Toronto: Robert Lantos wins CMPA Feature Producer Award

by Jennie Punter, Variety, 09/10/2015

Canadian film and TV producer Robert Lantos (Toronto fest film “Remember”) has won the Canadian Media Production Assn.’s 10th annual Feature Film Producer’s Award. Honor was announced Thursday afternoon at a reception at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival.

The winner of the CAN$10k ($7,550) prize was selected by a five-member jury from a group of five nominated Canadian producers, each with a film in this year’s festival.

“It is a great pleasure to give this award to someone who has been a tireless promoter of Canadian talent at home and abroad, and played significant roles behind-the-scene advising on government policy,” said jury chair Sandra Cunningham of Strada Films.

Lantos co-founded and was chair and CEO of Alliance Communications Corp., the country’s dominant production company and distributor for more than 20 years. A producer on numerous notable films over the past 40 years, Lantos sold his Alliance shares in 1998, shifting his focus more fully to producing films such as “Eastern Promises,” “Barney’s Version,” “The Sweet Hereafter” and “Sunshine” through his shingle Serendipity Point Films.

His latest film, Atom Egoyan’s “Remember,” is a contemporary Holocaust revenge story starring Christopher Plummer. The film screened in competition at Venice this week, and has its North American premiere on Saturday in Toronto’s Gala program.

“My passion is to make films which tell stories that matter and should be told — am delighted that the CMPA is honoring these stories with this award which I, in turn, share with my producing partners Mark Musselman and Ari Lantos,” Lantos said. “ ‘Remember’ had to be made now for two reasons. First, because anti-Semitism has once again raised its ugly head and second, because in a few years none of the protagonists would be alive and the story would have to be told as a period piece, which would diminish its immediacy.”

“Robert Lantos is a trailblazer who decided early in his career that he would stay in Canada and make his mark here,” said CMPA prexy and CEO Reynolds Mastin. “We congratulate him for a lifetime of achievement and for being an inspiration to the growing stable of talent we have in this country.”

The CMPA is a national non-profit organization that represents the interests of over 350 top screen-based media companies engaged in the production of English-language film, TV, and digital media in Canada.