Quebec feature War Witch aka Rebelle swept the new Canadian Screen Awards during a ceremony in Toronto last night.
Kim Nguyen’s film, about a Congolese child soldier, lost its best foreign picture Oscar to Michael Haneke’s Amour last Sunday, but 10 CSAs—ranging from best motion picture to best director, cinematography, and original screenplay, along with acting honors for Rachel Mwanza (best actress) and Serge Kanyinda (supporting actor)—probably took the sting off.
In his review, the Straight’s Mark Harris wrote, “To its credit, Rebelle does not indulge in Hollywood’s penchant for superimposing comfortingly familiar beliefs on people and places where they do not belong.”
Here’s our interview with director Nguyen.
In the major categories that weren’t dominated by War Witch, Midnight’s Children was awarded for adapted screenplay (Salman Rushdie) and supporting actress (Seema Biswas), while American actor James Cromwell took home the best actor trophy for Still Mine (tentatively opening in Vancouver on May 3).
The remaining major film prizes were split between Cosmopolis (original score and original song)—read our interview with director David Cronenberg here—and Xavier Dolan’s Laurence Anyways (production design and make-up). Shamefully, Dolan’s film hasn’t and probably won’t open in Vancouver.
The Straight’s Steve Newton, meanwhile, will be a little pissed to discover that Resident Evil: Retribution was given an award for special effects. “Fourteen-year-old males hooked on violent video games may well get their money's worth from Resident Evil: Retribution, but everybody else is outta luck,” he wrote.
Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell was (maybe a little predictably) the winner in the feature length doc category, although a sidelong crack at Georgia Straight bête noir Kevin O’Leary during her acceptance speech was appreciated.
Here’s Ken Eisner’s interview with the filmmaker.
O’Leary’s Dragon’s Den, incidentally, was honoured in the best reality TV series category (see the other winners below).
Combining both the Gemini and Genie awards, the Canadian Screen Awards enjoyed its inaugural gala last night with Martin Short hosting the event at the Sony Centre in Toronto. His performance didn’t inspire any Seth McFarlane-shaped Twitter carnage, but he did refer to the Real Housewives of Vancouver as “not the brightest lights on the tree.” And fair enough.
Best Motion Picture: War Witch.
Achievement in Direction: Kim Nguyen, War Witch.
Actor in a Leading Role: James Cromwell, Still Mine.
Actress in a Leading Role: Rachel Mwanza, War Witch.
Actor in a Supporting Role: Serge Kanyinda, War Witch.
Actress in a Supporting Role: Seema Biswas, Midnight’s Children.
Art Direction/Production Design: War Witch.
Make-Up: Laurence Anyways.
Costume Design: Laurence Anyways.
Cinematography: War Witch.
Editing: War Witch.
Music - Original Score: Howard Shore, Cosmopolis.
Music - Original Song: Howard Shore, Emily Haines, James Shaw, Long to Live (Cosmopolis)
Overall Sound: War Witch.
Sound Editing: War Witch.
Original Screenplay: Kim Nguyen, War Witch.
Adapted Screenplay: Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children.
Feature Length Documentary Award: Stories We Tell.
Short Documentary: The Boxing Girls of Kabul.
Live Action Short Drama: Throat Song.
Animated Short: Paula.
Visual Effects: Resident Evil: Retribution.
Dramatic Series: Flashpoint.
Comedy Program/Series: Less Than Kind.
International Drama: The Borgias.
Lead Actor in a Dramatic Role: Enrico Colantoni, Flashpoint.
Lead Actress in a Dramatic Role: Meg Tilly, Bomb Girls.
Lead Actor in a Comedic Role: Gerry Dee, Mr. D.
Lead Actress in a Comedic Role: Wendel Meldrum, Less Than Kind.
Reality/Competition Program: Dragon’s Den.
News Anchor: Peter Mansbridge, CBC News The National.
Sports Host or Analyst: Brian Williams, London 2012 Olympic Games.
Host in a Variety, Lifestyle, Reality/Competition, Performing Arts or Talk Program: George Stroumboulopoulos, George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight.