Awards Roundup: Black Kite wins at Leos

Plus: Laura Marie Wayne's Love, Scott wins best Canadian feature at Inside Out and the fest announces its inaugural innovation award winner.

Leo AwardsTarique Qayumi’s Black Kite (Vancouver’s Aquatinter Films) took home the Leo Awards top film prizes at a gala held in Vancouver on Sunday night (June 3).

All told, the Canada/Afghanistan copro won the prize for best motion picture, while Qayumi picked up awards for best direction in a motion picture and best screenwriting.

In addition, Cardinal (produced by Sienna Films and eOne) nabbed the award for best dramatic series, while writer Sarah Dodd picked up the prize for best screenwriting for the detective drama’s second season. Meanwhile, William Waring won best direction for Travelers (from Toronto’s Peacock Alley Entertainment) in the drama series category and best cinematography went to Brendan Uegama for the teen drama Riverdale (produced by Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television).

The award for best feature length doc went to producer Shirley Vercruyesse for the project The Road Forward. Marie Clements also walked away with best direction for the doc. The Road Forward examines the beginnings of Indian Nationalism in the 1930s to First Nations activism today.

Ghost Wars also snagged two prizes at the ceremony, picking up best costume design in a dramatic series and best hairstyling. In April, U.S. network Syfy announced it had cancelled the supernatural series produced by Calgary’s Nomadic Pictures after one season.

The award for best youth or children’s program or series went to Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library from Pacific Bay Entertainment, a California-based prodco with production facilities in Vancouver and Los Angeles. Meanwhile, best television movie and best direction went to Allan Harmon for Christmas Princess (produced by eOne and Really Real Films); James Phillips and Doug Barber won best screenwriting in a television movie for Serialized (produced by Montreal’s Incendo Productions); and best documentary series and best screenwriting went to Barbara Hager’s 1491: The Untold Story of the Americas Before Columbus from her Victoria-based prodco Aarrow Productions. 

Best direction in a doc series went to Mary Margaret Frymire for Dr. Keri Prairie Vet (produced by Winnipeg’s Merit Motion Picture), about a travelling vet who takes care of animals on the road, and Rupture won best short drama, best direction and best screenwriting. The short follows four Arab teens as they try to find the local public pool in their new Canadian city.

Meanwhile, the 2018 Inside Out LGBT Film Festival also announced its annual award winners at a ceremony on June 3. In total, 28 narrative and 21 documentary features from 27 countries were screened with 84 shorts from May 24 to June 3 in Toronto.

Love, Scott from director Laura Marie Wayne nabbed the award for best Canadian feature, taking home a $2,000 cash prize. The doc follows openly gay musician Scott Jones three years after he was the victim of an attack that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Other Canadian winners include For Nonna Anna from Luis De Filippis, which won the emerging Canadian artist award, picking up $2,500 in cash and a $5,000 equipment rental grant; as well as director Sherren Lee’s The Things You Think I’m Thinking, which won the best Canadian short award, along with $750. Produced by Fra Diavolo Films, De Filippis’ For Nonna Anna also won a special jury award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

Inside Out also named Bixa Travesty (Brazil) from directors Kiko Goifman and Claudia Priscilla its innovation award winner. Nabbing $10,000 in funding, Inside Out’s first special award for innovation is given to a filmmaker whose feature demonstrates innovation and a commitment to authentic and positive representation of LGBTQ2S people.

Lastly, the $2,500 prize for best first feature went to Retablo from Alvaro Delgado Aparicio (Peru/Germany/Norway). In the audience award categories, White Rabbit (U.S.) from Daryl Wein took home the award for best narrative feature, along with a $2,500 prize; best doc feature went to Call Her Ganda (U.S.) from PJ Raval, who was awarded 1,250; and best short, along with its $1,500-prize, was awarded to Nate Trinrud’s Pop Rox (U.S.).