|Directed by||Robin Phillips|
|Produced by||Richard Nielsen|
|Written by||Timothy Findley|
|Based on||The Wars by Timothy Findley|
|Starring|| Brent Carver |
|Music by||Glenn Gould|
|Edited by||Tony Lower|
National Film Board of Canada
|Distributed by||International Spectrafilm|
The Wars is a Canadian drama film, directed by Robin Phillips and released in 1983.An adaptation of the novel The Wars by Timothy Findley, the film centres on Robert Ross (Brent Carver), the immature and closeted gay son of an upper class Rosedale family who enlists to serve in the Canadian Army during World War I.
As with the novel, the film blends a number of scenes set at war with depictions of the formative experiences from childhood that have led Robert to enlist, including his relationships with his disabled sister Rowena (Ann-Marie MacDonald) and their parents (William Hutt and Martha Henry). The cast was drawn predominantly from the stable of actors Phillips had worked with at the Stratford Festival.
The film was produced by Nielsen-Ferns International and the National Film Board of Canada, the first time the NFB had ever collaborated on a narrative feature film with a commercial production company.Shooting began in May 1981 near Longview, Alberta, but within days Phillips had to revise the production schedule due to unforeseen late snowfall in the area.
Other scenes for the film were shot in Calgary, Kleinburg, Hamilton and Montreal.However, due to technical problems with the sound, much of the film had to be rerecorded in the post-production phase, resulting in one of the key delays from the film's originally planned release date of early 1982.
Organizers of the Festival of Festivals attempted to secure the film as the opening gala of the 1982 Festival of Festivals;however, due to a conflict between Nielsen-Ferns, the NFB and key funder Torstar, it was unable to secure the premiere and instead opened with the Australian film We of the Never Never .
Additional production conflict was also reported between Nielsen-Ferns and the NFB, resulting in additional delays in securing distribution.While theatrical distribution in North America and the United Kingdom was still in flux, a subtitled version of the film was broadcast on German television in March 1983.
The film was acquired by Spectrafilm in May 1983 for theatrical distribution,and had its theatrical premiere in November. Its premiere was organized as a fundraising benefit for the Parkinson Foundation of Canada, following Findley's father's death of Parkinson's disease.
Following its initial theatrical run, the film was not widely seen for many years, until it was acquired by the Canada Media Fund for distribution on its Encore+ YouTube channel in 2020.
The film received three Genie Awards from the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television in 1984, for Best Actress (Henry), Best Supporting Actress (Burroughs) and Best Sound Editing (Sharon Lackie, Bruce Nyznik, and Bernard Bordeleau).It was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Editing (Tony Lower), Best Overall Sound (Hans Peter Strobl), and Best Screenplay (Findley).
The 1st Genie Awards were presented on March 20, 1980, and honoured films released in 1979. They were given out at a gala event at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto with Bruno Gerussi as host. Awards for non-feature films were presented at a luncheon the day before the gala.
The Canadian Film Awards were the leading Canadian cinema awards from 1949 until 1978. These honours were conducted annually, except in 1974 when a number of Quebec directors withdrew their participation and prompted a cancellation. In the 1970s they were also sometimes known as the Etrog Awards for sculptor Sorel Etrog, who designed the statuette.
The Canadian Screen Award for Best Animated Short is awarded by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television to the best Canadian animated short film. Formerly part of the Genie Awards, since 2012 it has been presented as part of the Canadian Screen Awards.
The Genie Award for Best Performance by a Foreign Actor was awarded by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television from 1980 to 1983, for the best performance by non-Canadian actor in a Canadian film.
The Genie Award for Best Performance by a Foreign Actress was awarded by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television from 1980 to 1983, for the best performance by non-Canadian actress in a Canadian film.
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