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Here are the nominees for the Canadian Screen Awards | CBC News



Here are the nominees for the Canadian Screen Awards | CBC News

Succession-style tech drama BlackBerry tops the nomination list for the Canadian Screen Awards’ film category — not just for this year, but for any year in the awards’ history.

BlackBerry pulled in 17 nods in categories including best motion picture, best direction, and best performance in a leading role (Jay Baruchel) and supporting role (Glenn Howerton). Those nominations pushed the Matt Johnson-directed movie — based on the rise and fall of the BlackBerry cellphone and its Canadian makers — past the previous record-holder, Brother, which went into last year’s ceremony with 14 nominations, eventually winning 12. 

In total, 216 feature, documentary and short films received nominations for this year’s Canadian Screen Awards, which were created through the merger of the Genie and Gemini awards in 2012. The nominees were unveiled Wednesday.

WATCH | BlackBerry’s ex-CEO gives his opinion on the film: 

What the real Jim Balsillie thinks about the Blackberry movie

A new movie takes on the rise and fall of the iconic tech device Blackberry, but how accurate is the portrayal? A conversation with two people who know the real story well: former Research in Motion co-CEO Jim Balsillie and Jacquie McNish, who wrote Losing the Signal, a behind-the-scenes look at the Canadian company.

Best motion picture

  • BlackBerry
  • Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person
  • Infinity Pool
  • Red Rooms
  • Richelieu
  • Solo

Achievement in direction, film

  • Matt Johnson, BlackBerry
  • Ariane Louis-Seize, Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person
  • Brandon Cronenberg, Infinity Pool
  • Henri Pardo, Kanaval
  • Pascal Plante, Red Rooms
  • Sophie Dupuis, Solo

But as usual, it was TV that truly led the pack this year. Limited series Little Bird and dramedy Sort Of received 19 and 18 nominations, respectively, dominating their fields of drama and comedy. 

For Sort Of, which aired its final season late last year, the nominations capped an impressive record at the awards. Co-created by Fab Filippo and star Bilal Baig, it won best comedy series in 2022 and 2023.

It is now up for awards in directing, writing, editing and supporting comedy performer (Amanda Cordner, Ellora Patnaik and Supinder Wraich). Perhaps surprisingly, Sort Of is not nominated for best comedy series this year.

A person standing on a dock holds a cellphone to their ear. Behind them can be seen the CN Tower.
Bilal Baig appears in a still from Sort Of. The show earned 18 nominations in its third and final season — but not for best comedy series. (Michael Gibson/CBC)

Best comedy series

  • Bria Mack Gets a Life
  • Letterkenny
  • Shelved
  • Son of a Critch
  • Workin’ Moms

Best drama series

  • Essex County
  • Little Bird
  • Plan B
  • Slasher: Ripper
  • Transplant

Little Bird is based on the Sixties Scoop, a historical practice that saw the Canadian government remove Indigenous children from their families to be adopted or put into foster care. The series, co-created by Jennifer Podemski, is up for best drama series, best direction, best supporting performer (Braeden Clarke) and best lead performer (Darla Contois and Ellyn Jade), among others.

Two women pose in front of a grass field. The woman on the left is younger than the other. The older woman gently rests her hand on the other's arm.
Darla Contois, left, and Lisa Edelstein appear in a promotional still for Little Bird. The six-part miniseries, which draws its story from the Sixties Scoop, was nominated for 19 Canadian Screen Awards. (Bell Media)

Close races

Workin’ Moms was the third most-nominated series, picking up 12 for its final season. The Catherine Reitman-fronted series has been nominated every year since 2018. This year it competes for best ensemble performance in a comedy, best lead performer in a comedy (for both Reitman and Dani Kind), best comedy series and others.

