10 takes from the Canadian Screen Award nominations, where women rule and Anne leads the way
If you don't have time to sift through 100+ categories, don't worry — we've done some homework for you
The sixth annual Canadian Screen Awards were announced this morning, with hundreds of nominees across dozens and dozens (and dozens) of categories. It took us all morning just to read through them all, and if you just can't quite find the time to do the same, we've rounded up some highlights for you. (See the full list of nominees here.)
CBC Arts for the win(s)!
Is it okay if we start things off with a not-so-humble-brag? Well, we're going to anyway: CBC Arts' series Exhibitionists and Interrupt This Program collectively received four nominations, including going head-to-head in the best biography or arts documentary program or series. In addition, ITP is nominated for best documentary of factual series (congrats, Karen Cho!), best photography, documentary or factual (congrats, Van Royko!) and best direction.
Anne leads the way
CBC had a very good day, with the noted love for CBC Arts representing just a teeny portion of a massive haul of 180 nominations. Of them, 13 went to Anne — the critically-acclaimed update of Anne of Green Gables — which was the most of any film or TV program across the board. Kim's Convenience was just behind with 12, while Schitt's Creek and Alias Grace each nabbed 11.
Women (almost) ruled in the writing and directing categories
With so much discussion about the generally pathetic lack of female representation in writing and directing categories at American award shows as of late, the CSAs have proven themselves an outlier. Led in part by the teams behind the aforementioned Anne and Alias Grace, the TV categories for directing and writing a comedy, drama or limited series have 9 female-represented nominations out of 15 (including the entire category for writing a drama series save the co-nomination for Orphan Black's Graeme Manson). On the movie side, women made up two of the five directing nominations and seven of the 12 for writing. Your move, Oscar.
Sally Hawkins is looking like the only CSA/Oscar crossover
Or at least sort of. British-born Hawkins got her first CSA nomination for her portrayal of Nova Scotia folk artist Maud Lewis in Maudie, which also got nods for best motion picture and best supporting actor (for Hawkins' co-star Ethan Hawke). Next week, it's almost certain she'll get an Oscar nod too — but for Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water (which, although Del Toro is basically a Torontonian now and Shape was filmed there, the film is not a Canadian production and thus ineligible). Fun fact that throws some good luck Hawkins' way: two years ago, Julianne Moore managed the same feat when she nominated for a CSA for Maps to the Stars and an Oscar for Still Alice. She lost the CSA to Anne Dorval (for Mommy) but took home that Oscar. With all due respect to the CSAs, we suspect Hawkins would be okay with that outcome too.
The young star of Indian Horse gets nominated
11-year-old Sladen Peltier was the talk of TIFF for his performance in Indian Horse, which tells the story of Saul Indian Horse (played by Peltier), an Ojibway boy sent to residential school who finds respite in the game of hockey. He actually only got the role because his mom found a flyer when he was in Toronto for a hockey tournament. "So she asked me, 'Do you want to audition for a movie?' And I was like, 'Yeah!'" he told CBC News last fall. "I didn't think I was going to get it, because it was my first time ever auditioning for a movie." And now he's competing against Ethan Hawke for an award.
Canada's Oscar submission gets snubbed for best picture
Four of the five winners of the CSA for best motion picture have gone to Canada's official entry to the Oscars (War Witch, Gabrielle, Mommy and It's Only The End of the World). But this year — for the first time — the submission isn't even nominated. François Girard's Hochelaga, Land of Souls — a generations-spanning look at the history of Montreal — did receive eight nominations, but not for best motion picture or director.
Tatiana Maslany gets a swan song nomination for Orphan Black, but the show itself is snubbed
Another surprising snub was the lack of the final season of Orphan Black in the dramatic series category — an award it's won three times. It did manage a nomination for Tatiana Maslany and various below-the-line mentions (including Orphan Black: The Game being nominated for best cross-platform project), but its final total for the big prize will finish at three (unless it's revived one day, which no one should count out anymore).
Martin Short gets a nod...for The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Halloween!
Former CSA host and general Canadian comedy icon Martin Short can add another laurel to his long list...but it's an odd one. In the best performance, animation category, Short will compete against the voice casts of the TV shows Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Hotel Transylvania for his work in the Dr. Seuss adaptation The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Halloween! (that exclamation point is theirs, not ours).
Rick Mercer v. Rick Mercer
Someone's having a good morning. Rick Mercer, fresh off announcing the end of his Rick Mercer Report, will compete against himself in the best host in a live program or series, with nominations for both Canada Day 150! From Coast to Coast to Coast and Canada's New Year's Eve - Countdown to 2017. Will he cancel himself out and let Bryan Adams and Russell Peters sneak a win for the Junos, or Howie Mandel for his work hosting last year's CSAs? Even if he does, he'll definitely be taking home a special "Academy icon" award, and has another nomination for performance in a sketch comedy. Way to go out on top, Mr. Mercer.
The Canadian Screen Awards got nominated for a Canadian Screen Award
In addition to Mandel's nominations, it looks like the CSAs are feeling a little proud of themselves...last year's CSAs ceremony is nominated for best live entertainment special. Hey, if CBC Arts can congratulate themselves on CBC arts, we can't judge the CSAs!
Winners will be announced at various events during the academy's annual Canadian Screen Week celebrations, which culminate in the televised Canadian Screen Awards gala in Toronto on March 11. The broadcast ceremony begins at 8 p.m. ET, with the proceedings aired live by CBC.