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The Hollywood North Film Awards show is five and alive for 2022

Nominees for Best Canadian Feature at the Hollywood North Film Awards (clockwise from top left): Faizel Janmohamed's "Give and Take," Johnathan Rigas' "Purgatory," Uriel Virgo Velasquez's "Ronnie's Quest: The Search for Victoria's Treasure," Logan Alexander Mitev's "Prof." and Jananee Rasiah's and Abhilash Mathew's "Disguise."

Peter Howell

Movie Critic

The Hollywood North Film Awards show is five and alive.

Canada's most indie film celebration is back in the flesh for its fifth edition, Sunday, June 5 at Toronto's Rivoli restaurant and event space. The 2021 and 2020 editions were forced online due to the pandemic, but face-to-face beats Facebook now that COVID-19 appears to be in the rearview mirror.

"After two years of going online, we are back to celebrating independent filmmakers in person," said Michael Flax, the HNFA director and founder.

"These awards were started for Canadian filmmakers to network and meet their next collaborators, to elevate their creative expression and artistry with like-minded passionate innovators ... Now after everyone’s hard work, and capturing stories both about the world’s current turbulence, or stories to escape from it, it is time to celebrate the best of Canadian independent cinema!"

A number of prizes will be handed out, beginning at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30), with top honours going to Best Canadian Feature. The five nominated films for this award are (synopses provided by HNFA):

Disguise (Jananee Rasiah and Abhilash Mathew): "When a fashion cartel who has been evading the authorities surfaces again, an undercover detective on the case tries to warn the Protagonist who is entangled with them."

Give and Take (Faizel Janmohamed): "An author looking to write his first novel experiences severe writer's block until a strange man appears with an even stranger contract."

Prof. (Logan Alexander Mitev): "High school faculty members gather for what is supposed to be a fun, intimate evening. The eccentric crowd seem to have nothing in common, but as the drinks flow, their interwoven lives bubble to the surface. Deception, trauma, and crime begin to root themselves as these 'role models' prove that everyone has something to hide."

Purgatory (Johnathan Rigas): "A soon-to-be freshman takes a tour of his college campus. After discovering the campus used to be a psychiatric hospital, he takes it upon himself to discover if a haunting myth is true or not."

Ronnie's Quest: The Search for Victoria's Treasure (Uriel Virgo Velasquez): "Everybody wants a piece of Ronnie, but why? From her ex-boyfriend, to gangsters, super villains, and her own friends, there's one thing that's true, Ronnie is trouble!"

"We are so thankful to be back at the Rivoli," Flax said, "and to be able to have such great partners in Raven Banner, ACTRA Toronto, Cassells, Night Vision Cinema Blog, Spirit of York, and Flax Films to bring this event back to our roots."

(UPDATE: "Give and Take" won for Best Canadian Feature, as well Best Director, Screenplay, Performer, Original Score and Sound Design in the Canadian Feature Film category.) 🌓



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