Incendies and Barney’s Version lead Genie noms – Updated

Denis Villeneuve's Incendies and Richard J. Lewis' Barney's Version, both Oscar contenders, lead the field for the 31st Genie Awards.
Incendies

Pictured: Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies

Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies and Richard J. Lewis’ Barney’s Version, both Oscar contenders, lead the field for the 31st Genie Awards.

The star-driven Barney’s grabbed 11 nominations Tuesday, including a best actor nod for Paul Giamatti, while Incendies followed close behind with ten nods, including best direction for Villeneuve.

Quebec’s domination of the Canadian industry is reflected in the best film category, with the made-in-Montreal Barney’s against Incendies, Daniel Grou’s 10 1/2, Xavier Dolan’s Les Amours Imaginaires and Vincenzo Natali’s sci-fi flick Splice.

The same competition is reflected in the best director category at the Genies, which includes Xavier Dolan, Richard J. Lewis, Vincenzo Natali, Daniel Grou, and Denis Villeneuve.

“By all accounts this has been a fantastic year for Canadian cinema,” Sara Morton, CEO of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, the Genie organizer, said Wednesday.

Denis Villeneuve has a tradition of dominating the Genies in the years in which his films are eligible. His 2001 pic Maelstrom, narrated by a fish, had a field-leading five nominations that year. And last year, the Quebec director’s Montreal massacre movie Polytechnique led the field with 11 nominations and came away with nine trophies in all.

English Canadian film does get a look-in, however, with Resident Evil: Afterlife grabbing the Golden Reel Award for its $7.02 million box office nationwide last year. Having surpassed the $280 million foreign box office mark last November, Resident Evil is now the top-grossing Canadian film of all time. “Canadians really like zombies,” five-time Golden Reel winner and producer Don Carmody told Playback Daily.

The veteran producer also paid tribute to Resident Evil’s technical crew, which snagged five Genie nominations in craft categories, including Denise Cronenberg for best costume design.

Other box office jewels to score multiple Genie nominations Tuesday include The Wild Hunt, Trigger, with twin best actress nominations for Tracy Wright and Molly Parker, Route 132, High Life and The Trotsky.

Dan Lyon, a regional feature film executive at Telefilm Canada, said this year’s field of Genie nominees reflected an industry with increasingly varied film genres, budgets and directors. That variety follows Telefilm Canada’s attempt to diversify the industry in terms of film genres and talent.

“It’s gratifying to see nominated films from such a variety of genres and budget levels and combinations of directors that are experienced and newcomers,” Lyon told Playback Daily.

Telefilm Canada helped finance all five feature films nominated in the Genie’s best film competition.

Another key Genie field backer is the Toronto International Film Festival. Films unspooled by TIFF –  including Vincenzo Natali’s Splice (four nominations), which bypassed the Toronto festival, but did screen at Bell Lightbox as part of TIFF’s Canada’s Top Ten sidebar –  received a total of 67 Genie nominations.

The documentary nominations include Lixin Fan’s Last Train Home, which earlier grabbed a Directors Guild of America awards nod in the same category.

And Adrien Morot, who earlier earned an Oscar nomination for his makeup work in Barney’s Version, will contend in the same craft category at the Genies.

Elsewhere, the best original screenplay competition sees Route 132 scribes Louis Belanger and Alexis Martin, Claude Lalonde’s script for 10 1/2, Adriana Maggs for Grown Up Movie Star, Defendor ‘s Peter Stebbings and Jacob Tierney for The Trotsky all vying for the top honour.

The Genies airs on March 10 and will be broadcast from Ottawa by the CBC and will also see Jepthe Bastien presented with the Claude Jutra Award for best debut feature for Sortie 67.