Scarborough wins 3 Canadian Screen Awards, including best motion picture
Film's co-directors, lead actor also received accolades for their work
Critical darling Scarborough came out on top at the final night of the 2022 Canadian Screen Awards, winning best motion picture, achievement in direction and performance by an actor in a leading role on Sunday.
Scarborough marked the feature film debut of directors Shasha Nakhai and Rich Williamson, who received the achievement in direction award. Thirteen-year-old Liam Diaz — who portrayed Bing in the film — is one of the youngest actors in the history of the Canadian Screen Awards to win the award for performance by a leading actor.
In an interview with CBC News, Nakhai said that she and Williamson tried to stay true to the film's source material, the 2017 novel Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez.
"We took a lot of care with the representation, but we also knew that no one film can encompass the breadth of stories within that specific neighbourhood within Scarborough, and then with Scarborough as a whole," Nakhai said.
The film, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2021, tells the story of Bing, Sylvie and Laura, three children who forge a strong friendship over their shared experiences living in an underserved community.
It was adapted from Catherine Hernandez's 2017 novel of the same name, with the author writing the film's script.
Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers earned two awards on Sunday for a pair of projects.
She won the award for performance by a leading actress in a film for her role as Niska in Danis Goulet's dystopian allegory Night Raiders. The film is set in a future world where Indigenous children are taken from their families and become wards of a brutal military state.
Tailfeathers also produced and directed the Ted Rogers best feature film documentary, Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy. The film chronicles the community-wide impact of the opioid crisis on the Kainai First Nation in Alberta, where hundreds of lives have been lost to addiction.
"Indigenous people face daily systemic violence in this country," Tailfeathers said in an interview after the ceremony.
"I think it's so important to recognize the strength of our communities and the ways in which people are overcoming such deeply rooted systemic barriers through culture, through community, and doing so in a way that offers healing and hope."
Sort Of wins best TV comedy, Transplant sweeps drama awards
In the television categories, Sort Of won the prize for best comedy. The new series, co-written by Bilal Baig and Fab Filippo, stars Baig as a gender-fluid millennial who straddles competing identities as a bartender, a babysitter to an affluent family, and the child of Pakistani immigrants.
"It's a really intersectional team ... beyond race and gender and age and sexuality," Baig said. "There is real care around how we're telling these stories."
Fellow writer and director Fab Filippo says the collaborative nature of Sort Of works because the team is focused on listening to each other's ideas.
Kim's Convenience actors Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Jean Yoon were named best lead actor and actress in a comedy, respectively. The CBC comedy, about a Korean Canadian family who own a convenience store in downtown Toronto, ended in 2021 after an acclaimed five-season run.
"There are so many BIPOC performers that are breaking out, and getting discovered, or finding their voices, or being able to shape that narrative in the storytelling," Lee said. "That's the legacy of Kim's Convenience for me."
CTV drama Transplant, about a Syrian refugee who works as an emergency room medical resident in a Toronto hospital, swept the drama categories; the series was named best drama, while Hamza Haq and Laurence Leboeuf were named best lead actor and actress in a drama series, respectively.
Brooke Lynn Hytes, Traci Melchor, Amanda Brugel and Brad Goreski won the award for best host or presenter of a factual or reality/competition series for their work on the second season of Canada's Drag Race.
The Cogeco Fund audience choice award, voted on by the public, was given to drama series Wynonna Earp.
This year's Radius award, which highlights the work of a Canadian film or TV professional who is currently making waves globally in the film or television industry, was awarded to Never Have I Ever star Maitreyi Ramakrishnan.
The three recipients of the inaugural changemaker award, given to media professionals who use their platform to call out systemic discrimination and racism, were sportscaster Kayla Grey, culture journalist Kathleen Newman-Bremang and CBC host Amanda Parris.
Parris said structural change goes beyond changing faces in leadership positions.
"I think diversity, equity and inclusion has been an important starter in the conversation, but it cannot end there," Parris said. "I think when we end it there, we leave it at a surface level; it does become tokenistic."
Legendary sports commentator Bob Cole received the lifetime achievement award.
The complete list of winners from Sunday can be found below:
- Best motion picture: Scarborough.
- Performance by a leading actor: Liam Diaz, Scarborough.
- Performance by a leading actress: Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Night Raiders.
- Achievement in direction: Shasha Nakhai and Rich Williamson, Scarborough.
- Ted Rogers best feature-length documentary: Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy.
- Best comedy series: Sort Of.
- Best lead actor, comedy: Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Kim's Convenience.
- Best lead actress, comedy: Jean Yoon, Kim's Convenience.
- Best drama series: Transplant.
- Best lead actor, drama: Hamza Haq, Transplant.
- Best lead actress, drama: Laurence Leboeuf, Transplant.
- Best host or presenter, factual or reality/competition: Brooke Lynn Hytes, Traci Melchor, Amanda Brugel and Brad Goreski, Canada's Drag Race.
- Cogeco Fund audience choice award: Wynonna Earp.
- Radius award: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan.
- Lifetime achievement award: Bob Cole.
- Changemaker award: Kayla Grey, Kathleen Newman-Bremang and Amanda Parris.
- Gordon Sinclair award for broadcast journalism: Rassi Nashalik.