Four Canadians win Oscar for “The Shape of Water”

Published On March 5, 2018 | By Allana Johnson | News

Toronto producer J.Miles Dale had his moment in the spotlight Sunday night as he accepted the Oscar for  The Shape of Water with Mexican Director Guillermo Del Toro.

The Canadian trio of Paul Austerberry, Jefferey A.Melvin and Shane Vieau took the award for best production design for the same film.


The Shape of Water was filmed primarily in Hamilton and Toronto where some of the locations included  the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus, Elgin Theatre and Massey Hall.

“I have 35 years in the business now and worked in Toronto almost exclusively,” said Production Designer Jeffery Melvin. “So I’ve worked with and watched the business grow in Toronto and go from children’s television to Academy Award-winning films.”

“It started with ’Good Will Hunting,’ ’Chicago,’ now us…. We want to keep it that way and keep going.”

Del Toro, who has shot four of his ten films in Toronto, spoke about his experience at the backstage TIFF press conference.

Toronto comes by its nickname “Hollywood North” honestly.

Other productions’ that were filmed in Toronto includes six-time Oscar winning film Chicago, Emmy-winning television series The Handmaid’s Tale, classic film American Psycho and another Del Toro film Pacific Rim.


At a 2017 TIFF press conference, Del Toro spoke about his admiration for the city of Hamilton and his desire to open a film studio there.

“I love Hamilton, I love it. It has some of the greatest book stores, book stores, restaurants,” Del Toro said.”It’s really a transforming city.”

Sony Pictures Publicity and Promotions Coordinator, Victoria Goncalves, said Canada was well recognized on the international film stage.

“The Academy Award for production design awarded to Shape of Water was very fitting. The execution of the film was beautifully orchestrated,” Goncalves said.

“It’s about time Canadian talent is recognized, even if it is through a predominantly American lens.”

The Handmaid’s Tale just finished filming their second season in Toronto. Later this year, Star Trek Discovery and Suits will takeover downtown Toronto to film.

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