Skip to main content

Indian Horse is based on the 2012 novel of the same name written by Ojibwa author Richard Wagamese.Courtesy of TIFF

Indian Horse, the feature-film adaptation of the popular novel by the late Richard Wagamese, has won a key audience award from the 36th Vancouver International Film Festival, which concluded on Friday after 16 days of screenings.

It was directed by Stephen Campanelli, a long-time camera operator for Clint Eastwood on such films as The Bridges of Madison County, and Sully, scored the Super Channel people's choice award. As with other prizes, the award is based on audience feedback during the festival, which featured screenings of more than 340 films from 69 countries.

Mr. Eastwood was an executive producer on the film, about a young Ojibwa boy sent to residential school where he learns how to play hockey. The film stars Sladen Peltier, Forrest Goodluck and Ajuawak Kapashesit all as the main character, Saul, at ages between six and 22.

Vancouver-based screenwriter Dennis Foon adapted the 2012 novel by Mr. Wagamese, an Ojibwa author who died suddenly last March at his home in Kamloops while the film was being edited. Mr. Wagamese was 61.

Indian Horse had its world premiere at this year's Toronto International Film Festival.

Also honoured Friday was Shut Up and Say Something, the lively documentary about acclaimed Canadian spoken-word poet Shane Koyczan, largely focusing on Mr. Koyczan's reunion with his estranged father. The film won VIFF's Most Popular Canadian Documentary award. The film was directed by Melanie Wood.

Other honours disclosed Friday included an award for Loving Vincent, named the Most Popular International Feature.

The Polish film by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman used animation to bring to life the paintings of Vincent van Gogh through a process that took seven years of work by more than 115 professional oil painters.

Faces Places, a documentary on rural France that teamed acclaimed filmmaker Agnès Varda and the photo-artist who goes by the initials JR, won the most-popular international documentary award. The film was directed by Ms.Varda's daughter.

The $5,000 VIFF Impact Award presented by the Lochmaddy Foundation was given to the documentary Blue, about the decline in the health of oceans. The film was directed by Karina Holden.

The Impact jury also issued a special mention to Keep Talking, directed by Karen Lynn Weinberg. That film, shot in and near the city of Kodiak, Alaska, is about local efforts to revitalize the Kodiak Alutiiq language.

The Vancouver women in film and television artistic-merit award is presented to a Canadian feature directed by a woman. It went to Lea Pool for Worst Case, We Get Married.

Ms. Pool directed and co-wrote the film with Sophie Bienvenu.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

Follow the author of this article:

Check Following for new articles

Interact with The Globe