Awards round-up: Stag parties, mental illness and D-Day take top prizes

Canadian productions Stag, Passionflower, Wilderness and online interactive series D-Day to Victory all took home awards in the last week.
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Canadians continue to prove they can compete in an increasingly crowded international film and TV market, as they bring home awards from festivals all over the world.

Stag, the debut feature comedy from Brett Heard and Toronto-based Fresh Baked Entertainment, took home the Award of Excellence as well as the prize for Best Ensemble at the LA Comedy Fest last weekend.

The film, which stars Donald Faison and rising comedian Jon Dore, tells the story of a man, known for the elaborate pranks he pulls at friends’ stag parties, who nervously awaits how the tables will be turned at his own stag.

Meanwhile, at the recently wrapped Worldfest Houston International Film Festival, director Shelagh Carter’s Manitoba-made Passionflower nabbed the Platinum Reel Award for Best Original Drama.

The film, made with support from Telefilm Canada, stars Kristen Harris and Darcy Fehr.

Set against the backdrop of 1960s suburban Winnipeg, it depicts a family’s struggle to cope with a mother’s mental illness.

And Dog-Eared productions’ short film, Wilderness (pictured), took home the platinum award for Independent Short Dramatic Original at the Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival last week.

The film is written and produced by Penelope Eizenga and directed by Dawn Wilkinson.

Rounding out the list is the interactive online extension of the documentary series, D-Day to Victory, produced by Toronto-based Secret Location, which earned the Best in Show and 3D Awards at the Future Innovation Technology Creativity Awards. They were given out last week in Toronto.

Through interviews with veterans, archival footage, newspaper clippings, and recreations of the effects of wartime weaponry, D-Day to Victory allows viewers to explore the experience of the Allies from the invasion of Normandy to the fall of Berlin.