Secret Location, NFB take two wins each at Digi Awards

The digital industry elite got decked out and hit Toronto’s Carlu for the 2012 Digi Awards Tuesday night.

YouTube stars Andrew Bravener and Andrew Gunadie (‘gunnarolla’) opened the show with a musical number about “the things the internet is made of” –  a digital space full of all the things that we love – cats (85% of the content of the internet, causing 100% of the internet’s happiness, they said), advertising (womp womp), food and really angry teenagers, to name a few.

Opening number

Hosts Harley Morenstein, of online cooking show Epic Meal Time, and TV host and producer Anne-Marie Withenshaw then took to the stage to dole out the digital distinctions.

Secret Location took home two awards, for best in cross-platform non-fiction for D-Day to Victory and best in cross-platform kids for In Real Life Interactive.

The NFB also took two awards, for best in Canadian culture for Burquette (with Attraction Images and Turbulent Media), and best in web series, non-fiction, for Bear 71.

NFB chair Tom Perlmutter accepted both awards, prompting a flurry of tweets from audience members, asking, “Larry David?” ( alluding to Perlmutter ‘s passing resemblance to the Curb Your Enthusiasm star).

Shaftesbury’s Smokebomb Entertainment won best mobile application for Totally Amp’d, while iThentic’s Guidestones took the award for best in web series, fiction (with Smiley Guy Studios and 3 o’clock TV).

And Zed.TO won for best cross-platform fiction, while Big Blue Bubble’s My Singing Monsters took best in mobile gaming, and Digital Extremes’ Warframe won for best in web gaming.

The CFC Media Lab’s Ana Serrano presented the Award of Excellence to Cory Doctorow, who she introduced as “a young adult and adult novelist, internet freedom fighter, editor and renaissance man, committed to helping us define our lives with the internet.”

Information insecurity

“Toronto is a city that benefited from many policies and accidents that created a real digital generation,” Doctorow told the audience.

“But I also have a lot of anxiety for the country of my birth. It particularly revolves around information policy and some of the ways we’ve gotten it very wrong in recent years,” he continued. “I really worry that unless we stop allowing other people to set our policies, and unless we reinstate real competition policy in our communication stuff here – so it’s not one company that runs your cell phone network, and your DSL, and your cable network, and your mobile phone, and everything else that you get, so that we got real competition, we’re hosed,” he concluded, to cheers from the audience.

Neil Sweeney of Juice Mobile

Juice Mobile was named as Canada’s most promising digital company, an award presented to a company that has “built a great team, product and client base.”

Juice Mobile Neil Sweeney accepted the award, saying, “Anybody in the room who’s obvs started a business knows that you have to put a good team behind your company, and this is definitely for the team that’s trusted in Juice and the division that we have.”

And five companies received honours as Canada’s top digital companies – companies that have done groundbreaking work leveraging the digital space, and that have generated a minimum of $2 million in revenue in the past year.

This year’s winners were A Thinking Ape, Broadband TV, Klick Inc., Stingray Digital and Toonbox Entertainment.

The full list of 2012 winners is as follows:

  • Best in Branded Entertainment: McDonald’s Happy Studio, Fuel Industries, McDonald’s Europe
  • Best in Digital Advertising: Scratch ‘N Win Contest, Yellow Pages Group
  • Best Use of Social Media: Tweet-A-Carol, Juniper Park, Toronto Pearson International Airport
  • Best in Canadian Culture: Burquette, Attraction Images, National Film Board of Canada, Turbulent Media
  • Best in Community Campaigns: Earth Rangers empowers kids to Bring Back the Wild, Earth Rangers
  • Best in E-Learning: Montreal: Evolution through Architecture and Urbanism (ARTH298M), eConcordia
  • Best in Mobile Applications: Totally Amp’d, Smokebomb Entertainment
  • Best in Tablet Applications: Aux Magazine for iPad, AUX TV, Blue Ant Media
  • Best in Cross-Platform, Fiction: ZED.TO, ZED.TO
  • Best in Cross-Platform, Non-Fiction: D-Day To Victory, The Secret Location
  • Best in Cross-Platform, Kids: In Real Life Interactive, The Secret Location
  • Best in Mobile Gaming: My Singing Monsters, Big Blue Bubble
  • Best in Web Gaming: Warframe, Digital Extremes
  • Best in Digital Lifestyle & Entertainment:, YummyMummyClub
  • Best in Digital News & Current Affairs:, CBC
  • Best in Web Series, Fiction: Guidestones, iThentic/Smiley Guy Studios
  • Best in Web Series, Non-Fiction: Bear71, National Film Board of Canada
  • Canada’s Most Promising Digital Media Company: Juice Mobile
  • Most Innovative Digital Media Technology: Evolution Engine, Digital Extremes Ltd.

Canada’s Top Digital Companies

  • A Thinking Ape
  • Broadband TV
  • Klick Inc.
  • Stingray Digital
  • Toonbox Entertainment

Watch the event, which was streamed live, here.

All photos sourced from nextMEDIA’s Digis live blog and Twitter feed. From top: Photos tweeted by Hercules Media’s Stephen Tapp, gunnarolla and JUICE_mobile