Telefilm Canada has presented its annual Golden Box Office Award to the director of Barney’s Version, Richard J. Lewis, and to the film’s scriptwriter, Michael Konyves, in a ceremony attended by producer Robert Lantos and actors Anna Hopkins, Clé Bennett and Howard Jerome. The Award includes a cash prize of $20,000 for each of the winners.
The Golden Box Office Award has been presented every year for the past three years to the Canadian director and writer of the English-language Canadian feature-length film that earned the highest box office during the preceding year. For 2011, Barney’s Version generated over $3.2 million at the box office in Canada. The award presentation took place at Caplansky’s Delicatessen in Toronto, purveyors of classic Montreal-style smoked meat – a tribute to that city’s importance in the film’s story line.
“From the Genie Awards to the Golden Globes, Barney’s Version has had an impressive success on the national and international scene, winning more than 15 awards while also scoring a popular success as well,” said Telefilm executive director Carolle Brabant. “This success would not be possible without the tremendous talent that abounds in our industry — which is why the Golden Box Office Award is presented to those who work behind the camera. Our ‘Goldie’ is a departure from most box-office awards that usually go to producers or distributors.”
Director Richard J. Lewis expressed “a huge thank you to Telefilm for its continued and tireless commitment to telling great Canadian stories – films that have proven to not only have immense appeal at home but all over the globe. As Canadian filmmakers, it is incumbent upon us to realize how lucky we are to have this amazing program behind us. Making Barney’s Version was a gift unto itself. I am humbled and delighted by this most generous acknowledgement from Telefilm.”
Writer Michael Konyves added, “Thanks and congratulations go to everyone involved with bringing Mordecai Richler’s brilliant novel to screen. It was a hell of journey to get there. We, as Canadian artists, are incredibly fortunate to have Telefilm there to help support us in telling our stories – stories that resonate all over the world. We have a wonderful film community in Canada, one that I am honoured and proud to be a part of.”
Barney’s Version, starring Paul Giamatti, Dustin Hoffman and Rosamund Pike, was produced by Robert Lantos of Serendipity Point Films and is distributed in Canada by Entertainment One.
The sister 2011 Guichet d’Or Award was recently presented in Montreal to the French-language film Starbuck.
The winners of the 2010 Golden Box Office Award were Vincenzo Natali, director and co-author of the film Splice, and co-author Doug Taylor.