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Telefilm Canada presents 2015 Golden Box Office Award to Emma Donoghue, Canadian screenwriter of the feature film Room

14 March 2016

Toronto, March 14, 2016 – Today at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, Telefilm Canada presented its sixth Golden Box Office Award to Canadian writer and screenwriter Emma Donoghue for the Canada-Ireland coproduction Room. Room was among the top-performing Canadian English-language feature films at the box office in 2015. The awards ceremony was attended by producer David Gross of No Trace Camping, the distribution team at Elevation Pictures and several major players from Canada’s film industry. Telefilm invited Piers Handling, CEO of the Toronto International Film Festival, to present the award to Emma Donoghue, given that Room had its international premiere at TIFF, where it also won the 2015 People’s Choice Award. 

The Golden Box Office Award annually recognizes the Canadian director(s) and screenwriter(s) of the Canadian or majority Canadian coproduction English-language feature film that performed exceptionally well at the box office in the previous calendar year, earning at least $1 million. The award comes with a cash prize of $40,000, which is usually shared by the film’s director(s) and screenwriter(s). Because Room’s director, Lenny Abrahamson, is not Canadian, only the screenwriter received the $20,000 cash prize this year.

“We are delighted to pay tribute to Emma Donoghue, who has achieved international renown,” said Carolle Brabant, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada. “This talented novelist and screenwriter was the creative force behind a movie that, in addition to its stellar box-office performance, has won many awards. Normally, awards that recognize box-office performance are given to distributors or producers. We believe, at Telefilm, that it’s essential to recognize the director and writers who bring our stories to life.”

Michel Pradier, Director, Project Financing, at Telefilm, added: “I would like to thank Ms. Donoghue for this moving story, which struck a deep chord with audiences. I would also like to highlight the fact that this film would not have turned out the way it did without the incredible support it received from the two coproducing countries and from its Canadian producer, No Trace Camping. Room definitely shows what can be achieved through coproduction, an approach to film production that we should pursue more often.”

Emma Donoghue, for her part, added that “shooting Room in Toronto was delightful from beginning to end. The movie involved so many talented Canadians, and I accept this award on their behalf. I will be donating the cash prize to the ImagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, a Toronto event that offers an international showcase for Aboriginal film, video, radio and new media.”

Room was directed by Lenny Abrahamson and coproduced by David Gross (No Trace Camping), and is distributed in Canada by Elevation Pictures. It stars Jacob Tremblay and Brie Larson, winner of this year’s Oscar and Golden Globe awards for Best Actress. ROOM is now available on DVD and Video On Demand.

The past recipients of the Golden Box Office Award were the Canadian directors and writers of the films The Grand Seduction, Goon, Barney’s Version, Splice and Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day.

The 2016 Guichet d’or, the French-language counterpart to the Golden Box Office Award, will be handed out in Montreal on March 22 to the directors and writers of the movie La Guerre des Tuques en 3D.

About Telefilm Canada—Inspired by talent. Viewed everywhere.
Created in 1967, Telefilm is dedicated to the cultural, commercial and industrial success of Canada’s audiovisual industry. Through its various funding and promotion programs, Telefilm supports dynamic companies and creative talent here at home and around the world. Telefilm also makes recommendations regarding the certification of audiovisual treaty coproductions to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and administers the programs of the Canada Media Fund and the Talent Fund, a private donation initiative. Visit and follow us on Twitter at and on Facebook at


Media enquiries:
Françoise Lapointe, Advisor, External Communications, Telefilm Canada
(514) 283-0838, ext. 2028 or 1-800-567-0890

Left to right: Audrey Rochette, Community Sponsorship, ImagineNATIVE; Jason Ryle, Excutive Director, ImagineNATIVE; EmmaDonoghue, screenwriter, Room; Michel Pradier, Director, Project Financing, Telefilm Canada; David Gross, producer, No trace Camping.

Photo credit: John Anthony