War Witch leads Canadian Screen Award nominees

Kim Nguyen's gutsy child soldier story War Witch has a leading 12 nominations for the Canadian Screen Awards, the revamped Canadian film and TV honours that combine the Genies and the Geminis, it was announced today.

Revamped TV and film prizes replace Genies, Geminis

Eli Glasner looks at the strategy of combining the Geminis and the Genies into one new award called the Canadian Screen Awards. 3:01

Kim Nguyen’s gutsy child soldier story War Witch has a leading 12 nominations for the Canadian Screen Awards, the revamped Canadian film and TV honours that combine the Genies and the Geminis, it was announced today.

Nguyen’s Oscar-nominated film, also called Rebelle, is vying for best picture with Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children and Still Mine, Michael McGowan’s retelling of the story of an elderly New Brunswick man who runs afoul of building inspectors when he tries to build a home for his disabled wife. 

Three other francophone films also are contending for the best picture prize:

  • Laurence Anyways, Xavier Dolan’s sex-change drama with a total of 10 nominations.
  • Inch’Allah, Anais Barbeau-Lavelette’s Middle East story with five nominations.
  • L’Affaire Dumont, Marc-André Grondin's film about a woman trying to exonerate an imprisoned man, with seven nominations.

Rebelle, shot in the Congo with child actors plucked off the streets of Kinshasa, has earned a nomination for fledgling actress Rachel Mwanza, who also earned the best actress honours at the Berlin Film Festival.

Midnight’s Children, the adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Booker Prize-winning novel, has eight nominations, including best screenplay for Rushdie and best director for Mehta.

Still Mine has seven nominations, including acting accolades for leads James Cromwell and Geneviève Bujold.

Arctic Air gets TV nomination

Arctic Air is nominated for best drama. (CBC)

In the TV categories, CBC’s northern drama Arctic Air is vying for best drama with cancelled police stories Flashpoint and King, both being honoured for their final season. Also in the running are Global TV’s Second World War-set drama Bomb Girls and Continuum, a Showcase sci-fi series.

CBC has two contenders for best comedy, Gerry Dee’s popular series about a dysfunctional teacher, Mr. D, and the cancelled psychiatrist and patient drama, Michael Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Also up for best comedy:

  • Good God.
  • Kenny Hotz Triumph of the Will.
  • Less Than Kind.

Flashpoint leads TV nominations with 10, followed by Less Than Kind with 10 and Michael: Tuesdays and Thursdays with eight.

News and digital nominations for CBC

CBC has multiple nominations for its news and sports coverage, including six nominations for flagship news show The National and five for Hockey Night in Canada. 

CBC.ca also got nominations for its cross-platform projects and original digital programs:

The CSA has 120 categories, including 22 for film, more than 85 for television and additional categories for documentaries, shorts and  digital platforms.

A newly designed trophy was unveiled at Tuesday’s news conference.

The awards will be handed out over three nights.

The final awards gala, hosted by Martin Short, will be televised on Sunday, March 3, on CBC.