Canadian Screen Awards: CTV's 'Flashpoint' and 'Motive' up for best drama
Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press
Published Monday, January 13, 2014 8:03AM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 13, 2014 5:51PM EST
TORONTO -- Doppelgangers abound at the Canadian Screen Awards -- Denis Villeneuve's surreal mind-bender "Enemy" leads the film nominations while Space's sci-fi clone saga "Orphan Black" tops the television contenders.
"Enemy" -- featuring Jake Gyllenhaal in dual roles as a paranoid teacher and as a cocky amateur actor who looks just like him -- dominates the film categories with 10 nominations, ahead of Xavier Dolan's "Tom at the Farm" with eight and Louise Archambault's "Gabrielle" with six.
The three films will compete for best picture against "The Dismantlement," "Empire of Dirt," "The F Word," "The Grand Seduction" and "Maina."
The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television says it's the first time eight films will compete for the top title, a record number that CEO Helga Stephenson says speaks to the strength of the industry.
"A few years ago we decided that if the jury decided they wanted to go further than five they could," Stephenson said after a packed news conference Monday, noting they could have listed up to 10 nominees.
"There was a lot of competition and the jury felt that in order to get kind of a representation of the best that was going on across the country they wanted to go to eight."
The TV race is dominated by "Orphan Black," which has 14 nominations, including a best drama actress nod for star Tatiana Maslany.
Her chameleon-like turns as various clones -- including an uptight soccer mom, a street-smart British orphan and a cornrow-headed science geek -- also earned her an invitation to the Golden Globes bash on Sunday where she competed for best actress in a TV drama but lost to Robin Wright of "House of Cards."
Maslany's co-stars said the Regina-bred actress was travelling back from Los Angeles during the nominations announcement in Toronto and they were celebrating for her.
"We're just extremely proud, extremely happy for her and we just feel like it's a dream come true for someone so talented in such a small show to be internationally recognized," said Michael Mando, nominated for best supporting actor in a drama series for his turn as the volatile Vic, and also for best guest performance in a drama for "Rookie Blue."
Mando said Maslany was expected to be back on set Tuesday, with co-star Natalie Lisinska joking that the show's star never gets a day off.
"At the Golden Globes, she was actually shooting on set," joked Lisinska, nominated for best guest performance in a drama for her turn as nosy neighbour Aynsley. "That was a clone that they sent to the Golden Globes."
Cracks aside, Lisinska said she's been blown away by Maslany's focus and passion.
She noted that Maslany is also nominated for best film actress for her turn in the feature "Cas & Dylan," opposite Richard Dreyfuss. That category pits her against Cara Gee of "Empire of Dirt," Gabrielle Marion-Rivard of "Gabrielle," Kawennahere Devery Jacobs of "Rhymes for Young Ghouls" and Isabelle Guerard of "Rouge Sang."
"She's such an animal. As far as somebody with work ethic, I've never met somebody who was so hard-working and dedicated to the project," said Lisinska.
"Orphan Black" will compete for best drama against APTN's "Blackstone," Global's "Bomb Girls" and CTV's "Flashpoint" and CTV's "Motive."
The best comedy battle is between TMN/Movie Central's "Call Me Fitz," CBC-TV's "Gavin Crawford's Wild West," CBC-TV's "Mr. D," City's sitcom "Seed" and Super Channel's "Tiny Plastic Men."
The TMN/Movie Central comedy "Less Than Kind" is a notable omission in that category, despite being the top TV comedy contender with 12 nominations for its final season. Global's cop series "Rookie Blue" earned nine while "Call Me Fitz," the final season of CTV's cop drama "Flashpoint" and "Seed" each got eight nods.
The best actor race in film is dominated by international talent -- Gyllenhaal is up for his intense turns in "Enemy," while Daniel Radcliffe is nominated for "The F Word" and Brendan Gleeson is up for his part in "The Grand Seduction." They compete against Rajesh Tailang of "Siddarth" and Gabriel Arcand of "The Dismantlement."
"The F Word" scribe Elan Mastai said he was glad to see Radcliffe successfully break away from his Harry Potter roots.
"For all his fame and success I don't think he's ever been nominated for an acting award so I think it's really amazing that Canadians have recognized the actor that he's become," said Mastai, up for best adapted screenplay against Ken Scott and Michael Dowse of "The Grand Seduction," Javier Gullon of "Enemy," Robert Lepage for "Triptyque" and Michel Marc Bouchard and Dolan for "Tom at the Farm."
"The F Word" is among several titles that have yet to hit theatres. It's expected out in the summer, while Villeneuve's "Enemy" comes out March 14, immediately following the March 9 awards bash.
The best director race is between Sebastien Pilote for "The Dismantlement," Villeneuve for "Enemy, Dowse for "The F Word," Dolan for "Tom at the Farm" and Pedro Pires and Lepage for "Triptyque."
The competition for best national news anchor pits CBC's Peter Mansbridge of "The National" against "Global National" anchor Dawna Friesen and Lisa LaFlamme of "CTV National News."
Other notable nominees this year include Juno Awards host Michael Buble for best host in a variety, lifestyle, reality/competition, performing arts or talk program or series. The crooner is also named in the best writing in a variety or sketch comedy program or series category and best performance in a variety or sketch comedy program or series where he competes against South Korean rapper Psy, who delivered a wild spectacle for the 2013 MuchMusic Video Awards.
The Canadian Screen Awards honour achievement in homegrown television, film and digital projects, and replace the previously separate Gemini and Genie Awards. They'll be handed out in Toronto with Canuck comic Martin Short returning as host. The awards will air on CBC-TV.