Arcand, Cronenberg among 10 added to Hall of Fame

Famed directors split 'creative' category as Playback names inductees to its annual honors. Plummer, Topalovich also to be cheered during TIFF

Ten industry icons including Oscar-winner Denys Arcand, thrill-master David Cronenberg and legendary thespian Christopher Plummer are to be inducted into Playback’s third annual Canadian Film and Television Hall of Fame.

‘It is really satisfying that we can honor Canada’s best talent and the careers that have been so pivotal to the burgeoning Canadian film and TV industry over the decades,’ said Playback publisher Catherine Bridgman upon naming the inductees on Monday. ‘We are also delighted that we can shine a spotlight on the new inductees during the Toronto International Film Festival which celebrates talent from across the country and around the globe.’

The awards will be presented on Sept. 14, during TIFF. Playback will also publish an updated website and a special report on the Hall of Fame on Aug. 17.

The Hall of Fame recognizes accomplishments in six distinct categories including ‘creative’ — which this year is shared for the first time by Arcand and Cronenberg.

The ‘talent’ category is graced by screen and stage star Christopher Plummer, whose varied, 94-title filmography includes A Beautiful Mind, Ararat, Syriana and the title role in the upcoming The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

On the business side, this year’s ‘industry builder’ is Maria Topalovich whose 28 years with the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television began as one of its founders and wrapped as its president and CEO.

Veteran distributor Victor Loewy is honored in the ‘feature film’ category for outstanding achievement in distribution and exhibition, principally through various incarnations of Alliance Films, while this year’s ‘television’ inductee is Patrick Watson whose innovative contribution to TV journalism played a key role in the development of many groundbreaking public affairs series at the CBC.

This year there are four inductees in the posthumous ‘pioneer’ category: Chief Dan George (1899-1981) the outstanding Canadian actor whose many credits include The Beachcombers and The Outlaw Josey Wales; Ernie Coombs (1927-2001) beloved children’s entertainer better known as CBC’s Mr. Dressup; Norman McLaren (1914-1987), the NFB’s Oscar-winning ‘poet of animation’; and broadcasting magnate Edward Samuel ‘Ted’ Rogers (1933-2008) who last year left behind an empire that includes wireless, cable, radio and television entities and the Toronto Blue Jays.

The selections were made by a 10-member jury of industry professionals, chosen from those with at least 25 years of ‘dedicated commitment’ to the Canadian film or TV industries.