Following BlackBerry in nominations for the film category is Quebec’s Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person, which scored 12 nominations, including best picture and best performance in a leading role (Sara Montpetit). Director Ariane Louis-Seize also earned a nomination, making her one of two women up for the best director award, along with Sophie Dupuis for Solo

Earlier this week, Louis-Seize received the Toronto Film Critics Association’s Stella Artois Jay Scott Prize for emerging artists. The association’s top prize — the $100,000 Rogers Best Canadian Film Award — was split between BlackBerry and Swan Song, a documentary profiling ballerina Karen Kain; however, while the Canadian Screen Awards recognized BlackBerry, Swan Song was not nominated for best feature-length documentary. 

Ted Rogers best feature-length documentary

  • Beyond Paper
  • Kite Zo A: Leave the Bones
  • The Longest Goodbye
  • Someone Lives Here
  • Twice Colonized

Best factual series

  • Bollywed
  • Cocaine, Prison & Likes: Isabelle’s True Story
  • Dark Side of the Ring
  • Little Big Community
  • Thunder Bay

Other notable nominees include Brandon Cronenberg’s Infinity Pool, with 11 nominations — equalling his father David Cronenberg’s nomination count in 2023 for Crimes of the Future. Infinity Pool is in the running for best motion picture, best original screenplay and best performance in a leading role for both Mia Goth and Alexander Skarsgård.

Dani Pagliarello and Aisha Evelyna’s woman-led production The Drop and Vivek Shraya’s coming-of-age drama How to Fail as a Popstar lead digital media series nominations, with five each. 

Managed by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, the 2024 Canadian Screen Awards will take place over four separate ceremonies in late May — nearly six weeks later than normal. 

The academy transitioned the final broadcast show into a pre-taped ceremony last year, stitching together highlights from the different ceremonies. It led to considerable pushback, including from Schitt’s Creek star Eugene Levy.

Organizers confirmed that the 2024 awards will once again be pre-taped. They will culminate on May 31 with a show hosted by comedian Mae Martin, which will air on CBC and CBC Gem at 8:00 p.m. ET. 

Other nominees include:

John Dunning best first feature film award

  • Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person
  • In Flames
  • Kanaval
  • Richelieu
  • Something You Said Last Night
  • Through the Night

Performance in a leading role — Film, drama

  • Mia Goth, Infinity Pool
  • Alexander Skarsgård, Infinity Pool
  • Rayan Dieudonné, Kanaval
  • Oyin Oladejo, Orah
  • Amrit Kaur, The Queen Of My Dreams
  • Juliette Gariépy, Red Rooms
  • Ariane Castellanos, Richelieu
  • Théodore Pellerin, Solo
WATCH | The consistent success of French Canadian films: 

Films en français: a Canadian critical and commercial success story

Although most Canadian films are made in English, the true critical and commercial success comes in Canada’s other official language.

Performance in a leading role — Film, comedy

  • Jay Baruchel, BlackBerry
  • Cody Lightning, Hey, Viktor!
  • Félix-Antoine Bénard, Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person
  • Sara Montpetit, Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person
  • Magalie Lépine Blondeau, The Nature of Love
  • Alexandra Billings, Queen Tut
  • Susan Kent, Who’s Yer Father?
  • Chris Locke, Who’s Yer Father?

Best lead performer, drama series

  • Mayko Nguyen, Hudson & Rex
  • Darla Contois, Little Bird
  • Ellyn Jade, Little Bird
  • Victor Garber, Family Law
  • Meredith MacNeill, Pretty Hard Cases
  • Adrienne C. Moore, Pretty Hard Cases
  • Hamza Haq, Transplant
  • Laurence Leboeuf, Transplant

Best lead performer, comedy series

  • Meaghan Rath, Children Ruin Everything
  • Carolyn Taylor, I Have Nothing
  • Andrew Phung, Run the Burbs
  • Chris Sandiford, Shelved
  • Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, Son of a Critch
  • Dani Kind, Workin’ Moms
  • Catherine Reitman, Workin’ Moms
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