The inaugural Canadian Screen Awards ramp up to a big finale Sunday evening with a televised gala and a final batch of awards largely focusing on cinematic achievements.
The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television's new consolidated honour, replacing the former Genie and Gemini Awards, recognizes excellence in film, television and digital media productions.
Sunday's gala at Toronto's Sony Centre includes a non-televised portion followed by a two-hour broadcast gala, hosted by comedian Martin Short and beginning on CBC-TV at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. in Newfoundland).
Montreal filmmaker Kim Nguyen’s child soldier story War Witch (also known by its French title Rebelle) led this year's contenders with 12 nominations. The Oscar-nominated drama is vying for the CSA best motion picture trophy. Its rivals for the honour include:
- Midnight’s Children, Deepa Mehta's adaptation of Salman Rushdie's magic realism novel.
- Still, the Michael McGowan film about an elderly man trying to build a home for his disabled wife.
- Laurence Anyways, Quebec filmmaker Xavier Dolan's epic romance.
- Inch'Allah, the slow-boiling West Bank-set drama directed by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette.
- L'Affaire Dumont, Marc-André Grondin's film about a woman trying to exonerate an imprisoned man.
Along with the cinema categories, Sunday's event will also unveil the notable television winners in categories such as:
- Dramatic series.
- Comedy series.
- Reality/competition series.
- Lead actors in drama and comedy series.
- News anchor.
- Sports host or analyst.
- Variety host.
The awards began Wednesday with a ceremony that focused on honouring excellence in Canadian news, sports, documentary and lifestyle programming of the past year. The festivities continued on Thursday with a second industry ceremony toasting winners in drama, youth, comedy and variety categories.
Altogether, the CSAs are presenting awards in 120 categories.
A host of special honours have also been awarded, including to the team behind the hit TV thriller Flashpoint, longtime fashion journalist Jeanne Beker, actress Kim Cattrall and film technology firm IMAX.
In May 2012, the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television announced it would consolidate the existing Genie and Gemini Awards, honouring English-language film and television respectively, into one omnibus event that would also celebrate digital media production. In September, the group revealed the new event would be known as the Canadian Screen Awards and unveiled a logo design that has been reflected in the new CSA trophy.