(Toronto) Here are five (or six) things to watch out for during “Canada On Screen Week,” hosted this week by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.
Quebec television is distinctly celebrated by the Gémeaux awards from the Academy, and Quebec cinema also has its Iris prizes, awarded by Quebec Cinema.
The Canadian Screen Awards will be presented “in person” this week for the first time in four years. But the grand gala celebrating the best of English-language television and cinema in both languages has been replaced by a pre-recorded show, which will air next Sunday evening on CBC and its digital platform Gem.
This gala, hosted by Samantha Bee, will therefore be broadcast a few days after the announcement of the winners.
Four days of events begin Tuesday in Toronto, where prizes will be awarded at seven galas, based on major TV and digital genres.
The Screen Awards for Excellence in Performance will for the first time this year be “genderless”. Organizers speak of an attempt to better accommodate performers who may not identify as male or female. The Academy expanded the list of finalists to eight, up from five.
Brother, based on David Chariandy’s novel, tops the list of finalists for the big screen, with 14 nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director for Clement Virgo.
Set in a 1991 version of Scarborough, a suburb of Toronto, Brother enjoyed a very brief theatrical life in Montreal.
The film tells the story of two young Jamaican-Canadians who come to terms with who they are, through the joys and perils they face at every turn.
Crimes of the Future, by David Cronenberg, won 11 nominations, including best director.
The Quebec film Viking, by Stéphane Lafleur, collected 13 nominations, notably in the major categories of best film, best direction, artistic direction, photography, original screenplay and interpretation in a leading role, for Steve Laplante. Viking has just won, ten days ago, the Prix collégial du cinema québécois.
Falcon Lake, the first film directed by actress Charlotte Le Bon, obtained six nominations, including best film, best director and best actors for the two young people. Babysitter, by Monia Chokri, gets five, while Noémie says yes, New Quebec and Rodeo get two nominations each.
In the interpretation categories (non-gendered), we also find Jean-Luc Kanapé (New Quebec), K. C. Collins (the trainer of White Dog), Mohammed Marouazi (Respire), Kelly Depeault (Noémie dit oui), Maxime LeFlaguais (Rodéo ) and Larissa Corriveau (A summer like that).
Former TVA anchor Pierre Bruneau, who has just retired after 50 years of journalism, will be honored by the Academy “for all of his work”.
Veteran news anchor Lisa LaFlamme will receive the Gordon Sinclair Award for Talk Journalism. Ironically, Ms. LaFlamme, who was dropped from CTV last year, is also up for best national news anchor.
The Toronto Star learned that Ms. LaFlamme applied herself after her acrimonious split from CTV in August 2022. At the time, Bell Media described the end of her contract as a “business decision,” but her ousting from the airing sparked a public outcry and independent third-party review by CTV’s National Newsroom.
Canadian actors Ryan Reynolds, Simu Liu and Catherine O’Hara will also receive special Academy Awards this week.
A day after snagging 19 nominations, including Best TV Drama Series, CBC announced that The Porter would end after just one season.
At the time, executive producer Jennifer Kawaja explained that the CBC had given the green light and supported a second season “until the end”, but its American partner, BET Plus, withdrew its marbles.
Inspired by real events, The Porter told the story of black Montrealers who were porters in sleeping cars in the 1920s, trying to obtain safer working conditions.