CSAs ’21: Beans, Funny Boy, Underground among best picture nods

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Jeff Barnaby's Blood Quantum, meanwhile, which is up for the Original Screenplay category, picked up the most nominations.

Films from directors Tracey Deer, Deepa Mehta, Pascal Plante, Sean Durkin and Sophie Dupuis will square off against one another in this year’s Best Motion Picture category at the Canadian Screen Awards.

Deer’s debut feature Beans (EMAFilms), which was recently acquired by FilmRise and sees her serve as co-writer is up against Mehta’s Funny Boy, a feature adaptation produced by David Hamilton and Hussain Amarshi, which was acquired by filmmaker Ava DuVernay’s distribution label ARRAY Releasing and debuted on Netflix outside of Canada; Montreal-based filmmaker Plante’s 2020 Cannes selection Nadia, Butterfly (Nemesis Films); Sean Durkin’s copro The Nest starring Jude Law and Carrie Coon (Elevation Pictures/BBC Films/Element Pictures); and Quebec filmmaker Sophie Dupuis’ Family First follow-up, Underground (“Souterrain,” Bravo Charlie).

Notably, four out of the five directors have also been tapped for the Canadian Academy’s Achievement in Direction section. Deer is the only nominee omitted. Instead, Brandon Cronenberg got the nod for his sophomore feature, Possessor (Rhombus Media/Rook Films).

Beans (pictured) is up for the John Dunning Best First Feature Film Award alongside Evan Morgan’s The Kid Detective (Woods Entertainment/JoBro Productions); Grace Glowicki’s Tito (Featured Creatures/Hawkeye Pictures); Neegan Trudel’s Vacarme (TAK Films); and Madeleine Sims-Fewer and Dusty Mancinelli’s Violation (DM Films).

Overall, writer/director Jeff Barnaby’s Blood Quantum (Prospector Films) secured the most nominations, earning a total of 10 nods.

Funny Boy, meanwhile, followed close behind, obtaining a total of nine nominations and Akilla’s Escape (Canesugar Filmworks) from Charles Officer and Wendy Brathwaite, also known as Motion, walked away with eight.

Both Blood Quantum and Akilla’s Escape are among the Original Screenplay selections. The rest of the section includes Underground‘s Dupuis, The Nest‘s Durkin and The Kid Detective‘s Morgan.

The Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role section will also see Saul Williams from Akilla’s Escape go up against Blood Quantum‘s Michael Greyeyes, Castle in the Ground‘s Alex Wolff, Falling‘s Lance Henriksen and Underground‘s Joakim Robillard.

Akilla’s Escape‘s Thamela Mpumlwana and Ronnie Rowe, Jr. also earned two nods in Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role.

Others nominated include Stephen McHattie (Come to Daddy, Firefly Films/Nowhere/Blinder Films/Scythia Films), Colm Feore (Sugar Daddy, Clique Pictures/Violator Films/Floyder Filmsand Jesse LaVercombe (Violation), who recently took home Outstanding Performance – Male for his work in Violation at the 19th annual Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) Awards in Toronto.

Meanwhile, Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role will see two actors from Elevation Pictures productions compete: The Nest‘s Coon and French Exit‘s Michelle Pfeiffer. The latter is a Elevation Pictures project with Screen Siren Pictures, Rocket Science, Blinder Films and Saalgo Productions.

The rest of the category includes Rustic Oracle‘s Carmen Moore, Vacarme‘s Rosalie Pépin and Violation‘s Sims-Fewer.

On the supporting role side, Felicity Huffman (Tammy’s Always Dying, JA Productions/Eggplant Picture & Sound) and Mary Walsh (Happy Place, Sienna Films) are up alongside Micheline Lanctôt (Laughter, “Le rire, La Boîte à Fanny), Agam Darshi (Funny Boy) and Amy Groening (Bone Cage, Afro Viking Pictures/Bone Cage Productions).

As for Adapted Screenplay, the nominees include: Taylor Olson for Bone Cage; Patrick deWitt for French Exit; Shyam Selvadurai and Mehta for Funny Boy; Catherine Léger for Goddess of the Fireflies; and Johnny Darrell, Andrew Duncan and Loretta Sarah Todd for Monkey Beach, produced by Todd’s Mama-oo Pictures and Reunion Pacific Entertainment, which served as the opening film for the Vancouver International Film Festival last year.

