Canadian Screen Award for Best First Feature

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The Canadian Screen Award for Best First Feature, formerly the Claude Jutra Award, is a special Canadian film award, presented by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television to the year's best feature film by a first-time film director.[1][2]

The award was previously named in memory of Claude Jutra, a Canadian film director who died in 1986. Formerly part of the Genie Awards ceremonies, the Claude Jutra Award was transitioned to be part of the Canadian Screen Awards. Following the February 2016 publication of Yves Lever's biography of Jutra, containing allegations that Jutra had sexually abused underage children during his lifetime, the Academy announced that it was renaming the award to its current name.[3] Québec Cinéma also removed Jutra's name from its Prix Jutra ceremonies on the same day.[3]

The award is a juried prize whose winner is announced in advance, although the prize is formally presented to the winner at the ceremony. To date three films, The Confessional (Le Confessionnal), Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner and Away from Her, have won both the Best First Feature and Best Picture awards in the same year; all three films' directors also won the award for Best Director for the same films.


Year Film Director Reference
1993 The Grocer's Wife John Pozer [1]
1994 Louis 19, King of the Airwaves (Louis 19, le roi des ondes) Michel Poulette [1]
1995 The Confessional (Le Confessionnal) Robert Lepage [1]
1996 Joe's So Mean to Josephine Peter Wellington [1]
1997 The Hanging Garden Thom Fitzgerald [1]
1998 Last Night Don McKellar [1]
1999 Post Mortem Louis Bélanger [1]
2000 The Left-Hand Side of the Fridge (La Moitié gauche du frigo) Philippe Falardeau [1]
2001 Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner Zacharias Kunuk [1]
2002 Flower & Garnet Keith Behrman [1]
2003 How My Mother Gave Birth to Me During Menopause (Comment ma mère accoucha de moi durant sa ménopause) Sébastien Rose [1]
2004 White Skin (La Peau blanche) Daniel Roby [1]
2005 Familia Louise Archambault [1]
2006 (tie) Eve and the Fire Horse Julia Kwan [1]
The Secret Life of Happy People (La Vie secrète des gens heureux) Stéphane Lapointe [1]
2007 Away from Her Sarah Polley [1]
2008 Everything Is Fine (Tout est parfait) Yves Christian Fournier [1]
2009 I Killed My Mother (J'ai tué ma mère) Xavier Dolan [1]
2010 Exit 67 (Sortie 67) Jephté Bastien [4]
2011 Nuit #1 (Night #1) Anne Émond [5]
2012 Blackbird Jason Buxton [6]
2013 Whitewash Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais [7]
2014 Bang Bang Baby Jeffrey St. Jules [8]
2015 River Jamie M. Dagg [9]
2016 Old Stone Johnny Ma [10]
2017 Ava Sadaf Foroughi [11]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Claude Jutra Award entry at The Canadian Encyclopedia.
  2. ^ Valerie J. Webster (1998). Awards, Honors & Prizes: United States and Canada 1999. Gale Research. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-7876-1501-7.
  3. ^ a b "Claude Jutra's name to be pulled from Quebec film awards". Ottawa Citizen, February 17, 2016.
  4. ^ "Incendies, Barney's Version dominate Genies". CBC News, March 10, 2011.
  5. ^ "Quebec's Anne Émond wins debut director award". CBC News, February 22, 2012.
  6. ^ "Blackbird director Jason Buxton wins first-film honour". CBC News. 29 January 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  7. ^ "Le Claude-Jutra à Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais". Le Devoir. January 23, 2014.
  8. ^ "Academy Names Claude Jutra Award Winner". Broadcaster, February 3, 2015.
  9. ^ "Jamie M. Dagg wins Claude Jutra Award for Laos-set thriller River". CBC News, February 4, 2016.
  10. ^ "Ma's 'Old Stone' gets Canadian academy's Best First Feature award". CTV News, February 2, 2017.
  11. ^ "Sadaf Foroughi's 'Ava' wins best first feature film from Canadian Screen Awards". National Post, January 31, 2018.