The first-ever Canadian Screen Award nominees were unveiled this morning at a jam-packed press conference at Toronto's Rosewater Room, with celebrity guests like Wendy Crewson ("Revenge"), Gerry Dee ("Mr. D") and legendary producer Don Carmody ("Goon") in attendance.
Actors Yannick Bisson ("Murdoch Mysteries") and Katie Boland ("The Listener") delivered a quick overview of leading nominees in the staggering 116 categories (22 film, 89 TV and 6 digital).
The Oscar-nominated French drama about a child soldier, "War Witch," (formerly "Rebelle") led the pack in the film categories, with 12 nominations including Best Motion Picture. "Laurence Anyways" followed closely behind with 10 nods, while Deepa Mehta's "Midnight's Children" racked up eight and the hockey flick "Goon" scored six.
On the television side, "Flashpoint" landed 11 nominations for its final season, including Best Dramatic Series. The acerbic HBO Canada show "Less Than Kind" earned 10 nods, while CBC's quirky comedy "Michael Tuesdays and Thursdays" landed eight.
Bisson was pleased to hear that his popular period crime show, "Murdoch Mysteries," earned a nomination in one of the digital categories, Best Cross-Platform Project Fiction, for its online feature 'The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs.' "A digital nod, that's good, because nobody watches TV on TV anymore," he quipped.
The Screen Awards were recently created by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, and blend the Genies and Geminis together to honour film, television and digital media. The awards will be doled out at a ceremony hosted by iconic comedian Martin Short on March 3.
Complete lists of the nominees can be viewed on the Academy's site.
The Canadian Screen Awards will be broadcast live on CBC on Sunday, March 3 at 8 p.m. EST.
"Monsieur Lazhar" Cleans Up
"Monsieur Lazhar" sweeps the Genies, including a best director trophy for Phillippe Falardeau. The touching drama about an Algerian-born teacher who changes the lives of his middle-school students in Montreal also earns an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2012 Academy Awards.
Cronenberg's Latest, "Cosmopolis," Released
Legendary director David Cronenberg's highly anticipated new movie starring Robert Pattinson, "Cosmopolis," debuts to mixed reviews at TIFF. The film, which follows a rich young man (Pattinson) who apparently does everything in his white stretch limo except get a haircut, earns a nod as one of Canada's Top Ten films by TIFF in December.
"Midnight's Children" Wows Crowds
Esteemed Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta teams up with author Salman Rushdie to bring his acclaimed novel <em>Midnight's Children</em> to life on the big screen. The visually stunning movie goes on to be named one of Canada's Top Ten by TIFF.
"Goon" A Surprising Hit (Literally)
"Fubar" director Michael Dowse's raucous hockey flick, "Goon," gets a limited theatrical release in the States. The movie, which stars Seann William Scott, Jay Baruchel and Liev Scheiber, has been steadily earning a legion of die-hard fans. Baruchel, who also co-wrote the script, confirms on Twitter that "Goon 2" is in the works, and that "YES @mdowse will direct the motherf---er."
Sarah Polley Dominates The Big Screen
Sarah Polley's emotionally charged drama starring Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen, "Take This Waltz," enjoys a solid theatrical release. Meanwhile, her thought-provoking documentary exploring a family's secrets and contrasting narratives, "Stories We Tell," debuts to positive reviews at TIFF.
"My Awkward Sexual Adventure" Brings The Funny
Sean Garrity's "My Awkward Sexual Adventure" proves that nobody does sexy, thoughtful comedies better than Canadian filmmakers. The flick follows an accountant (Jonas Chernick) who offers his financial advice to a stripper (Emily Hampshire) in exchange for some hands-on lessons on how to be a better lover.
Victor Garber Is Everywhere
Canadian actor Victor Garber is all over the place, including Mike Clattenburg's Halifax-based dramedy "Moving Day," and, of course, "Argo," in which he plays the fearless Canadian ambassador.
Goodbye, Genies And Geminis
The Academy of Cinema and Television announces that the Genies and Geminis will be combined into one mega-awards ceremony called the Canadian Screen Awards. In addition to film and television, the new awards will also encompass digital media productions, too.
Brandon Cronenberg Presents Directorial Debut
David Cronenberg's son, Brandon, makes his film debut with the sci-fi thriller 'Antiviral." Like his father's "Cosmopolis," the flick also co-stars Sarah Gadon and premieres at TIFF to mixed reviews.
Documentary "The End Of Time" Makes Us Think
Director Peter Mettler's fascinating experimental documentary, "The End of Time," opens in December to rave reviews. He travels around the world to explore our perception of time, and features stunning footage from locales such as Hawaii, Switzerland and inner city Detroit.
Introducing CineCoup Film Incubator
The CineCoup Film Incubator launches, offering Canadian filmmakers a new way to develop, market and distribute their films. The incubator is the brainchild of Vancouver-based entrepreneur J. Joly, who hopes that leveraging tools like social media can ultimately help Canadian films find bigger audiences.
"Still" Breaks Our Hearts
Michael McGowan's touching drama, "Still," premieres at TIFF to great reviews and is quickly picked up for U.S. distribution by Samuel Goldwyn Films. The film stars James Cromwell as an elderly man battling bureaucratic red tape in order to build his wife an accessible house. (Cromwell is decidedly less terrifying in "Still" than he is on "American Horror Story," where he plays an evil ex-Nazi scientist at an insane asylum.)
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