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.