Quebec Cinema announces change to voting system for Iris Awards

The organization's director general Segolene Roederer said the new system was created to give the Quebec film community more stake in the awards.


Quebec Cinema has announced a change to the voting system of its Iris Awards ahead of registration for 2019.

All nominees, excluding the new Best First Feature award, will now be determined by both the traditional selected jury as well as the votes of industry members. As of 2019, all eligible film association members in Quebec are eligible to vote, including members of the Quebec Alliance of Image and Sound Technicians (AQTIS), the Professional Society of Authors and Composers of Quebec (SPACQ), and the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC). The previous year’s finalists are also eligible to vote.

In previous years, all rounds were voted on solely by a jury of 33 individuals selected by the associations. The new voting system only applies to the selection of the finalists, and is weighted 50-50 with the jury. The winners will be determined by the jury.

The new voting system was created as a way to give the Quebec film community more stake in the awards, and to include a more diverse selection of films to represent Quebec, Segolène Roederer, Quebec Cinema’s director general told Playback Daily.

“It’s important that all people of the milieu can take part in the selection from the beginning,” he said. “A vote from the whole industry is a good way of having the most inclusive choices.”

The award for best first feature was added this year as a way to recognize new filmmakers. The nominees will be voted on exclusively by the selected jury.

The changes and additions are the latest among many made over the last few years by Quebec Cinema. Several new categories have been added to the awards since 2017, including Best New Talent, Best Visual Effects, Best Casting, and sound, editing, and cinematography awards in the documentary category. The Golden Ticket award, which was previously given to the film with the high box office earning, was renamed to the Audience Award, which is determined by the voting public.

The awards themselves were renamed to the Iris Awards in 2016 from the Jutra Awards after allegations surfaced regarding late filmmaker Claude Jutra. The name was determined by a public vote. 

The changes are also intended to make the films more accessible to Quebec audiences. The SPRINT Pre-Gala Gala, launched in 2016 and expanded in 2018, allows audiences to stream the nominated films in eight categories on platforms including Bell Fibe, Super Écran GO, l’EXTRA d’ICI TOU.TV, and The awards themselves has been split into two nights with the creation of the Gala Artisans to better showcase the increased pool of winners.

“The aim is to promote Quebec cinema to the public… and to celebrate the love of cinema,” said Roederer.

Registration for the awards open Dec. 17 and end Jan. 18.