The Genie Awards: Celebrating 32 Years of Canadian Film

March 12, 2012 Updated: October 2, 2015
Philippe Falardeau
Director Philippe Falardeau (Monsieur Lazhar) and actor Viggo Mortensen (A Dangerous Method) celebrated their win with a Montreal Canadiens hockey team flag. (Evan Ning/The Epoch Times)

TORONTO—The Genie Awards, Canada’s Oscars, celebrated their 32nd anniversary of honouring Canadian film on Thursday. Hosted by television and radio personality George Stroumboulopoulos, the Genie Awards celebrated a strong year in the country’s film industry.

Alongside strong home-based talent, Canadian films also attracted international stars, such as Viggo Mortensen who won an award for the best supporting actor for his role as Sigmund Freud in David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method. Other notable figures included French actress Vanessa Paradis (Café de Flore), American actress Michelle Williams (Take this Waltz,) and British actress Rachel Weisz (The Whistleblower.)

The Quebec film Monsieur Lazhar about an Algerian immigrant who becomes a teacher in a Montreal classroom took the lead with six wins, including best picture, achievement in direction, and best adapted screenplay. The film had also been nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign language film earlier this year.

David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, which takes on the relationship between Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and Sabina Spielrein, one of the first female psychoanalysts, won five trophies.

The Quebec comedy Starbuck, winner of Cineplex Golden Reel Award for earning the highest domestic box office in a year, also took a few awards. The film, which tells the story of a man who learns he has fathered 533 children as a sperm donor, has been an audience favourite, grossing over $3.5 million in Canada. The film won for original screenplay and original song.

Young Montreal film maker Anne Émond was also honoured with the Jutra Award for her film Nuit 1, which reflects on the young generation’s anxiety over the self-centred contemporary society. The award celebrates outstanding achievement by a fist-time feature filmmaker.

The Genie Awards took place at Toronto’s waterfront at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel.

Marc Bertrand
Producer Marc Bertrand shares a kiss with his Genie award. He won Best-Animated Short for the film Romance. (Evan Ning/The Epoch Times)
Ian Harnarine
Director Ian Harnarine won the Genie for the best live action short drama Doubles with Slight Pepper. (Evan Ning/The Epoch Times)
Anne Émond
Anne Émond, winner of the Claude Jutra Award for her film Nuit 1. The award celebrates outstanding achievement for a first-time feature filmmaker. (Evan Ning/The Epoch Times)
Jason Priestley
Actor Jason Priestley was a presenter at the Genie Awards. (Evan Ning/The Epoch Times)
The cast and crew of Starbuck. Director/screenwriter Ken Scott (L) with actress Julie Le Breton, screenwriter Martin Petit and producer André Rouleau. (Evan Ning/The Epoch Times)
Sophie Nélisse
Eleven-year old Montreal actress Sophie Nélisse won for actress in a supporting role. (Evan Ning/The Epoch Times)
Monsieur Lazhar
The cast of Monsieur Lazhar celebrates their big win. The Quebec film won six Genies on Thursday. In photo: producers Luc Déry (L) and Kim McCraw ( R), director Philippe Falardeau (C) and actress Sophie Nélisse (C). (Evan Ning/The Epoch Times)