CSAs ’18: Never Steady Never Still, Ava top CSA film noms

Four of the seven best-picture nominations hail from female directors, including Nora Twomey's The Breadwinner and Aisling Walsh's Maudie.

Seven features will compete for the best-feature prize at the 2018 Canadian Screen Awards. Four films hail from female directors – a significant jump in representation from 2016 and 2017, when just one of the 10 nominated films each year was directed by a woman.

This year’s nominees for the best film of the year are Sadaf Foroughi’s Ava (pictured, Sweet Delight Pictures), Nora Twomey’s The Breadwinner (Aircraft Pictures, Cartoon Saloon, Melusine Productions), Alexis Durand-Brault’s C’est le coeur qui meurt en dernier (“It’s the Heart that Dies Last, Forum Films), Kathleen Hepburn’s Never Steady, Never Still (produced by Tyler Hagan and James Brown), Aisling Walsh’s Maudie (Painted House Films, Small Shack Films, Parallel Productions), Robin Aubert’s Les Affamés (“Ravenous“, La Maison de Prod) and Simon Lavoie’s La petite fille qui aimait trop les allumettes (“The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches“, GPA Films).

Foroughi’s Iran/Canada/Qatar copro Ava, about a 13 year-old girl who is told she will soon lose her vision, and Hepburn’s Never Steady Never Still, about a woman with Parkinson’s disease who does her best to remain independent following the death of her husband, received the most nominations of any project with eight each, with François Girard’s Hochelaga, Land of Souls also picking up eight. Following close behind are La petite fille qui aimait trop les allumettes with seven, Maudie (seven), The Breadwinner (six), Les rois mongols (six), All You Can Eat Buddha (six) and C’est le coeur qui meurt en dernier (six).

Best director noms went to Walsh (Maudie), Foroughi (Ava), Durand Brault (C’est le coeur qui meurt en dernier), Aubert (Les Affamés) and Ian Lagarde (All You Can Eat Buddha).

In the adapted screenplay category, Anita Doron (The Breadwinner), Nicole Bélanger (Les rois mongols), Gabriel Sabourin (C’est le coeur qui meurt en dernier), Simon Lavoie (La petite fille qui aimait trop les allumettes) and Susan Coyne (The Man Who Invented Christmas) will compete. Meanwhile, Josh Epstein and Kyle Rideout (Adventures in Public School), Foroughi (Ava) Sarah Kolasky and Adam Garnet Jones (Great Great Great), Sherry White (Maudie) and Hepburn (Never Steady, Never Still) were all nominated in the original screenplay category.

In the performance categories, Mahour Jabbari (Ava), Denise Filiatrault (C’est le coeur qui meurt en dernier), Marine Johnson (La petite fille qui aimait trop les allumettes), Sally Hawkins (Maudie) and Shirley Henderson (Never Steady, Never Still) received lead female actor recognition.

Best male lead noms went to Nabil Rajo (Boost), Gabriel Sabourin (C’est le coeur qui meurt en dernier), Antoine L’Écuyer (La petite fille qui aimait trop les allumettes), Tzi Ma (Meditation Park) and Émile Proulx-Cloutier (Nous sommes les autres).

Meanwhile, supporting male actor nominations went to Sylvio Arriola (All You Can Eat Buddha), Jahmil French (Boost), Sladen Peltier (Indian Horse), Natar Ungalaq (Iqaluit) and Ethan Hawke (Maudie), while Bahar Nouhian (Ava), Oluniké Adeliyi (Boost), Clare Coulter (Les rois mongols, “Cross My Heart“), Lucinda Armstrong Hall (Porcupine Lake) and Brigitte Poupart (Les Affamés) are in the running for the best supporting actress prize.

The Breadwinner (Mychael Danna, Jeff Danna), Les Affamés (Pierre-Philippe Côté) and Never Steady, Never Still (Ben Fox) were also chosen in the category for best original score alongside Les rois mongols (Viviane Audet, Robin-Joël Cool, Alexis Martin) and Hochelaga, Land of Souls (Terry Riley, Gyan Riley).

On the documentary side, François Jacob’s Sur la lune de nickel, Carlo Guillermo Proto’s Resurrecting Hassan, Catherine Bainbridge and Alfonso Maiorana’s Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World, Charles Officer’s Unarmed Verses and Kalina Bertin’s Manic are up for the Ted Rogers Best Feature Length Documentary, while three projects are in the running for the short doc prize: Andrew Moir’s Babe, I Hate To Go, Lisa Rideout’s Take a Walk on The Wildside and Asinnajaq’s Three Thousand.

Click here to see a full list of nominations. Winners will be announced across a number of gala events during Canadian Screen Week, which runs from March 6 to 12.

Photo courtesy of TIFF