Felix and Meira named best Canadian feature at TIFF

Maxime Giroux's romancer about strangers in Montreal earned $30,000 and the top Canadian jury film award in Toronto.

Maxime Giroux is no stranger to trophies at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The Quebec director saw his film The Day win the best Canadian short film award in 2006.

Eight years later, Giroux on Sunday picked up the best Canadian feature trophy, and a cheque for $30,000, for his latest film, Felix and Meira.

“I’d like to thank TIFF form the bottom of my heart,” Giroux said in a statement from Paris that was read out at the festival’s awards luncheon on Sunday as the 2014 edition ended an 11-day run.

The TIFF jury cited Felix and Meira, a romance between two Montreal strangers, for “its immense sophistication and craftsmanship in telling a brave story bridging two different worlds.”

In other prize-giving, Jeffrey St. Jules grabbed the $15,000 best Canadian first feature award for Bang Bang Baby, a 1960s live action cartoon musical set in a small Ontario town that stars Jane Levy.

St. Jules, in his acceptance speech, said TIFF had been a “week of emotional highs and lows” as a film that he and his team had worked so long on was given over to audiences, only then to be well received in Toronto and topped off with a festival jury award.

The best Canadian short film trophy, with a $10,000 cash prize, went to Randall Okita’s The Weatherman And The Shadowboxer, a blend of live action and digital animation.

Okita in his acceptance speech dedicated the award to his mother “and to the survivors who become adults and parents, and find better ways to love.”

The jury gave an honourable mention to Rob Grant’s What Doesn’t Kill You.

Toronto’s top audience award went to Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game.

On the film market front, Canadian titles had few sales unveiled in Toronto. Giroux’s Felix and Meira sold to Oscilloscope Laboratories, Focus World took David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars for the U.S. market and The Valley Below secured Canadian distribution via A71 Entertainment.