Canadian Screen Awards
The Canadian Screen Awards (French: Les prix Écrans canadiens) are awards given annually by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television recognizing excellence in Canadian film, English-language television, and digital media productions. The new awards were first presented in 2013 as the result of a merger of the Gemini Awards and Genie Awards—the Academy's previous awards presentations for television (English-language) and film productions.
|Canadian Screen Awards|
|8th Canadian Screen Awards|
|Awarded for||Best television, film, and digital media productions in Canada|
|Presented by||Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television|
They are widely considered to be the most prestigious award for Canadian entertainers, artists, and filmmakers, often referred to as the equivalent of the Oscars and Emmy Awards in the United States, the BAFTA Awards in the United Kingdom, the AACTA Awards in Australia,the IFTA Awards in Ireland, and the IIFA Awards in India.
The award's historic roots stem from the Canadian Film Awards, which were presented for film from 1949 to 1978, and the ACTRA Awards, which were presented for television from 1972 to 1986. The Academy took over the CFAs in 1978 to create the new Genie Awards, and took over the ACTRAs in 1986 to create the Gemini Awards.
In April 2012, the Academy announced that it would merge the Geminis and the Genies into a new awards show that would better recognize Canadian accomplishments in film, television, and digital media. On 4 September 2012, the Academy announced that the new ceremony would be known as the Canadian Screen Awards, reflecting the multi-platform nature of the presentation's expanded scope and how Canadians consume media content. The inaugural ceremony, hosted by comedian Martin Short and broadcast by CBC Television, took place on 3 March 2013.
Due to the number of awards presented, many of the less prominent awards are presented at a series of untelevised galas during Canadian Screen Week, the week leading up to the televised ceremonies. On the night of the main gala, the ceremony also starts approximately two hours earlier than the telecast, with additional awards being presented whose winners are included in short montages during the main ceremony, and only the most important film and television categories are presented during the live broadcast.
On March 12, 2020 it was announced that the 8th Canadian Screen Awards ceremony had been cancelled due to the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic. The Academy has indicated that the winners will still be announced in some form, although the details have not yet been confirmed.
To be eligible for nominations, a title must be either a Canadian production or co-production; international film or television projects shot in Canada without direct Canadian production involvement are not eligible, nor are Canadians working on foreign productions.
A feature film must have received at least one full week of commercial theatrical screenings in at least two of the Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, Saskatoon, St. John's, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria and/or Winnipeg markets between 1 January of the qualifying year and the date of the awards ceremony in the presentation year. A film may be submitted and even nominated before it has fully met these criteria, so long as it can provide satisfactory proof that the criteria will be fulfilled by the date of the ceremony.
Film festival screenings are not directly relevant to the inclusion criteria for feature films; as long as it meets the commercial screening criteria, a film may in fact have had its initial film festival premiere up to 1.5 years earlier than 1 January of the qualifying year. Although due to the more periodic nature of Canadian film distribution it may be possible for a film to meet the qualifying criteria in more than one separate year, a film may not be resubmitted to the awards committee more than once. The eligibility criteria for feature films have faced criticism from some independent film producers, however, as they effectively exclude films which pursue distribution strategies more strongly based on streaming media platforms such as Netflix or Crave — unlike the Academy Awards, where the eligibility rules permit films from streaming services. Despite this conflict, films which premiered theatrically, but did not surpass the theatrical screening criteria and thus were never submitted in film categories before being released on a television or streaming platform, are eligible to receive nominations in the television categories.
Feature documentaries are eligible if they have received three commercial theatrical screenings anywhere in Canada within the same time period as narrative features, or if they have screened at two qualifying film festivals within the calendar year. Animated short films are eligible if they have received one commercial theatrical screening anywhere in Canada, or have been screened at two qualifying festivals, within the calendar year; live action short films are eligible if they have received one commercial theatrical screening anywhere in Canada, or have been screened at three qualifying festivals, within the calendar year. Documentary and short films are also automatically deemed eligible for nomination if they have won an award at an Academy Award-qualifying international film festival within the qualifying period, even if they have not yet met the Canadian screening criteria.
For television categories, the qualifying period corresponds more closely to the traditional television season than the calendar year, beginning 1 September of the second year before the ceremony and ending, depending on the category, either 31 August or 15 November of the year before the ceremony. An ongoing television series whose season straddles the cutoff date for its category is still eligible if it has aired at least one-third of its episodes within the eligibility period.
As of 2019, the Academy has not yet announced an official nickname, such as "Oscar" for the Academy Awards. Many Canadian television and film critics and others have suggested potential nicknames, including the straightforward abbreviation "Screenies"; tributes to film and television legends including "Candys" in memory of actor John Candy, "Pickfords" in honour of actress Mary Pickford and "Normans" in honour of director Norman Jewison; "Angels" as a descriptive reference to the trophy's "wings"; and "Gemininies" as a portmanteau of the awards' former names.
The Academy invited suggestions from viewers via social media, with CEO Helga Stephenson suggesting that the board would consider the suggestions and potentially announce a naming choice in time for the 2014 ceremony. No formal nickname was announced at the time; numerous media outlets settled on the informal "Screenies".
