Quebec helmer Denis Villeneuve’s “Polytechnique” swept the 30th Genie Awards, Canada’s top film honors, winning nine of its 11 noms including trophies for pic (producers Maxime Remillard and Don Carmody) and director, at a gala in Toronto on Monday. “Polytechnique” is loosely based on the 1989 Montreal Massacre, in which a gunman murdered 14 female engineering students. Both French and English-language versions were produced. Pic opened in Canada over a year ago and screened at Cannes in 2009.
“Polytechnique’s” other prizes are for actress (Karine Vanasse), supporting actor (Maxim Gaudette), screenplay (Jacques Davidts), cinematography (Pierre Gill), editing (Richard Comeau), overall sound and sound editing.
The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television handed out 21 Genies and three special awards.
Usual pre-award criticism was heightened this year due to perceived omissions from the nominee list, including Xavier Dolan’s Cannes hit “I Killed My Mother.” In recompense, the 21-year-old Montreal helmer received the special Claude Jutra Award.
Other awards went to helmer Kari Skogland, who picked up adapted screenplay for her 2008 drama “Fifty Dead Men Walking,” which also won for art direction.
Joshua Jackson nabbed actor for his “One Week” perf, while veteran thesp Martha Burns won best supporting actress for her turn in “Love & Savagery.”
“The Master Key” took best original score and make-up. Costume kudos went to Atuat Akittirq for “Before Tomorrow.”
Best original song went to “Oh Love,” penned by John Welsman and Cherie Camp for Charles Officer’s “Nurse.Fighter.Boy.”
Documentary veteran Alan Zweig picked up the feature docu honor for his prison story, “A Hard Name.”
Short pic prizes went to “The Delian Mode” (docu), “Danse Macabre” (live action drama) and “Runaway Train” (animated).
Previously announced special awards include the Golden Reel for top Canuck box office earner, which went to “Father and Guns” — the highest grossing French-language pic ever released in Canada — while the Academy achievement award wasa given to Mel Hoppenheim, CEO of Montreal studio La Cite du Cinema.