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Who Will Win a Canadian Screen Award This Year?

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While a lot of the glitz and glamour of the Academy Awards and Golden Globes is what attracts a the media’s attention, Canada’s own version of the Oscars and Emmys is certainly an interesting assortment of compiling the most acclaimed of Canadian cinema and television. Looking over the nominations, it is interesting to see the continuing melding of the United States and Canada, as both industries are certainly crossing over. Best Motion Picture nominees Enemy, The F-Word and The Grand Seduction feature a couple of notable international names, three of which are nominated in the Best Actor category. It certainly seems like Enemy could be the frontrunner, as a way to honour Denis Villeneuve’s growing resume both here and in Hollywood. With Prisoners expected to receive little attention from the Academy when nominations are announced this week, Enemy winning the Canadian Screen Award would be a nice gesture towards his continuing success. The French-language Gabrielle could also receive a vote after not making Oscar’s shortlist in the Best Foreign Language Film category.

As previously mentioned, Best Actor has its international heavyweights with Daniel Radcliffe, Jake Gyllenhaal and Brendan Gleeson making the nominations list. It’s possible they could throw support to somebody famous, but Quebec-born actor Gabriel Arcand probably shouldn’t be counted out, either. Looking at the crafts categories, Mama and The Mortal Instruments make a number of appearances, which might surprise many. However, those are indeed Canadian-produced films that managed to find large distribution on American multiplexes and varying degrees of success. Of course, it also begs the question of where the line gets drawn. Why can’t the likes of Juno and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World be considered Canadian films when they fit almost all of the other qualifications, while the Resident Evil films entirely fall into that classification? While Disney’s Frozen is the frontrunner to win the Oscar for its big showstopper “Let It Go”, Canada’s own homegrown animated feature The Legend of Sarila is nominated in the Original Song category for its tune “Far Away.” If it wins, it could maybe shine a different light on a film its American video distributor has unfortunately re-titled Frozen Land as an obvious attempt to cash-in on the Disney blockbuster.

Looking at the television awards, the very popular Space Channel series Orphan Black is sure to sweep through the drama categories. Recent Golden Globe nominee Tatiana Maslany should have no trouble winning for her role, which requires her to play many different personalities. Best Animated Program is always an interesting one, with a combination of old and new favourites, spread across the popular animation-targeting networks. 9 Story’s long running Almost Naked Animals, their more adult series Fugget About It and Disney’s recently cancelled Slugterra all have strong chances to win in that category. However, the biggest confusion stemming from the television categories comes from how the words “Best” and “Reality Program” are in any way related. No two terms are more oil and water than those. Certainly showing how Internet and television continue to combine their forces, the hit web-series Ruby Skye PI is nominated for Best Original Interactive Production Produced for Digital Media and it has recently began airing special shorts on CBC Kids during their Saturday Morning lineup. Its tween-friendly charms will certainly help in trumping its more serious competitors.

Whether the Canadian Screen Award goes to international celebrities or local talent, the potential for an entertaining show is still to be had. Martin Short, who hosted last year, is a dependable comedian who should bring his unique style to the stage. Like winning an Oscar, taking home this award certainly helps one’s career in the local industry. In any case, there is a lot of untapped talent found in Hollywood North, whether they are nominated for Canadian Screen Awards or not.

By: Stefan Ellison


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