The Toronto Film Critics Association (TFCA) has named Patricio Guzmán’s Nostalgia for the Light, an evocative meditation on life set in Chile’s Atacama Desert, as the best documentary feature of the year.
The film connects the work of astronomers stationed in the desert in search of phenomena in the skies with the efforts of those searching for the earth-bound remains of those who “disappeared” under the regime of Pinochet. The France/Chile/Germany coproduction also recently took the best feature doc award at the International Documentary Association Awards earlier this month.
Another Chilean film, Mysteries of Lisbon from director Raul Ruiz, was named best foreign-language film. Ruiz passed away last August at the age of 70. The TFCA named Werner Herzog’s Into The Abyss and James Marsh’s Project Nim as runners-up in the best doc feature category.
Contenders eligible for the awards include films released in Canada in 2011 plus films that qualify for the 2011 Oscars and have Canadian distribution scheduled by the end of February 2012.