Toronto | Montreal, January 19, 2016 – The new Discovery Award, sponsored by the Talent Fund for Canada’s top emerging talent making movies with micro-budgets under C$250,000, was presented to Mina Walking at the Academy’s CANADIAN SCREEN AWARDS press conference. Director Yosef Baraki and producers Andrew Korogyi and Asef Baraki accepted this Academy Special Award.
Mina Walking is about 12 year-old Mina, who cooks, sews, washes and works selling knick-knacks on the war-torn streets of Kabul, Afghanistan, to feed her neglectful father and senile grandfather. Nobody praises her. She spends her life walking without looking back or stopping.
“Mina Walking displays a creativity and resourcefulness unhampered by limited funding or difficult filming conditions on location in the Middle East,” said Academy CEO Helga Stephenson. “It is a film made against all odds, with a unique voice and vision, worthy of this inaugural Canadian Screen Award.”
Talent Fund Advisory Committee Chair, Hartley T. Richardson, added: “Filmmakers, like business owners, have to be entrepreneurial, imaginative and proactive in creating their stories and in bringing them to their audiences—the marketplace. On behalf of Talent Fund donors, we’re proud to invest in the success of Canada’s next generation of creators. Through this partnership with the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television for the Discovery Award, the Talent Fund is making a difference for emerging talent, both women and men, from all regions of our country.”
Discovery Award Sponsored by the Talent Fund | Academy Special Award
The Talent Fund helps the film industry diversify its funding sources and promote its successes. Under the leadership of an advisory committee of eight business and community leaders, the Fund has raised over $15 million to date from companies, foundations and individuals. The money is being invested over a period of seven years. Seventy-five percent of Telefilm Canada’s Micro-Budget Production Program is financed by the Talent Fund.
The Micro-Budget Production Program is being revised for 2016-2017 to support a wider diversity of emerging talent. Most notably, the definition of eligible projects is being extended to include, in addition to feature films, Web content of under 75 minutes in length.
The Academy’s Discovery Award arises from a desire to celebrate the emerging talent who have cut their teeth on the film festival circuit (their films must play in two Academy-approved Canadian festivals to compete), but have not yet had a theatrical release in the calendar year. The Discovery Award bridges a gap for Canada’s emerging talent to be applauded at the Canadian Screen Awards.
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About the Canadian Screen Awards and Canadian Screen Week| www.academy.ca | The Academy’s Canadian Screen Awards is the annual awards show to celebrate the best in film, television and digital media; they are part of Canadian Screen Week (March 7 –13, 2016) and the 2-Hour Broadcast Gala will air LIVE at 8pm (9 AT | 9:30 NT) Sunday March 13, 2016 on CBC.
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