'Riceboy Sleeps' and 'Until Branches Bend' win top film prizes at VIFF

VANCOUVER — Anthony Shim's coming-of-age drama "Riceboy Sleeps" is proving to be a hit on the festival circuit, taking home the Best Canadian Film Award at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

The film,which is based on Shim's experiences growing up in British Columbia in the 1990s, also won the prestigious Platform Prize at the Toronto International Film Festival last month.

The bilingual story stars Korean actress Choi Seung-yoon as a mother who is looking for a fresh start in Canada with her son. The Best Canadian Film prize, announced Friday in Vancouver, is worth $15,000.

Director Sophie Jarvis' first-time feature “Until Branches Bend” also saw a strong showing at VIFF, winning the $10,000 Best British Columbia Film award.

Set in Okanagan Valley, “Until Branches Bend” stars Edmonton-born actor Grace Glowicki who confronts an invasive insect that becomes a far bigger problem than initially expected.

The $15,000 Best Canadian Documentary prize was awarded to Nova Scotia-born director Jacquelyn Mills for “Geographies of Solitude.”

Other awards from this year’s VIFF, which wraps on Sunday, include Best Canadian Short, which went to Meran Ismailsoy and Anya Chirkova for “Baba." Additionally, Charlotte Le Bon came away with the Best Emerging Director Award for her feature, "Falcon Lake".

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 7, 2022.

Noel Ransome, The Canadian Press