Reitman's film Juno never applied for Genie Awards
The hit movie Juno didn't qualify for Genie consideration because no one submitted it, an official with the Canadian film awards said Friday, a week after Montreal-born director Jason Reitman complained bitterly about the apparent snub.
"Regrettably, the filmmakers decided not to enter the film into the Genie Awards," said Sara Morton, head of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, in a statement released late Friday afternoon.
"Ultimately, it's up to the filmmaker to decide whether to seek Canadian certification. It would not be appropriate for me to speculate about the reasons for a filmmaker's decision or why they may or may not qualify."
In Los Angeles last week at a luncheon honouring Canadian Oscar nominees, Reitman lamented that his sophomore film didn't earn any Genie nominations while David Cronenberg's Eastern Promisesdid.
"It's a Canadian director, Canadian stars, Canadian cast, Canadian crew, shot in Canada — how are we not eligible for a Genie when David Cronenberg's film about Russians living in London shot in England with a British crew and British cast is eligible?" he said. "I'm sorry, but somebody is going to have to explain that to me; I don't get it."
Film won Oscar, Spirit Award
Juno, one of the most commercially successful films of 2007, won best picture at the Spirit Awards honouring independent film on Saturday and was also nominated for a best picture Oscar on Sunday night, losing out to No Country for Old Men.
First-time screenwriter Diablo Cody won the Academy Award for best original screenplay for her Juno script.
Morton said in order for any film to be eligible for a Genie, it must be Canadian as defined by the CRTC and the Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office, also known as CAVCO.
"These are the accepted industry standards for recognizing a film as Canadian," she said in the statement.
But that's an apparently moot point since Morton says the film was not submitted for consideration.
"Juno is an excellent film and the academy salutes its success, which reflects the work of many talented Canadians both in front of and behind the camera," she said.
The Genies are being handed out Monday night in Toronto.