Inuit drama nets 9 Genie nominations

Before Tomorrow, an Inuit drama from a Nunavut women's video group, has secured nine nominations for Genie Awards, Canada's highest honour for film.

Before Tomorrow, an Inuit drama from a Nunavut women's video group, has secured nine nominations for the Genie Awards, Canada's highest honour for film.

The Inuktitut-language film has been nominated for best motion picture and best director, as well as in various categories for acting, writing and production.

Shot in Inuktitut in northern Quebec, Before Tomorrow was co-directed by Marie-Hélène Cousineau and Madeline Piujuq Ivalu of Arnait Video Productions.

The film was a collaboration between Arnait, an Igloolik, Nunavut-based collective that has been capturing Inuit women's stories since 1991, and another Igloolik-based film group, Isuma Productions.

Based on the novel Før Morgendagen by Danish author Jørn Riel, Before Tomorrow depicts the struggles of an elderly Inuk woman and her grandson — played by Ivalu and her own grandson, Paul Dylan Ivalu — after they become trapped on a remote Arctic island.

Before Tomorrow's Genie nominations

Best lead actress:Madeline Piujuq Ivalu

Best lead actor:Paul Dylan Ivalu

Achievement in direction:Marie-Hélène Cousineau and Madeline Piujuq Ivalu

Adapted screenplay: Marie-Hélène Cousineau, Susan Avingaq, Madeline Piujuq Ivalu

Original song:"Pamani" by Susan Avingaq

Overall sound:Richard Lavoie, Arnaud Derimay, Jean-Charles Desjardins, Bernard Gariépy Strobl

Art direction and production design:Susan Avingaq

Costume design:Atuat Akittirq

Best motion picture

(Source: Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television)

"The main charactor is an elder, an Inuk elder," Cousineau told CBC News on Tuesday, a day after the Genie nominations were announced.

"Her strength and her wisdom and her good attitude, and the fact is she's such a proud woman, that was … to me, a way of talking about those women that actually I was meeting in my life in the North."

Cousineau said she did not expect to receive so many nominations for the film.

Genie Awards CEO Sara Morton said this year's award nominees, including Before Tomorrow, reflect courageous Canadian storytelling.

"What is gratifying to see is the variety of cultures and communities, and also historical moments that are reflected in this year's films," Morton said.

"They're all part of the Canadian identity and it's wonderful to see them all among the nominees for best picture."

Cousineau said she will try to get many of the film's crew members to Toronto for the April 12 Genie Awards ceremony.

Before Tomorrow has also been nominated for four Jutra Awards in Quebec.