Meanwhile, for the Ted Rogers Best Feature Length Documentary nominees include: Ariel Nasr, Sergeo Kirby, Kat Baulu and Annette Clarke’s The Forbidden Reel; Michèle Stephenson, Jennifer Holness, Lea Marin, Anita Lee, Joe Brewster and Sudz Sutherland’s Stateless; Mélanie Carrier and Olivier Higgins’ Wandering: A Rohingya Story (“Errance sans retour”); Claude Demers’ A Woman, My Mother (“Une femme, ma mère”); and Ying Wang, Jian Ping Su and Jordan Paterson’s The World is Bright.

Best Short Documentary will see Peabody Award-winner Tiffany Hsiung’s Sing Me a Lullaby compete against François Delisle’s CHSLD, Alexandra Bailey and Theola Ross’ êmîcêtôcêt: Many Bloodlines, Halima Ouardiri’s Mutts (“Clebs”) and Trevor Anderson, Alyson Richards, Alexandra Lazarowich, Penny Frazier, Kim Hsu Guise, Lizzy Karp and Christina Willings’ Jesse Jams.

Sing Me a Lullaby previously won TIFF’s inaugural Share Her Journey Short Cuts Award and the Directors Guild of Canada’s Best Short Film prize.

Best Animated Short will see Jordan Canning, Howie Shia and Annette Clarke’s NFB project 4 North A alongside fellow NFB title I Barnabé (“Moi, Barnabé”) from Jean-François Lévesque and Julie Roy, The Fourfold from Alisi Telengut and Hot Flash from Thea Hollatz, Kristy Neville, Matt Code, Morghan Fortier and Brett Jubinville. The latter also screened at TIFF and stars CSA nominee Glowicki.

Additionally, it should be noted that Black Bodies from Kelly Fyffe-Marshall, Tamar Bird and Sasha Leigh Henry is nominated for Best Live Action Short Drama. Other nominees for the award include Salar Pashtoonyar’s Bad Omen, Simon Gionet’s Cayenne, Mathieu Grimard and Simon Corriveau’s Goodbye Golovin, and Paul Shkordoff and Jason Aita’s Benjamin, Benny, Ben.

And in the Achievement in Casting category, Deirdre Bowen counts for two of the five nominees. Bowen is up for Falling and nominated alongside Pam Dixon for Possessor.

As well, Toronto-born Lord of the Rings composer Howard Shore, who previously won for Achievement in Music – Original Score and Original Song for The Song of Names in 2020 is also up for Achievement in Music – Original Score again for Funny Boy.

Meanwhile, in the Achievement in Music – Original Song section, Hilario Duran is nominated for two songs from The Cuban: “El Milagro” and “Mambo in Dominante.”

Finally, Best Stunt Coordination will see both film and TV projects fight for the prize. Nominees include Jean Frenette and Jean-François Lachapelle for Blood Quantum, Tyler Hall for Goddess of the Fireflies (“La déesse des mouches à feu”), Dan Skene for Letterkenny episode “National Senior Hockey Championship” and Randy Butcher for Trickster episode “Episode 105.”

All told, 194 films were entered for consideration at this year’s CSAs.

See more nominees below. Click here for the full list of nominees on the Canadian Academy’s website.

Achievement in Art Direction

Blood Quantum – Louisa Schabas, Sylvain Lemaitre

Falling – Carol Spier

Goddess of the Fireflies – André-Line Beauparlant

Guest of Honour – Phillip Barker

The Kid Detective – Jennifer Morden, Matthew Bianchi

Achievement in Casting

Akilla’s Escape – Nicole Hilliard-Forde

Beans – Maxime Giroux

Blood Quantum – Rene Haynes

Falling – Deirdre Bowen

Possessor – Pam Dixon, Deirdre Bowen


Achievement in Cinematography

Akilla’s Escape – Maya Bankovic

Beans – Marie Davignon

Blood Quantum – Michel St-Martin

A Fire In The Cold Season – James Klopko

Nadia, Butterfly – Stéphanie Weber Biron


Achievement in Costume Design 

Blood Quantum – Noémi Poulin

Falling – Anne Dixon

Happy Place – Bernadette Croft

The Marijuana Conspiracy – Marie Grogan Hales

My Salinger Year - Patricia McNeil, Ann Roth


Achievement in Editing

Blood Quantum – Jeff Barnaby

The Cuban – Jane MacRae

The Decline – Arthur Tarnowski

Falling – Ron Sanders

Sugar Daddy – Christine Armstrong


Achievement in Hair

French Exit – France Latreille

Happy Place – Ashley Nay

My Salinger Year – Michelle Cote

Random Acts of Violence – Patricia Cuthbert

Tammy’s Always Dying – Renee Chan


Achievement in Make-Up 

Blood Quantum – Erik Gosselin, Joan-Patricia Parris, Jean-Michel Rossignol, Nancy Ferlatte

