Telefilm Canada has awarded its Guichet d’Or Prize to the director of Piché: entre ciel et terre, Sylvain Archambault, as well as to the film’s writer, Ian Lauzon. The prize comes with a cash award of $20,000 for each of the winners. The Guichet d’Or has been awarded annually for the past four years to the Canadian writer and director of the French-language feature film with the highest-grossing domestic box-office sales during the previous year. In 2010, Piché: entre ciel et terre was a major success, taking in $3.7 million at the Canadian box office.
“Normally, prizes that reward box-office performance are given to a film’s distributor or producer,” said Carolle Brabant, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada. “At Telefilm, we believe it’s crucial to also congratulate the artists behind the camera, those who bring movies to life. This prize, awarded for a fourth year running, enhances the visibility of our industry’s success stories, which underlines our goal of stimulating demand for Canadian content.”
The film’s director, Sylvain Archambault, added: “I’m extremely touched by Telefilm Canada’s initiative in awarding the Guichet d’Or. By honouring artists in this way, Telefilm proves that it is deeply committed to supporting, not only the film industry, but the creative forces that ensure the industry’s continuity—which is so important for our culture. Bravo!”
“As a screenwriter, I am very humbled by the award I am receiving today,” said Ian Lauzon, the film’s screenwriter. “It seems to me that my role in the project was simply to serve as an air-traffic controller. I didn’t invent the life we see onscreen. That life was lived—and continues to be lived—by Robert Piché. So it is with much humility that I accept the Guichet d’Or.”
Piché: entre ciel et terre was produced by Pixcom’s André Dupuy and stars Michel Côté. The cast also includes Maxime Leflaguais, Sophie Prégent and Normand D’Amour. The film received funding from Telefilm Canada through its Canada Feature Film Fund.
About Piché: entre ciel et terre (produced by Pixcom, distributed in Canada by TVA Films)
The films tells the story of pilot Robert Piché who, drawing on his keen instinct as well as his rowdy past, finds the strength and the presence of mind to safely land his plane after it has run out of fuel, thereby saving the lives of his 306 passengers. While subsequently seeking treatment for alcoholism in the aftermath of his heroic act, Piché must relive the momentous event as well as the time he once spent in jail. Only by accepting his past will he ever be able to make sense of his life.
The film Piché: entre ciel et terre recounts how this man, yearning for adventure, was always able to land on his feet. The movie also shows the human being behind the man who saved his passengers in 2001, the man who continues to fascinate, to attract large crowds wherever he goes, the man whose biography sold 65 000 copies. The human being behind the hero, with his feelings and his weaknesses, all of which make him seem both more real and larger than life.
The 2009 winners of the Guichet d’Or prize were Émile Gaudreault, director and co-writer of the hit comedy De père en flic, and Gaudreault’s co-writer, Ian Lauzon.