daniel Brühl
4. Jai Courtney
5. Taylor Schilling
MR. WILL’S NAUGHTY LIST
Although we try to keep things positive here, we remain hopeful that next time these Stars visit our City, they show us a bit more Fan Appreciation – not just only when the Cameras are on – than they showed this year. Little things like picking-up a Sharpie or taking time to pose for Photos with Fans, or maybe not distancing themselves a 15 feet from the Barricades where their Fans had queued for hours to see them, would be a first step. In all fairness, some had hyper-assertive Handlers or lateness to blame.
1. Benedict Cumberbatch
2. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
3. Scarlett Johansson
4. Mila Kunis
5. Emilia Clarke
MR. WILL’S FASHIONABLE 5
These Stars certainly made a Statement whether it be out and about in our City or on the Red Carpet. I still cannot get over Kitsch‘s gray-on-gray Suit he wore at the Premiere of The Grand Seduction and certainly was a bit obsessed with Toni Collette‘s new Bangs. Julia Roberts was a Vision in her Dolce & Gabbana Dress at the Premiere of August: Osage County too, but my favourite look was Sandra Bullock at the Gravity Premiere in Narciso Rodriguez!
1. Sandra Bullock
2. Julia Roberts
3. Taylor Kitsch
4. Toni Collette
5. Jessica Chastain
And who exactly did Mr. Will got a Photo-with at TIFF ’13?
Ben Cotton, Dane Cook, Jason Reitman, Josh Brolin, Nicole Kidman, Anika Noni Rose, Bill Condon, Donnie Wahlberg, Paul Wahlberg, Jack Huston, Tom Arnold, John Torturro, Lauren Lee Smith, Sami Gayle, Mary Walsh, Saoirse Ronan, Michael C. Hall, Tye Sheridan, Katie Boland, Aaron Abrams, Kelly Rowan, Daniel Radcliffe, Taylor Schilling, Effie Exarchopoulos, Dan Stevens, Daniel Brühl, Alicia Vikander, Tom Hiddleston, deadmau5, Carice Van Houten, Tom Welling, Vanessa Paradis, Michael Bolton, Alice Cooper, Taylor Kitsch, Toni Collette, Dakota Fanning, Jai Courtney, Ciaran Hinds, Jessica Chastain, Emilia Clarke, Jared Harris, Adelaide Kane, James Lafferty, Jennifer Morrison, David Arquette, Alfre Woodard, Ryan Kwanten, Catherine O’Hara, Mark Boone Junior, Will Forte, Emma Thompson, Cara Gee, Demian Bichir, Jude Law, Tom Wilkinson, Alfonso Cuaron, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Thompson (again!), Lea Seydoux, Robert Baker, Amanda Walsh, Adam Driver, Keanu Reeves and Nicolas Cage.
To re-visit some of the amazing names that I snapped in the City over the Festival, click here.
To read some of my Reviews of the Films that premiered at TIFF ’13, click here. More Reviews to come over the next day or two as I play catch-up after all the madness.
…until next year, Wongsters!
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
*Photos taken on Samsung Galaxy S4 and Olympus E-PL5
Honouring some of the most significant Females in Canadian Film, Telefilm Canada and Maison Birks honoured ten Women Actors and Directors at their Flagship Toronto Store today at the first ever Diamond Tribute to the Year’s Women in Film. The Event was timed while all eyes are on Toronto during the Toronto International Film Festival.
Selected by a Panel of Journalists who cover the Arts, Cultural and Entertainment fields, an immensely-talented group of Canadian Women were awarded for their achievement and talent, recognition from peers and visibility they have brought Canada. Drawing a huge crowd to Bay x Bloor despite the threat of rain, Fans were ready in a designated FanZone allowing them an opportunity to connect with the Who’s Who of Film and Television in Canada.
This year’s Honourees include:
Directors: Louise Archambault, Deepa Mehta, Alanis Obomsawin, Sarah Polley and Chloé Robichaud
Actresses: Évelyne Brochu, Geneviève Bujold, Sarah Gadon, Jessica Paré and Alison Pill
The Event being fully at capacity, Archambault, Mehta, Obomsawin, Robinchaud and Brochu were all in attendance today. Gadon‘s Mother accepted her Award in her absence.
Among those in attendance this year were several familiar Canadian faces including the likes of Kelly Rowan, Anthony Lemke, Katie Boland, Aaron Abrams, Kristin Booth, Rob Stewart, Cynthia Preston, Atom Egoyan, Paul Haggis, Liane Balaban, Michael Seater and several more. TIFFRising Stars,Cara Gee and Johnathan Sousa also came out to celebrate.