Made of bronze, this 20-inch-high award was created and sculpted by Pascal Demonsand, a student of César (one of the greatest French sculptors who gave his name and his work to French distinctions). Pascal Demonsand has been working for many years in Bourget (Ontario), in Outaouais region.
At the Closing Gala, sponsors present the three Golden Totem Awards to the different recipients:
- The Jury Award (composed of five representatives of the film and television industry)
- The Critics Award (composed of five representatives of the written or electronic press)
- The Public Award (the most popular film voted and chosen by the public)
The Golden Lion of Venice, the Golden Bear of Berlin, the Golden Palm of Cannes, “La Vague d’Or” of Bordeaux, the Golden Shell of San Sebastian, the Academy award of Hollywood and the César Award of Paris all have something in common: they are defined as a cult, a form of social organization, a means of identification of the person: the cinephile.
The Golden Totems of the Festival or ototeman represent the belief in a mystical relationship between a group (clans), a guardian spirit of an individual acquired during the initiation rites marking the transition from childhood to adulthood. The Ojibwe, one of he largest groups of Native Americans who reside around major North American lakes, communicate in an Algonquian language. The word ototeman means “one's brother-sister kin” which signifies relationship between two people: family relationship, friendship and culture.
While experiencing collective emotion, members of the group choose an object or a symbol (such as an animal or natural figure) that will serve as their emblem, an affirmation of their identity, and which has a spiritual and mythical meaning to them.
Malinowski proposed that the totem was chosen based on a rational interest. However, Lévi-Strauss, declared that: natural species are chosen not because they are "good to eat" but because they are "good to think."
To all cinephiles, long life to our totem!