UBC Theatre and Film alumni & faculty steal the spotlight at VIFF awards

The debut award for Best B.C. Film went to The Dick Knost Show — Film at UBC alumnus Bruce Sweeney’s new comedy about an abrasive talk show host who thinks concussions are comedy fodder until he sustains one himself.

UBC Prof and Theatre and Film alumnus Tom Scholte, who plays the title character, accepted the award on behalf of Sweeney in front of an audience gathered for the awards presentation and the BC Spotlight gala screening of Down River.

A statement from the jury praised the film’s storytelling, performances and overall execution. The award consists of a $10,000 development bursary from Astral’s Harold Greenberg Fund and $10,000 in post-production services credit from Finale Editworks.

The Dick Knost show has two remaining screenings — Oct. 09 at 01:00 pm at SFU Woodwards, and Oct. 11 at 9:15 pm at The Cinematheque.”

The BC Emerging Filmmaker Award went to Theatre at UBC alumnus Matthew Kowalchuk for his comedy Lawrence and Holloman.

In an acceptance speech peppered with “wows”, the first-time director offered a special thanks to playwright and UBC Creative Writing alumnus Morris Panych, who wrote the script the film was adapted from. Panych, a longtime fixture of the Vancouver theatre scene who now lives in Toronto, is a two-time Governor General’s Award winner.

Kowalchuk received a $7,500 cash prize courtesy of UBCP, ACTRA and AFBS and $10,000 equipment rental credit from William F. White.

Video: The Province Online:

See Tom Scholte interviewed by The Vancouver Province’s film critic Glen Schaefer in “Outside the Actor’s Studio”