‘Little Bird’ Miniseries and ‘BlackBerry’ Movie Lead Canadian Screen Awards Nominations

Alex Nino Gheciu, The Canadian Press

Published Wednesday, March 6, 2024 7:46 am EST

A limited series about an Indigenous woman’s search for her biological family and a comedy film chronicling the creation of a revolutionary smartphone dominate this year’s Canadian Screen Awards nominations.

The Crave/APTN original series “Little Bird” leads the television series categories with 19 nominations, including best drama series, best dramatic performance for stars Darla Contois and Ellyn Jade and best dramatic direction for Zoe Leigh Hopkins and Elle-Maija Tailfeathers.

About a 1960s Scoop survivor taken in by a Jewish family in Montreal, the six-part series features a largely Indigenous cast and creative team and was co-created by Jennifer Podemski and Hannah Moscovitch.

It competes against CBC’s “Essex County” and “Plan B,” Hollywood Suite’s “Slasher: Ripper” and CTV’s “Transplant” for best drama series.

“BlackBerry,” directed by Toronto director Matt Johnson, leads the film categories with 17 nominations, including best picture and direction, becoming the most nominated film in the 11-year history of the Canadian Screen Awards, according to the organizers. .

Set in Waterloo, Ontario. Set in the 1990s, the film follows the dramatic rise and fall of the BlackBerry mobile device and its inventors. Jay Baruchel has been nominated for best performance in a lead role in a comedy for his portrayal of company co-founder Mike Lazaridis, while Glenn Howerton, who plays co-CEO Jim Balsillie, and Johnson, who plays co-founder Doug Fregin, are nominated for best performance in a leading role in a comedy. Both nominated for best supporting role in a comedy.

The film won the $50,000 award for best Canadian feature film from the Toronto Film Critics Association earlier this week and made TIFF’s Canada Top Ten list for 2023.

It competes with “Solo,” “Humanist Vampire in Search of a Consenting Suicidal Person,” “Infinity Pool,” “Red Rooms (Les chambres rouges)” and “Richelieu” for best film.

Other notable television nominees include the final seasons of CBC comedies “Sort Of” and “Workin’ Moms,” with 18 and 12 nominations, respectively.

“Sort Of,” a comedy-drama about a gender-fluid Pakistani-Canadian millennial balancing multiple identities, is nominated for best directing and best writing in a comedy.

The show competes with Crave’s “Bria Mack Gets A Life” and “Letterkenny,” CBC’s “Son of a Critch” and “Workin’ Moms” and CTV’s “Shelved” for best comedy series.

In the film categories, Quebec director and screenwriter Ariane Louis-Seize’s feature film “Humanist Vampire seek Consenting Suicidal Person” earned 12 nominations, while Toronto native Brandon Cronenberg’s “Infinity Pool” followed with 11.

Louis-Seize’s French-language comedy-drama, about a sensitive teenage vampire who forms a bond with a depressed boy, is nominated for directing and best original screenplay. He won a $10,000 emerging artist award from the Toronto Film Critics Association earlier this week and won best director at last year’s Venice Days.

The race for best film director pits Johnson, Louise-Seize and Cronenberg against Henri Pardo for “Kanaval,” Pascal Plante for “Red Rooms (Les chambres rouges)” and Sophie Dupuis for “Solo.”

“The Drop,” Narcity’s first fully scripted YouTube show, and CBC Gem series “How to Fail as a Popstar,” based on Vivek Shraya’s hit play and subsequent book, lead digital media nominations with five each.

The 156 trophies celebrating the best of Canadian film, television and digital media will be presented in a series of awards ceremonies leading up to a gala hosted by comedian Mae Martin on May 31, which will air on CBC and CBC Gem some hours later. .

It is the second year in a row that the celebration will not be broadcast live.

Traditionally, the Screen Awards have been a star-studded live event in front of an audience. Tammy Frick, the Academy’s executive director, said pre-taping allows the gala to highlight more “heavy industry” elements that could overwhelm television audiences.

Last year, Canadian comedian Samantha Bee hosted the Screen Awards, filming her segments in New York weeks before the show. Instead, this year’s broadcast will include moments from the Toronto gala hosted by Martin several hours earlier, along with taped segments.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2024.

Leave a Comment