At the 4th Canadian Screen Awards in 2016, host Norm Macdonald called in his opening monologue for the awards to be named the Candys; several presenters and winners followed his lead throughout the evening, referring to the award as "The Candy" in their presentation announcements or acceptance speeches, and John Candy's former SCTV colleagues Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara both endorsed Macdonald's proposal in the press room. Macdonald had not sought input from the Academy itself prior to his monologue, although he ran the idea past the ceremony's broadcast producer Barry Avrich. At the 5th Canadian Screen Awards in 2017, host Howie Mandel offered his own nickname proposal, suggesting that the awards be dubbed the "STDs" to stand for "Screen, Television and Digital", although his suggestion was less positively received.
|Ceremony||Date||Best Motion Picture||Best Dramatic Series||Best Comedy Series||Host||Location||Broadcaster|
|1st||3 March 2013||War Witch (Rebelle)||Flashpoint||Less Than Kind||Martin Short||Meridian Hall (Toronto)||CBC|
|2nd||9 March 2014||Gabrielle||Orphan Black||Call Me Fitz|
|3rd||1 March 2015||Mommy||Andrea Martin||Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts|
|4th||13 March 2016||Room||19–2||Schitt's Creek||Norm Macdonald||Meridian Hall (Toronto)|
|5th||12 March 2017||It's Only the End of the World (Juste la fin du monde)||Orphan Black||Letterkenny||Howie Mandel|
|6th||11 March 2018||Maudie||Anne with an E||Kim's Convenience||Jonny Harris & Emma Hunter|
|7th||31 March 2019||A Colony (Une colonie)||Anne with an E||Schitt's Creek||No host|
|8th||29 March 2020 (cancelled due to coronavirus)||TBA|
The Canadian Screen Awards has roughly 130 categories in total. There are 24 film categories, 100 television categories, and 10 digital media categories. As with the Genie Awards, all Canadian films, regardless of language, are eligible to receive awards in the film categories. However, as with the Gemini Awards, only English-language productions are eligible for television categories: the Academy continues to hold the Prix Gémeaux, a separate ceremony honouring French-language television productions.
- Best Cross-Platform Project – Children's and Youth
- Best Cross-Platform Project – Fiction
- Best Cross-Platform Project – Non-Fiction
- Best Immersive Experience
- Best Original Interactive Production Produced for Digital Media
- Best Original Program or Series Produced for Digital Media – Fiction
- Best Original Program or Series Produced for Digital Media – Non-Fiction
- Best Direction in a Program or Series Produced for Digital Media
- Best Actor in a Program or Series Produced for Digital Media
- Best Actress in a Program or Series Produced for Digital Media
- Social Innovator Award
- "L'Académie lance les nouveaux prix Écrans canadiens" (Press release). L'Académie canadienne du cinéma et de la télévision. 4 September 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
- "Goodbye Genies and Geminis, hello Canadian Screen Awards". The GATE. The GATE Entertainment Magazine. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
- "Canadian Screen Awards highlights: little suspense, but lots of fun". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
- "Controversy and The Canadian Screen Awards". HuffPost. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
- "Canadian Crossing: American and British stars clean up at the Genies, Canada's 'Oscars'". balanceoffood.typepad.com. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
- Shatner, William; Regan, Chris (4 October 2011). Shatner Rules: Your Guide to Understanding the Shatnerverse and the World at Large. Penguin. ISBN 9781101547984.
- "Canada's female directors eye Oscar race". CTVNews. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
- "Canada's Genie, Gemini Awards to merge". CBC News. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
- "Canadian Academy unveils Canadian Screen Awards". ScreenDaily. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
- "Canadian Screen Awards to replace Genies, Geminis". CBC News. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
- "Martin Short makes Canadian Screen Awards a night to remember". Toronto Star. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
- "Canadian Screen Awards Canceled Amid Coronavirus Pandemic". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
- "Canadian Screen Awards brace for 'disastrous' financial impact after cancellation". Canadian Press, March 12, 2020.
- Eric Vollmers, "Calgary producer calls on Academy of Film and Television to loosen eligibility rules for Canadian Screen Awards". Calgary Herald, January 13, 2020.
- "Goodbye Genies and Geminis, hello Canadian Screen Awards". The Gate, 2 March 2013.
- "Canadian Screen Awards nickname the ‘Candys’ gains traction". Toronto Star, 4 March 2013.
- "Chair of Canadian film/TV academy is sweet on calling awards ‘the Candys’". Toronto Star, 14 March 2016.
- "The Screenies Are Upon Us!". Now, 13 January 2015.
- "Canada's Screenie nominations announced". Winnipeg Free Press, 14 January 2015.
- "Room takes Best Film at Canadian Screen Awards". Toronto Star, 13 March 2016.
- "'The Candy' gains traction as nickname for the Canadian Screen Awards". CTV News, 14 March 2016.
- "Lurching from boring to weird, Canadian Screen Awards did produce notable moments". The Globe and Mail, 13 March 2017.
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