Jeffrey A. Melvin, from left, Paul Denham Austerberry, and Shane Vieau accept the award for best production design for “The Shape of Water” at the Oscars on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

‘Shape of Water’ Oscars wins called a ‘watershed moment’ for Canadian film

“The Shape of Water“’s Oscar wins on Sunday highlighted Canadian talent

“The Shape of Water“’s Oscar wins on Sunday for best picture and best production design reflect Toronto’s growth into a film and TV production powerhouse, said the Canadian talent behind the movie who went home with golden statuettes.

Toronto producer J. Miles Dale, who shared the best picture Oscar with director Guillermo del Toro, called the achievement “a watershed moment” for Toronto and the Canadian film industry at large. The film was shot in Toronto and Hamilton and besides del Toro and the movie’s cinematographer, most of the crew members were Canadian.

Related: A look at potential Canadian nominees for this year’s Oscars

“Thirty years ago when the business just started up there, the people up there began to learn from the best in the world and now they are some of the best in the world,” Dale told reporters backstage.

“So we were committed to using those people all across the board on the film and we think it’s a great moment for Canadian filmmaking.”

It was Dale’s first Oscar win but he didn’t get much time at the microphone. It appeared the broadcast would end before he had a chance to speak, but he was saved by host Jimmy Kimmel, who went up to Dale and asked: “What did you want to say? I’ll tell them.”

Dale was able to briefly salute del Toro’s work on the film, saying: “this is his heart and it’s everything.”

Earlier in the show, Canadians Paul Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin and Shane Vieau shared the best production design trophy for crafting the look of the Cold War-era merman romance, which stars Sally Hawkins as a mute janitor who falls for a captive and abused amphibian creature, played by Doug Jones. The film also won the best director and original score Oscars.

Speaking to reporters backstage, Vieau noted that Toronto’s screen community had a huge year not only with the leading 13 Oscar nominations for “The Shape of Water,” but also the accolades for TV’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which was shot in the city.

“Toronto (was) above and beyond with everyone in North America with ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ and ‘Shape of Water,’ we really came out on top,” Vieau said. “It’s a really big thing.”

Melvin said after decades of growth, Toronto’s TV and film industries are truly “world-class.”

“I have 35 years in the business now and worked in Toronto almost exclusively, so I’ve worked with and watched the business grow in Toronto and go from children’s television to Academy Award-winning films,” said Melvin, who is based in Toronto.

“It started with ‘Good Will Hunting,’ ‘Chicago,’ now us…. We want to keep it that way and keep going.”

As they accepted their trophies onstage, the trio thanked their colleagues watching back home in Toronto.

“Thanks to all the Canadian crew who are partying right now at the Palais Royale in Toronto — this is for you,” said Austerberry, who was born in Toronto and grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

“Thank you to the academy. Guillermo — may you keep dreaming up your monsters and their wonderful stories so people like us can help shape their worlds.”

It was the first Oscar nomination for the trio, who also won in the same category at the recent British Academy Film Awards.

Meanwhile, the winners of the best visual effects award for working on Quebec director Denis Villeneuve’s “Blade Runner 2049” thanked their “friends in Montreal,” saying: ”Merci beaucoup, this is for you.”

“Thank you to Denis Villeneuve, whose guts are seen in every frame of this film, especially the visual effects,” said John Nelson, who won alongside Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert and Richard R. Hoover.

Villeneuve also got a shout-out onstage from Roger Deakins as he accepted the Oscar for best cinematography on “Blade Runner 2049.”

Kimmel mentioned another Canadian nominee in his opening segment — “the magnificent Christopher Plummer” — who got a nod for his supporting role in “All the Money in the World.”

Kimmel made a couple of jokes about the 88-year-old Toronto native’s age, including a reference to the hit Broadway play “Hamilton,” about one of the founding fathers of the United States.

“How does (‘Hamilton’ creator and star) Lin-Manuel Miranda compare to the real Alexander Hamilton?” Kimmel teased Plummer from the stage.

Related: Oops, our bad: ‘Moonlight’ really won in major Oscar mess-up

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Just Posted

McClure house fire saw Victoria firefighters utilize drone for first time in live situation

Aerial device feeds intel to crews to help formulate firefighting action plans

Homes are barge-bound for second chance

San Juan Community Home Trust and Nickel Bros. give homes new life

UVic announces finalists for Female Athlete of the Year

Rower Caileigh Filmer, swimmer Danielle Hanus, and soccer goalie Puck Louwes are top stand-outs

Jazz songstress Ellen Doty brings her sweet sound to Hermann’s Jazz Club

March 27 concert in Victoria part of national CD release tour

Victoria says #NeverAgain in solidarity with March For Our Lives

Youth Political Commons invites public to rally against gun violence March 24 at legislature

Student learns the ropes at Oak Bay fire in hands-on experience

Local department crafts four-day work experience program for Reynolds student

Passenger added to Vancouver Island MusicFest lineup

Scheduled to play the main stage Saturday evening

Heavy ice off Canada coast strands pod of dolphins, fixating small town

The small Newfoundland community, Heart’s Delight, is fixated on plight of trapped dolphins

Foreign election interference a reality, says Trudeau after Putin re-election

Trudeau said the heavy use of social media and interference by foreign actors are the new reality in elections.

Canadians joining #DeleteFacebook amid fears of electoral meddling

Privacy experts say numerous Canadians are taking to other social media platforms to join in on the #DeleteFacebook hashtag

Schools close as spring snow storm tracks toward Maritime provinces

Schools are closing across the Maritime provinces as a spring snow storm tracks towards the region.

Son of late Canadian professor fights for mother’s release from Iran

Mehran Seyed-Emami’s father, an Iranian-Canadian professor, died in an Iranian jail after being accused of spying.

Deadly crash raises questions about Uber self-driving system

The fatality prompted Uber to suspend all road-testing of such autos in the Phoenix area, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto

Better pre-hospital care in rural B.C. could save lives AND money

The yearly cost of injury exceeds $2.8 billion according to Provincial Health Services Authority.

Most Read