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"Humanist Vampire" wins top Canadian prize at WIFF

Sara Montpetit plays a reluctant and empathetic young vampire and Félix-Antoine Bénard is her all-too-willing potential prey in prize-winning coming-of-ager.


Renowned Filmmaker Philippe Falardeau Honoured with WIFF Spotlight Award

Windsor, ON — “Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person,” the feature debut of Quebec director Ariane Louis-Seize, is the WIFF Prize in Canadian Film winner at the 2023 Windsor International Film Festival.

The announcement was made at a private reception on Sunday, October 29 with representatives of the 10 nominated films, jury members and guests in attendance. The prize carries a cash value of $25,000 and is awarded to the director of the film.

Starring Sara Montpetit (“Falcon Lake,” “Maria Chapdelaine”) as a reluctant and empathetic young vampire and Félix-Antoine Bénard as her all-too-willing potential prey, “Humanist Vampire” previously won the GdA Director’s Award for Louis-Seize at the 2023 Venice Film Festival, where it had its world premiere last month.

The 10 nominees for the prize were announced at the WIFF at TIFF Luncheon in Toronto in September. All 10 nominated films were screened during WIFF’s opening weekend.

“We are proud to give the WIFF Canadian film prize to a film notable for its skillful and inventive approach to genre (well several genres really), its stellar lead performance, its beautifully downbeat comic tone and distinctive directorial touch,” said jury president Steve Gravestock. “The jury was deeply impressed by the quality of all the films selected and wanted to thank the festival and the city of Windsor for showing us such a great time.”

The other WIFF Prize nominees and their directors were “Blackberry” (Matt Johnson), “The Dishwasher” (Francis Leclerc), “Frontiers” (Guy Édoin), “Irena’s Vow” (Louise Archambault), "My Mother’s Men” (Anik Jean), “The Nature of Love” (Monia Chokri), “One Summer” (Louise Archambault), “Seven Veils” (Atom Egoyan) and “Solo” (Sophie Dupuis).

"It's been an exciting weekend of celebrating Canadian film and filmmakers. Our audiences have fully embraced this year's nominees," said Vincent Georgie, executive director and chief programmer of WIFF. "We're thrilled to be celebrating Ariane Louis-Seize's “Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person” as the 2023 winner of the WIFF Prize in Canadian Film. Ariane's film is a refreshing, subversive and very well-cast film that is both risky and memorable."

The winner was selected by a jury of industry experts: Steve Gravestock, former TIFF senior international programmer; Kerri Craddock, Apple TV programming lead and former TIFF chief programmer; Peter Howell, Toronto Star movie critic and member of the Critics Choice Association; Maxime Giroux, filmmaker (“Félix & Meira”); and Tiffany Hsiung, filmmaker (“The Apology”).

Celebrated Quebec filmmaker Philippe Falardeau received the WIFF Spotlight Award for his distinguished career that has made an impact within the industry. His impressive body of work includes the Oscar-nominated “Monsieur Lazhar,” “The Good Lie” starring Reese Witherspoon and “My Salinger Year” starring Margaret Qualley, Sigourney Weaver and Colm Feore.

The Spotlight prize was presented to Falardeau at the screening of epic railway investigation “Lac-Mégantic: This Is Not An Accident.” Earlier this year the film had its North American Premiere at Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival where it won the Audience Award.

The 2023 Windsor International Film Festival runs Oct. 26 - Nov. 5. 🌓

(This is an edited official press release from the Windsor International Film Festival.)


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