Funny Boy – Elizabeth Gruszka

The Marijuana Conspiracy – Sidney Armour

Possessor – Dan Martin, Traci Loader, Dorota Mitoraj

Random Acts of Violence – Emily O’Quinn, Paul Jones, Emma Lee Hilton


Achievement in Music – Original Score

Bloodthirsty – Michele Osis, Lowell Boland

Funny Boy – Howard Shore

Guest of Honour – Mychael Danna

The Kid Detective – Jay McCarrol

Marlene – Janal Bechthold


Achievement in Music – Original Song 

Bloodthirsty – “Grey Singing in Auditorium” – Lowell Boland, Evan Bogart, Justin Gray

The Cuban – “El Milagro” – Hilario Duran

The Cuban – “Mambo in Dominante” – Hilario Duran

Sugar Daddy – “Timid Joyous Atrocious” – Marie-Hélène L. Delorme

Thanks for Everything (“Merci pour tout”) – “Merci pour tout” – Ariane Moffatt


Achievement in Sound Editing

Akilla’s Escape – David McCallum, David Rose and Krystin Hunter

Funny Boy – McCallum, James Sizemore, Jane Tattersall, Steve Medeiros, Krystin Hunter, Stefan Fraticelli, Jason Charbonneau

The Nest – Paul Germann, Brennan Mercer, Martin Gwynn Jones

Random Acts of Violence – Clive Turner, Mark Shniruwsky, Marvyn Dennis

Violation – Matthew Chan, Ida Marci


Achievement in Sound Mixing

Akilla’s Escape – Graham Rogers, James Bastable, Brad Dawe

Beans – Stephane Bergeron, Yann Cleary

Funny Boy – Lou Solakofski, Joe Morrow, Randy Wilson, Ron Melgers

Random Acts of Violence – Colin McLellan, Mark Zsifkovits, Devin Doucette, Daniel Moctezuma, Rachelle Audet, Bertrand Duranleau, Thomas Holroyd, Jeffrey Roy

Violation – Matthew Chan


Achievement in Visual Effects

Blood Quantum – Joshua Sherrett, Barbara Rosenstein, Ibi Atemie, David Atexide, Juan Carlos Ferrá, Alex Flynn, Andrei Gheorghiu, Felix Sherrett-Brown, Ali Hamidikia, Tony Wu

Code 8 – Brian Huynh, William Chang, Steven Huynh, Sophia Jooyeon Lee, Justin Perreault

French Exit – Liam Neville, Kenneth Coyne, Piers Larchet, Rob Murray, Shane Browne, Dave Thomas, Mihail Dumbravestu, Allen Sillery, Christoph Gaudi, Michael McCarthy

Funny Boy – Peter McAuley, Michael Bishop, Derek Gebhart, Armen Bunag, Luke White, James Marin, Marco Polsinelli, Andrew Rolfe, Davor Celar

Laughter (“Le rire”) – François Trudel, Cynthia Mourou


Best Cinematography in a Feature Length Documentary

The Free Ones (“Les libres”) – Jean-Philippe Archibald

Influence – Glauco Bermudez, Mark Ó Fearghaíl

Nahanni: River of Forgiveness – Kiarash Sadigh

Wandering: A Rohingya Story (“Errance sans retour”) – Renaud Philippe, Olivier Higgins -

Workhorse – Ryan A. Randall


Best Editing in a Feature Length Documentary

Dave Not Coming Back – Jonah Malak

The Free Ones (“Les libres”) – Natacha Dufaux

The New Corporation: The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel – Peter Roeck

A Woman, My Mother (“Une femme, ma merè”) – Natalie Lamoureux

The World is Bright – Lawrence Le Lam