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16 Apr 2009

Québec films win awards at Sonoma International Film Festival

Two Québec films were singled out for awards at this year’s Sonoma International Film Festival, held in the California town from April 1 to 5. Benoit Pilon’s The Necessities of Life, which wrapped up the festival screenings, won the jury award for Best World Feature, and Denis Villeneuve’s Next Floor took home the prize for Best Short.

Close to 70 films from 18 countries screened during the 12th edition of the festival, which celebrates film, food and wine. The town of Sonoma is located in the heart of the Sonoma Valley, cradle of the California wine industry. It is hence no surprise that the festival rewards the prize-winners in an original way, with what the region does best: wine. Film director Benoit Pilon will receive a magnum of St. Francis Winery & Vineyards’ 2001 Behler Reserve Merlot and Denis Villeneuve will receive a 3-litre bottle of O’Brien Estate’s 2006 Seduction Napa Valley Red.

Both Québec filmmakers have won a number of awards for the works honoured at the Sonoma filmfest. Last month in Québec, The Necessities of Life took home the Jutra awards for Best Film, Best Screenplay and Best Actor (Natar Ungalaaq). It was also Canada’s entry for the Oscar nominations for Best Foreign Language Film. As for Denis Villeneuve’s Next Floor, even as the short film was being chosen by the Sonoma jury, it was singled out for an honourable mention at Mecal, the International Short Film Festival of Barcelona. Next Floor was also awarded the Grand Prix Canal+ for Best Short Film during the International Critics’ Week section of last year’s Cannes Film Festival.

The Délégation du Québec à Los Angeles (Québec government office in Los Angeles), works to promote Québec cinema in the United States, and is truly pleased by the Sonoma honours for filmmakers Pilon and Villeneuve.

Sonoma International Film Festival
Québec Government Office in Los Angeles
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