I watched Sunday’s Canadian Screen Awards. Not because I was really excited by it, but because I felt some sort of civic (and professional) duty to do so.
I’ve seen several of these, so I know what to expect. Hosts trying their best with not very good comedic material. Nominees and winners that most of the audience is unfamiliar with. Quebec movie stars feeling like fish out of water in this very English Canada environment. And overall a gala and broadcast that tries to be like the Oscars or the Emmys or even the Screen Actors Guild Awards but with much fewer resources.
The budget issue won’t change unless the CSAs become as big a spectacle as the American awards shows, and we’re pretty far from that.
It’s hard to take the Canadian Screen Awards seriously when there are 134 categories, including ones like Best Sound in a Variety or Animated Program or Series, Best Sports Opening/Tease, and Best Biography or Arts Documentary Program or Series. The Oscars, by comparison, have 24 categories. And though the Emmys are a similar mess of too many awards (especially if you include local Emmys), I don’t think that’s necessarily something to look up to.
Anyway, because just about everyone was nominated in the list announced today — the 2016 Canadian Screen Awards got three nominations — there were some accolades for English-language TV series produced in and around Montreal.
- 19-2, the Bravo cop drama based on a Radio-Canada series by the same name, had nine nominations (most of these categories have equivalents for other types of programs):
- Best drama
- Best direction (Louis Choquette)
- Original score (Nicolas Maranda)
- Photography (Tobia Marier Robitaille)
- Picture editing (Arthur Tarnowski)
- Writing (Bruce M. Smith)
- Lead actor (Adrian Holmes)
- Supporting actor (Dan Petronijevic)
- Mohawk Girls, the APTN comedy based on the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory, had three nominations:
- Best comedy series
- Best direction (Tracey Deer)
- Writing (Cynthia Knight)
- Interrupt This Program, the CBC documentary series based in Montreal, had three nominations:
- Best direction (Olivier Aghaby)
- “Best Biography or Arts Documentary Program or Series”
- Documentary picture editing (Geoff Klein)
- YidLife Crisis, the online series, had three nominations in digital categories:
- Actor (Eli Batalion)
- Actor (Jamie Elman)
- Original program (fiction)
- This Life, the CBC drama based on Radio-Canada’s Nouvelle adresse, had two nominations:
- Best drama
- Supporting actress (Lauren Lee Smith)
I may have missed other Quebec-based anglo series nominated for awards (if you spot one, let me know), and there are plenty of Quebec films nominated in the film category (including Xavier Dolan’s Juste la fin du monde).
There were no local nominees in the many categories for news (though shout out to former CBC Montreal anchor Andrew Chang, nominated for best local anchor at CBC Vancouver).