Monday, 10 March 2014

2014 Canadian Screen Awards: Viggo and Cronenberg take a bow!

photo by donna g
The highlight of my evening at the 2014 Canadian Screen Awards was the moment actress Gabrielle Marion-Rivard (left) walked onto the press room stage, absolutely glowing, as if lit up from within. I don't think I have ever seen someone beam before last night. As she held her award in her arms, and answered questions in both English and French, Marion-Rivard spoke about how winning her award (Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role) was a dream come true. The coming of age romance Gabrielle  which was nominated for a foreign-language Oscar (2013) was later presented with a Canadian Screen Award for Best Picture. Director, Louise Archambault says that she has heard from audiences that they see the film as being about "pure love" and not just an issues story about Williams syndrome,  a condition that first-time actress, Marion-Rivard shares with her character.

photo by donna g
I love David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen together. For a director and actor known for such serious work, they are like a vaudeville comedy duo as they riff off each other as Viggo holds up his ubiquitous Habs flag or jersey (Cronenberg is a lifelong Maple Leafs fan).  My cohort, blogger HeidyMo, had a fangirl moment over the dynamic duos presence, but Viggo's History of Violence co-star (and my girl crush), Mario Bello, although in attendance at the event for Cronenberg's acceptance of his Lifetime Achievement Award, did not come to the press room. Still it was revealling to hear Cronenberg express his gratitude to the Canada Council and Telefilm Canada for allowing him to have a career and live in Canada. Without support from these two organizations when he was starting out, he would have had to leave Canada in order to become a filmmaker, or he might have pursued his love of writing and become a novelist. (His debut novel, Consumed will be released this year.)

photo by donna g
Big winners for the evening were television's Tatiana Maslany's (left) clone drama Orphan Black and Jason Priestly's comedy Call Me Fritz, while multiple honours also went to Denis Villeneuve's feature film Enemy. Lost Girl's Zoie Palmer won Fan Favourite Star and the show won Fan Favourite.

The Canadian Screen Awards honours achievements in film, television and digital media. For the second year in a row, the event was held at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, and I don't know if it was because the Academy was celebrating its 65th year, but the Red Carpet was definitely longer this year! The host broadcaster was the most suitable, CBC, and stage host was the inimitable Martin Short, or as he sang in his humourous tribute song to potential "losing ladies" last night, Uncle Marty.

Being in an awards press room can be pretty dry: some journalists were plugged into headphones to get the feed from the stage, but others, like myself, watched the silent monitors in between the winners taking to our stage for their post-win Q & A session. Thank you, Richard Crouse for your positive vibes, and for asking such great questions that I always feel as if you are reading my mind. Richard also knows how to share, never once forgetting to check the room for those who have their own questions. If you ever have the chance to attend an event where Richard is facilitating a discussion about film or with filmmakers, do yourself a favour and buy a ticket. I sometimes feel at these events that some people in the room are only interested in getting sound bites and money shots. Richard is that person in the room that always, always maintains an enthusiasm for film.

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