Canadian film awards also befriend 'Barney's'

It was a split decision at Canada’s Genies film awards with the top prizes shared almost evenly between “Incendies” and “Barney’s Version” in Ottowa on Thursday.

Montreal helmer-scribe Denis Villeneuve’s “Incendies” garnered eight awards, including best picture, director, adapted screenplay and actress for Lubna Azabal.

Adapted from the play by author Wajdi Mouawad, it’s the story of twins from Montreal who return to their homeland, an unnamed country in the Middle East, to unravel the mysteries of their family history. It was nominated for an Oscar in the foreign language category.

“Barney’s Version,” an adaptation of the classic Mordecai Richler novel, came in a close second with seven trophies, including actor for Paul Giamatti, supporting actor for Dustin Hoffman and supporting actress for Minnie Driver.

A dramedy about an irascible TV producer who may or may not have murdered his best friend, Giamatti also won the Golden Globe for actor in a musical or comedy for his role as Barney Panofsky.

The Genie for original screenplay went to Montreal director-scribe Jacob Tierney for “The Trotsky,” a comedy about a high school teen (Jay Baruchel) who is convinced he’s the re-incarnation of Leon Trotsky.

The Genie for documentary went to Lixin Fan’s “Last Train Home,” a look at migrant workers in China.

As previously announced, the Claude Jutra Award recognizing the work of a first-time filmmaker was given to helmer Jephte Bastien for his “Exit 67,” a look at street gangs in north-end Montreal.

The Golden Reel award for top box office performer went to “Resident Evil: Afterlife,” a Canadian-German co-production that grossed $7 million in Canada and $280 million worldwide, making it the most successful Canuck film ever.

The Genies ceremony took place at the National Arts Center in Ottawa and was broadcast on pubcaster CBC.

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