The Canadian Film Awards (CFAs), also known from 1968 as the Etrogs, were awarded from 1949 to 1978 to honour distinguished achievement in Canadian filmmaking. They were succeeded in 1980 by the Genie Awards, which were merged with the Gemini Awards to form the Canadian Screen Awards in 2013.
Background and History
The Canadian Film Awards were initiated by the Canadian Association for Adult Education (CAAE). The assistant director of CAAE, J. Roby Kidd, struck a working committee to launch a national awards program. Walter Herbert, executive director of the Canadian Foundation, was chairman of the committee, whose members included James Beveridge of the National Film Board (NFB), Budge Crawley, president of Crawley Films, Donald Buchanan of the National Gallery, and Graham McInnes of the Department of External Affairs.
A five-member jury was selected to choose the winning films: Hye Bossin, managing editor of Canadian Film Weekly; M. Stein of Famous Players; CBC film critic Gerald Pratley; Moira Armour of the Toronto and Vancouver Film societies; and Ian MacNeill from CAAE. The first presentation was 27 April 1949 at the Little Elgin Theatre in Ottawa, with Prime Minister Louis St-Laurent in attendance. He served as host of the awards in 1950, followed by Mary Pickford in 1951.
The dearth of domestic feature films led to an inconsistency in the Canadian Film Awards in its early years, and it wasn't until 1968 that craft categories were fully acknowledged. There were also a number of honourable mentions, special awards, awards for TV drama, TV information, sports and recreation, public relations, sales promotion, non-feature craft awards, and awards for technical development and innovation. The John Grierson Award (1972–78) was given for outstanding contributions to Canadian cinema and the Wendy Michener Award (1969–78) was presented for outstanding artistic achievement.
In 1968, famed sculptor Sorel Etrog was commissioned to create a statue for the CFAs, and he produced a bronze figure, known as the Etrog, for the 20th presentation that year. Due to a boycott by Québec directors, the CFAs were not held in 1974. In 1979, they were transferred to the Academy of Canadian Cinema (now the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television) and became known as the Genie Awards, which were first held in 1980.
The following is a list of the CFA winners of the Film of the Year and Feature Film Awards, along with the name of the producer(s).
1949 — Film of the Year: The Loon's Necklace (Budge Crawley)
1952— Film of the Year: Newfoundland Scene (Budge Crawley); Feature Film: Royal Journey (David Bairstow)
1953— Film of the Year and Feature Film: Tit-coq (Gratien Gélinas)
1954— Film of the Year: The Seasons (Christopher Chapman)
1955— Film of the Year and Feature Film: The Stratford Adventure (Guy Glover)
1961— Film of the Year: Universe (Tom Daly)
1963— Film of the Year: Lonely Boy (Roman Kroitor)
1965— Feature Film: The Luck of Ginger Coffey (Leon Roth)
1966— Film of the Year: The Mills of the Gods: Viet Nam (Douglas Leiterman); Feature Film: Le Festin des morts (André Belleau)
1968— Film of the Year: A Place to Stand (Christopher Chapman); Feature Film: The Ernie Game (Gordon Burwash)
1969— Film of the Year: The Best Damn Fiddler from Calabogie to Kaladar (Barrie Howells and John Kemeny)
1971— Feature Film: Mon oncle Antoine (Marc Beaudet)
1972— Feature Film: Wedding in White (John Vidette)
1973— Feature Film: Slipstream (James Margellos)
1974— Film of the Year: The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (John Kemeny, presented in 1975)
1975— Film of the Year and Feature Film: Les Ordres (Bernard Lalonde)
1976— Feature Film: Lies My Father Told Me (Anthony Bedrich and Harry Gulkin)
1977— Feature Film: J.A. Martin, photographe (Jean-Marc Garand)
1978— Feature Film: The Silent Partner (Stephen Young)