Michael McGowan and James Cromwell in March, 2013 (Photo: Chris Young/The Canadian Press)
He wrote and directed it, and now Canadian filmmaker Michael McGowan has won a major award for Still Mine, his 2012 drama about a New Brunswick farmer battling a government bureaucrat for the right to build a new house for his ailing wife.
McGowan was honoured with the Directors Guild of Canada prize for Best Direction for his work on the film, which stars James Cromwell as farmer Craig Morrison, and Geneviève Bujold as his wife, Irene.
It's based on the real-life story of Craig Morrison: the farmer started building a home at the age of 88 on land overlooking the Bay of Fundy, and got into trouble with the law as a result. You can read an account of the tale at the Globe and Mail.
Other winners at the awards include Midnight's Children, directed by Deepa Mehta (check out her red chair interview here), which took the Best Feature Film prize, and Sarah Polley's Stories We Tell, which won the Allan King Award for Excellence in Documentary. On television, CBC's Jack, which told the story of former federal NDP leader Jack Layton, won Best Television Movie, while Heartland was named Best Television Series: Family and Call Me Fitz won for Best Television Series: Comedy.
Michael was in the red chair a couple of years back to talk about telling Canadian stories at the movies. Check out that conversation below, starting at the 8:30 mark:
And James Cromwell was in the red chair earlier this year to talk about Still Mine and his experience shooting the film. Check out Cromwell's red chair interview below: