Murmur takes top honours at this year’s Atlantic International Film Festival

The debut feature from Halifax filmmaker Heather Young took home four awards

The 2019 FIN Atlantic International Film Festival opened with the debut feature film from Halifax filmmaker Heather Young.
The 2019 FIN Atlantic International Film Festival opened with the debut feature film from Halifax filmmaker Heather Young.

With the 2019 FIN Atlantic International Film Festival wrapping today, organizers announced the award winners from this year’s festival.

Taking top honours is Halifax filmmaker Heather Young whose film Murmur took home awards for best Atlantic screenwriting, directing and feature. The film, which tells the story of a woman performing community service at an animal shelter as part of her sentence for a DUI charge, also took home honours for Jeff Wheaton for his cinematography.

Young’s debut feature film, Murmur is what our reviewer called “a slow burn from a promising young director” and it appears the festival jury agreed. Young’s film also took home a FIPRESCI Prize at the recent Toronto International Film Festival.

This year’s acting nods went to Sophia Bell (actress) for the short film Sunnyside, and Joel Thomas Hynes (actor) for his role as Danny Sharpe in the feature-length drama Body and Bones.

Halifax singer-songwriter Zamani, who won this year’s Stingray Rising Star at the Halifax Jazz Festival, adds another award to her young career, taking home the award for best Atlantic original score for the short film Cockblock.

The best Atlantic documentary feature award this year went to Megan Wennberg’s Drag Kids, about a quartet of young adults performing at the Montreal Pride Festival. The best Atlantic short documentary went to I Am Skylar, Rachel Bower’s film about a young woman facing the complexities of being a transgender girl on the cusp of puberty.

Other awards went to Andrew MacCormack for editing of Gun Killers, while the best Atlantic short award went to Little Grey Bubbles. The script development winner this year was Nicole Slaunwhite for her film Breeder, with honourable mention going to Mike Fardy for Lily.

The jury for this year’s awards consisted of Halifax writer-director Stephanie Clattenburg, Canadian film and television director Deanne Foley, and Agata Smoluch Del Sorbo, a producer and former Toronto International Film Festival programmer.

The 2019 festival wraps up this evening with a much-anticipated screening of The Lighthouse. The psychological thriller was filmed last year in Yarmouth and Cape Forchu. Director Robert Eggers and actor Willem Dafoe were both expected to be in attendance.