Canada's Oscar chances slim, but we've got the Canadian Screen Awards
Canada's chances for a shot at an Oscar significantly withered away when nominations were announced on January 16.
Canada's official entry for best foreign-language film, the Quebec film Gabrielle about a mentally challenged young woman who struggles to live independently, was not nominated.
Sarah Polley's critically acclaimed documentary about family secrets, Stories We Tell, was seen as a strong contender for the best documentary category but was not named. Polley's directorial debut Away From Her had received Oscar nominations in the best actress (Julie Christie) and best adapted screenplay (Polley) categories.
But fear not, Canada wasn't completely shut out.
Among the few Canadians the made the cut, indie rockers Arcade Fire garnered a nomination for best original score for Spike Jonze's Her.
The AIDS drama Dallas Buyers Club, directed by Quebec's Jean-Marc Vallée, collected six nominations, including best film, best actor (Matthew McConnaughey), and best supporting actor (Jared Leto). Unfortunately, Vallée did not receive a best director nod.
Meanwhile on this side of the border, Canada was busy honouring its own. The Canadian Screen Awards were announced on January 13.
Several Quebec films led the pack for boasting the most nominations. Enemy, directed by Denis Villeneuve (whose film Incendies was nominated for an Oscar in 2011) and starring Jake Gyllenhaal (who also starred in Villeneuve's Prisoners), topped the list with 10 nominations. Xavier Dolan's Tom à la ferme followed, by accruing eight nods, while Gabrielle and Maïna tied The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones with six.
B.C. representation was limited.
Among the locally related nominees, Vancouver's Colleen Rennison was nominated in the best original song category for "Molly" from Ben Ratner's Down River, which was inspired by the late local star Babz Chula.
The documentary Blood Relative, which follows an Indian activist struggling to get medical treatment for children suffering from thalassemia (a genetic blood disorder) is up for three awards: best director (Nimisha Mukerji), best picture editing (Mark Ratzlaff), and the Donald Brittain Award for best social/political documentary.
Anne Wheeler's documentary about local star Babz Chula's effort to pursue cancer treatment in India, Chi, was nominated for best short documentary.
A full list of nominees can be found at the Canadian Screen Awards website.
The two-hour broadcast gala, hosted again by Martin Short, will be held on March 9 in Toronto.