Skip to main content

Sarah Polley, photographed last fall at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Five days before her short film promoting better heart health was set to air during the Oscars, Toronto director/actor Sarah Polley has pulled her name off the two-minute feature.

In a tersely worded press release issued Tuesday, Polley said she removed her name from the credits of the film - titled simply The Heart, and made to support The Heart and Stroke Foundation - after she learned her work will also promote "a product" when it airs during the award's show ceremony, seen by hundreds of millions around the world.

The film was commissioned by Becel (the "love your heart" margarine brand from Unilever) to inspire women to take better care of that particular vital organ.

Story continues below advertisement

The margarine also sponsors the Heart and Stroke Foundation's healthy living campaign. A spokesperson for Unilever was not immediately available for comment.

On Tuesday, Polley said in the press release she's "never actively promoted any corporate brand, and cannot do so now." The Academy Awards air March 7 on CTV.

"I was thrilled, as I was proud to be associated with the work of this incredible organization [The Heart & Stroke Foundation]" said Polley, who was nominated for an Oscar for her adapted screenplay for Away From Her, a film she also directed.

"However, I have since learned that my film is also being used to promote a product. Regretfully, I am forced to remove my name from the film and disassociate myself from it."

Polley was joined in making the film by the same production team who worked on Away from Her, including Toronto's Jennifer Weiss (Chloe) and Simone Urdl (Sabah).

The short film stars Sarah Manninen ( The Line) and Jean-Michel Le Gal ( Shanti Baba Ram and The Dancers of Hope). It follows a woman through phases of her life and explores the chambers of her heart. The film is meant to shed light on Heart Month (February) in North America.

Report an error
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter