The box office success of Quebec sperm donor comedy Starbuck, about a middle-aged slacker who discovers he's the biological father of 533 children, has been recognized with a Golden Reel Award.

The annual honour celebrates the Canadian film that had the highest box-office gross in the previous year.

Starbuck, the hit comedy directed by Ken Scott and starring popular Quebec actor Patrick Huard, made more than $3.5 million at the box office in 2011, according to the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, which administers the Golden Reel.

The film debuted in Quebec in 2011 before moving onto wider release in the rest of Canada. It also found new audiences and earned kudos at various international film festivals, including in VancouverPalm Springs, Santa Barbara, Calgary and Toronto, where the comedy was a runner-up for the audience favourite prize and producer André Rouleau was honoured.

TIFF also included Starbuck in its list of the year's best Canadian features.

Starbuck is heading into the upcoming Genie Awards — Canada's English-language film honours — with six nominations, including best picture and best actor for Huard. The Golden Reel-winner is typically recognized during the Genie Awards ceremony.

Past winners of the Golden Reel have included:

  • Who Has Seen the Wind
  • Meatballs
  • Strange Brew
  • The Decline of the American Empire
  • Jesus of Montreal
  • Crash
  • Les Boys
  • C.R.A.Z.Y.
  • Bon Cop, Bad Cop
  • Passchendaele
  • Resident Evil: Afterlife.