At the Gala awards at WorldFest Houston International Film Festival on Saturday April 21, 2012, Manitoba-made Passionflower was awarded the Platinum Remi award for Dramatic Original Feature. This is the festival’s highest honour for dramatic feature. Shelagh Carter, the film’s director, was on hand to receive the award, and celebrate with other filmmakers and festival organizers at the Gala. This was the American premiere of Passionflower.
Carter says, “I’m over the moon! It’s such a pleasure to be at this encouraging festival again, with my first feature. I’m so grateful to everyone who was involved in making and supporting this film that is so personal to me, yet speaks to so many. My hat is off to all the other incredible filmmakers whose work I’ve had the opportunity to see here.”
This award for her first feature caps off a four-year string of awards for Carter at WorldFest, which is celebrating its 45th Anniversary this year, as one of the first three film festivals in America. Her short Canoe won the 2011 Grand Remi Award for Best Experimental Film. Her short One Night won a Silver Remi in 2010 at the Festival, while her short Night Travellers was Awarded a Platinum Remi in 2009.
The jury also awarded the film’s editor, Mike Reisacher, the Gold Remi for editing.
Passionflower, produced by Polly Washburn and starring Kristen Harris, Darcy Fehr and Kassidy Love-Brown, was shot in Winnipeg, with an entirely Manitoba cast and crew. The intense drama about a family coming to terms with the mother’s mental illness is set in the suburban Winnipeg of the 1960s. The film was made with the support of Telefilm, Manitoba Film and Music, the Winnipeg Arts Council, and dozens of generous individual funders. The film premiered at the Vancouver International Film Festival in October, 2011, where its lead actress Harris won a special jury commendation for her performance.
The next chance for festival-goers to see the film is at Newport Beach Film Festival on May 2.