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Directors Guild of Canada reveals long list for Discovery Award

Director Sadaf Foroughi attends the Toronto International Film Festival announcement of their Canadian features for this year's program in Toronto, Wednesday August 9 , 2017.

Chris Young/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Just as the worldwide film industry converges in Toronto, the Directors Guild of Canada on Tuesday announced the 15 nominees for its 2017 Discovery Award.

Names on the long list include both filmmakers with projects at the Toronto International Film Festival this year and those who have made a name for themselves elsewhere. Nominees include: Carlos and Jason Sanchez, the siblings behind this year's TIFF selection A Worthy Companion; Sadaf Foroughi, director of Ava; Cory Bowles (Black Cop); Cody Bown (Gregoire); Stephen S. Campanelli (Indian Horse); Wayne Wapeemukwa (Luk'Luk'l); Kathleen Hepburn (Never Steady, Never Still); Kyle Rideout (Public Schooled); Jordan Canning (Suck It Up); Jamie M. Dagg (Sweet Virginia); Seth A. Smith (The Crescent); Sophie Goyette (Still Night, Still Light); Winston DeGiobbi (Mass for Shut-Ins); Sofia Bohdanowicz (Maison du Bonheur); and Ian Lagarde (All You Can Eat Buddha).

The DGC award is designed to honour "outstanding achievement by an emerging Canadian director or an established director working in a new genre," and is presided over by jury chair Ingrid Veninger, who herself has a film at TIFF this year (Porcupine Lake).

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"The Discovery nominees are the 15 new directors to watch for this festival season," Veninger said in a statement. "These are exciting new voices you don't want to miss."

The long list was presented by DGC national directors division chair Warren P. Sonoda at eOne headquarters in downtown Toronto, just a few blocks from the headquarters of TIFF, which will mark its 42nd festival on Thursday.

"These directors are all part of a new wave in Canadian cinema," Sonoda said in a statement. "They are the daring, intense, sometimes hilarious filmmakers whose names you're going to hear people buzzing about at TIFF and festivals across the country this fall."

In 2016, the inaugural DGC Discovery Award went to Québécois filmmaker Chloé Leriche, for her film Avant les rues. This year, Leriche is a member of the award's jury, alongside other on-the-rise filmmakers such as Stephen Dunn (Closet Monster), Kevan Funk (Hello Destroyer), Johnny Ma (Old Stone) and Ashley McKenzie (Werewolf).

The winner of this year's award will be unveiled at the annual DGC gala on Oct. 28 in Toronto.

Piers Handling says screening movies alongside filmmakers like Francis Ford Coppola is a perk of being TIFF’s director. Festival creative director Cameron Bailey adds filmmakers can be sensitive to his reactions at screenings. The Canadian Press
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