Monsieur Lazhar was the big winner Thursday night at the Genie Awards — the heart-warming story about a teacher making a difference in the lives of a middle-school class earned best picture and five other trophies.
Director Philippe Falardeau took home best director honours and best adapted screenplay for the story of an Algerian immigrant, his own life full of heartbreak, who steps in to teach a middle-school class after their teacher commits suicide.
Monsieur Lazhar was a favourite going into the awards, which were presented in Toronto. The film earned an Oscar nomination earlier this year in the best foreign-language film category.
“I want to say that I’m privileged to work in a time and a place where our public system makes it possible for us to make a personal film,” Falardeau said after his win for best director. “It is a choice we make as a society. Cinema is the memory and the imagination of a country so without that our country would not be a nation.
“I would like to share this with all my fellow filmmakers across the Canada who are struggling to make personal films. I want to say to them be persistent, be wild, be bold, be a little delinquent, take this and something good is bound to happen,” he continued.
In accepting the screenplay award, Falardeau acknowledge his inspiration, a play by Evelyne de la Chenelière.
“Monsieur Lazhar comes from a beautiful play called Bashir Lazhar that I saw four years ago. That night, I didn’t find a subject for my next movie, it found me,” he said.
Best film: Monsieur Lazhar
Best art direction: A Dangerous Method, James McAteer
Best cinematography: Snow & Ashes, Jean-François Lord
Best actor: Monsieur Lazhar, Fellag
Best actress: Café de Flore, Vanessa Paradis
Best supporting actor: A Dangerous Method, Viggo Mortensen.
Best supporting actress: Monsieur Lazhar, Sophie Nélisse
Costume: Funkytown, Marie-Chantale Vaillancourt
Best director: Monsieur Lazhar, Philippe Falardeau
Best editing: Monsieur Lazhar, Stéphane Lafleur
Best makeup: Café de Flore, Christianne Fattori, Frederic Marin
Original score: A Dangerous Method, Howard Shore
Best song: Starbuck, Carole Facal
Best adapted screenplay: Monsieur Lazhar
Best original screenplay: Starbuck
Best feature doc: At Night, They Dance
Best short doc: Sirmilik
Best live action short: Doubles with Slight Pepper
Best animated short: Romance
Continue reading the rest of the story on CBC