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Jephté Bastien receives the Claude Jutra Award for “Sortie 67″

The Claude Jutra Award recognizes outstanding achievement by a first-time feature filmmaker. Established in honour of renowned Quebec director Claude Jutra, this special award is chosen by the Genie Nominating committee, a group comprised of Academy members, filmmakers, critics, and industry professionals from across Canada.

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television (ACCT) announced earlier this week that this year’s Claude Jutra Award, recognizing the achievements of a first-time filmmaker, has been granted to Jepthé Bastien for his feature-length film, Sortie 67 (Exit 67). Jephté Bastien follows in the footsteps of previous Claude Jutra award-winners Xavier Dolan (J’ai tué ma mère) and Yves-Christian Fournier (Tout est parfait)

Bastien who will officially receive the award at the 31st Annual Genie Awards said, “To simply say that I’m happy would be an understatement. I’m deeply moved by this recognition from my peers. Sortie 67 is the embodiment of my entire being and I yearned to share it with the world. This honour is above and beyond what I could ever have expected.”

Sortie 67 instantly received a warm welcome by the media upon its theatrical release (read our review here). The film tells the story of an eight year old bi-racial boy who sees his life turn upside-down after witnessing the brutal murder of his mother by his father. Often moved from one foster home to the next, Ronald is ultimately recruited by another family, a street gang, where he dwells in a life of crime and violence. Against all odds, he decides to take control of his destiny.