Beloved, homegrown stories won big Sunday night at the Canadian Screen Awards (CSA), with the hit Maud Lewis biopic Maudie, family sitcom Kim’s Convenience and Anne, CBC-TV’s revamped take on Anne of Green Gables, taking top prizes.
Maudie, the onscreen portrait of folk artist Lewis, was named best picture and earned six other trophies, including for actors Sally Hawkins (lead actress) and Ethan Hawke (supporting actor), at Sunday’s gala at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto.
Kabul-set animated film The Breadwinner earned four trophies, including for Anita Doron’s screenplay adapted from Deborah Ellis’s bestselling novel.
“Everybody on the team was making the same film [with] the same intention,” Doron said after accepting her award.
“The pain I feel is the same pain an Afghan girl feels, the same pain you feel,” she said.
“Us and them, there’s no difference.”
Other multiple award-winners included historic epic Hochelaga, Land of Souls, which earned four trophies, and music documentary Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World, which earned three awards, including being named best feature-length documentary.
CBC-TV productions dominated the television categories, with Kim’s Convenience named best comedy, Anne winning for best drama, Alias Grace crowned best limited series or program and Baroness von Sketch Show named best sketch comedy.
Gord Downie’s multimedia project The Secret Path, telling the story of Chanie Wenjack, who died trying to get home from residential school in 1966, won the Donald Brittain Award for best social-political documentary.
Repeat winners were in abundance in the television acting categories. Orphan Black‘s Tatiana Maslany (lead actress, drama), Schitt’s Creek‘s Catherine O’Hara (lead actress, comedy) and Paul Sun-Hyung Lee of Kim’s Convenience, all took home trophies once again.
Meanwhile, Alexander Ludwig picked up best lead actor in a drama for his role on Vikings. Sarah Gadon earned best lead actress in a limited series for her starring role in Alias Grace, while Billy Campbell nabbed the corresponding lead actor title for the detective series Cardinal.
The evening also included tributes for several distinguished Canadians being honoured for special achievement, including CBC’s Rick Mercer and Peter Mansbridge, author Margaret Atwood and director Clark Johnson.
The final gala brings the weeklong CSA festivities to close, following a trio of award celebrations earlier this week.
Canada’s AfterMeToo movement, which is working to address sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry, was also a theme running through the evening, with the academy having distributed AfterMeToo pins on the red carpet and donated a 20-second commercial to the movement. Founders Freya Ravensbergen, Mia Kirshner and Aisling Chin-Yee were also in attendance, while Atwood mentioned the initiative during her time onstage.
“I hope that raises awareness of the fact that this is not just a U.S. industry issue. It does happen here. We need to keep talking about it and we need to be finding our own solutions to it,” said academy CEO Beth Janson.