Canadian Screen Awards 2013 nominations: War Witch rules
The Genie Awards are dead, long live the Canadian Screen Awards! Well, in truth, the Genie Awards aren't exactly dead; they've just been transmogrified, along with Canadian television's Gemini Awards, into the aforementioned Canadian Screen Awards, organized by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. But Genie or Canadian Screen, once again a Québécois production dominates the nominations roster. (Image: Rachel Mwanza in Kim Nguyen's War Witch.)
Kim Nguyen's Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award nominee Rebelle / War Witch, the story of a (very) young African rebel fighter, received a total of 12 Canadian Screen Award nominations including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Berlin Film Festival's Best Actress Rachel Mwanza), Best Supporting Actor (Serge Kanyinda), and Best Original Screenplay (Nguyen).
War Witch follows in the heels of recent Quebec-made Genie Award powerhouses and eventual Best Picture winners such as Denys Arcand's The Barbarian Invasions; Sylvain Chomet's The Triplets of Belleville; Jean-Marc Vallée's C.R.A.Z.Y.; Erik Canuel's God Cop, Bad Cop; Denis Villeneuve's Polytechnique and Incendies; and Philippe Falardeau's Monsieur Lazhar.
This year, War Witch was followed by another Made in Quebec production, Xavier Dolan's sex-change drama Laurence Anyways, with 10 nods.
Canadian Screen Awards 2013: Salman Rushdie in, Robert Pattinson out
Perhaps chief among the Canadian Screen Awards' curiosities is a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination for Salman Rushdie for Midnight's Children, directed by Deepa Mehta and based on Rushdie's own novel about growing up in post-independence India.
Also worth noting is that Canada's Cannes Film Festival Official Competition entry, David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis, was bypassed in most categories. In other words, no nominations for Best Picture, for director Cronenberg (a Genie Awards favorite), for star Robert Pattinson, or for supporting players Sarah Gadon, Juliette Binoche, and Paul Giamatti. Greeted by mixed reviews in Canada and a local box office bomb, Cosmopolis garnered only three nods: for screenwriter Cronenberg's adaptation of Don DeLillo's novel; for Howard Shore's music; and for Shore, Emily Haines, and James Shaw's song “Long to Live.”
Antiviral, directed by David Cronenberg's son Brandon Cronenberg, received a total of four nods, though none for the younger Cronenberg: Best Original Score, Best Production Design, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Make-Up. That means Cosmopolis and Antiviral are in competition in the Best Original Score category.
Canadian Screen Awards 2013 select nominations
Besides War Witch, the Best Picture Canadian Screen Award nominees are the following: Xavier Dolan's Laurence Anyways; Deepa Mehta's Midnight's Children; Daniel Grou's (a.k.a. Podz) L'Affaire Dumont, in which a young, uneducated man (Marc-André Grondin) is convicted of a sex crime he didn't commit; Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette's Inch'Allah, about a Red Crescent worker (Evelyne Brochu) who becomes enmeshed in the Israel vs. Palestine conflict; and Michael McGowan's Still Mine (a.k.a. Still), starring veterans James Cromwell and Geneviève Bujold as an elderly couple who must fight the system in order to build a new house.
Three of the Best Picture filmmakers are also in the running in the Best Director category: Nguyen, Dolan, and Mehta. They're joined by Michael Dowse for Goon and Bernard Émond for Tout Ce Que Tu Possèdes / All That You Possess. Competing with Nguyen in the Best Original Screenplay category are Dolan and Émond, in addition to Jason Buxton for Blackbird and Michael McGowan for Still Mine.
In the Best Adapted Screenplay category, Salman Rushdie and David Cronenberg are joined by Cosmopolis and The Sorcerer's Apprentice actor Jay Baruchel and Evan Goldberg for Goon, Anita Doron for The Lesser Blessed, and Martin Villeneuve for Mars et Avril. Strangely, two of the Canadian Screen Awards' Best Picture nominees failed to be shortlisted in either the Best Director or the Best Screenplay categories: L'Affaire Dumont and Inch'Allah, whereas Goon, nominated in both the Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay categories, failed to be shortlisted for Best Picture.
[“Oscar-Nominated War Witch Dominates the 2013 Canadian Screen Awards” continues on the next page. See link below.]
Rachel Mwanza War Witch photo: Item 7 / Shen Studio.