The announcement was made by the Toronto Film Critics Association at a gala dinner on January 7, 2014.
Burtnsky co-directed Watermark with Toronto filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal.
Baichwal also directed the 2006 documentary Manufactured Landscapes, which focused on Burtynsky’s photographic practice. Manufactured Landscapes also won the TFCA’s Best Canadian Film Award in the year it was released.
Watermark weaves together narratives of water’s role in nature and culture around the globe, from a small team of scientists sampling ice cores in the arctic for insight into climate change to millions of Hindu pilgrims bathing in a sacred river to celebrate Kumbh Mela. The film also follows some of Burtynsky’s process in creating Water, his latest photographic series and book.
As Burtynsky told Daniel Baird in a feature article about Watermark in Canadian Art‘s Summer 2013 issue, “Scientists think water came to Earth on a frozen comet, but eventually the world was completely covered in water. Life was created in water; life consists largely of water; life will not continue without enough water. The Earth should not be called ‘Earth’; it should be called ‘Water.’”
In February, Watermark is due to have a special screening at the Berlinale which will be its European premiere. News on US release dates are also expected in the coming months.