DGC hands top prizes to Leslie, Cairo Time

Leslie My Name is Evil

It was a mixed bag of winners at the Directors Guild of Canada awards on Saturday, where Reginald Harkema nabbed the best feature director prize for Leslie, My Name is Evil, while Ruba Nadda’s Cairo Time was named best feature film.

“If you want to see a six-foot-six man cry, you’ve come to the right place,” a stunned Harkema told the audience, referring to fellow director nominees including Atom Egoyan (Chloe), George Mihalka (Faith, Fraud & Minimum Wage), and Penelope Buitenhuis (A Wake) as “legends of the business.”

Egoyan’s sexy thriller Chloe – which picked up best picture editing and sound editing – was the only multiple winner in the feature film categories.

Romantic drama Cairo Time, which was surprisingly snubbed at the Genie Awards earlier this year, beat out Chloe, Jacob Tierney’s The Trotsky, and John N. Smith’s Love & Savagery for the top feature prize.

Also among the feature film winners was Patrice Vermette, who bagged production design for the Quebec-made comedy 1981.

Legendary filmmaker Sidney Furie was feted with the DGC’s Lifetime Achievement award for his body of work including The Ipcress File (1965), Lady Sings The Blues (1972), and The Appaloosa (1966), featuring Marlon Brando.

“It’s tougher to be here and say something than it was to have made all those movies,” said the 77-year-old Furie as he reflected on his 53-year career. “No creative artist ever thinks he’s done anything worthwhile.”

Meanwhile, CBC-made shows dominated the television contingent as Being Erica picked up the best drama prize, while Little Mosque on the Prairie and Heartland were named best comedy and family show, respectively. Also, the Ceeb’s Keep Your Head Up Kid: The Don Cherry Story snagged best TV movie/miniseries and sound editing.

TV directing honors went to Adrienne Mitchell for TMN/MC’s Durham County (which also picked up production design), and Norma Bailey for the TV movie Too Late to Say Goodbye.

Other TV winners in craft categories include the Halifax-shot German-Canadian mini Sea Wolf, detective series Murdoch Mysteries, and crime drama The Bridge.

The inaugural best short film prize went to Rob Blackie’s Quiet at Dawn, while Barry Greenwald scored the documentary trophy for The Experimental Eskimos.

Industry veterans Paul Bronfman and Don McCutcheon received the DGC’s life member and distinguished service awards, respectively.

The annual kudos-fest was held at Toronto’s Royal York Hotel and hosted by Dave Foley.