TORONTO — “Anthropocene: The Human Epoch” has won a $100,000 prize for best homegrown feature from the Toronto Film Critics Association.
The documentary took the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award at a TFCA gala in Toronto on Tuesday night.
Directed by Jennifer Baichwal, Edward Burtynsky and Nicholas de Pencier, the film spans 20 countries and six continents as it explores environmental issues caused by humans.
It’s the final title in their trilogy after “Manufactured Landscapes” and “Watermark.”
In accepting the honour, Baichwal and de Pencier said they will not be taking any of the prize money for themselves.
Instead, they plan to split the prize money between the runners-up as well as TIFF’s Share Her Journey initiative, which supports women in film.
The runners-up, ”Maison du bonheur” director Sofia Bohdanowicz and “Ava” director Sadaf Foroughi, also each received $5,000 from Rogers Communications.
“Anthropocene” is a multidisciplinary project that also includes an art exhibition.
“The whole reason we started this project was to try to make the concept of the anthropocene more in the vernacular, for people to understand that we as a species really are changing the Earth more than all natural processes combined,” Baichwal said in an interview at Tuesday’s gala.
“The whole project is an act of hope,” added de Pencier.
“Even though we’re showing a lot of devastation, we’re doing it with the aspiration that it raises people’s consciousness about places that they don’t normally see but are actually responsible for.”
Molly McGlynn, who is based in Toronto and Los Angeles, won the Stella Artois Jay Scott Prize for an emerging artist at Tuesday’s 22nd annual TFCA awards gala, which also honoured previously announced winners.
Last month, the TFCA named the black-and-white drama “Roma” best picture and its director, Alfonso Cuaron, best director.
Other previously TFCA winners include Olivia Colman as best actress for her portrayal of Queen Anne in Yorgos Lanthimos’ historical period comedy “The Favourite.”
Ethan Hawke won best actor for playing a minister going through a crisis of faith in Paul Schrader’s drama “First Reformed.”
The South Korean mystery-drama “Burning” won best foreign language film.
Awards for supporting roles went to Regina King for “If Beale Street Could Talk” and Steven Yeun for “Burning.”
The best screenplay category saw a tie between “The Favourite” and “First Reformed.”
“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” landed the RBC Allan King Documentary Award and “Isle of Dogs” was named best animated feature.
Renowned Metis performer Tantoo Cardinal appeared at Tuesday’s gala to receive her previously announced Technicolor Clyde Gilmour Award. It’s the first time in the TFCA’s history that the annual honour has gone to an actor.
The prolific, Alberta-born Indigenous stage and screen star — whose credits include the films “Legends of the Fall” and “Dances With Wolves,” and the TV series “North of 60” — received $50,000 in services to give to a filmmaker of her choice.