'Downton,' 'Happiness,' 'Cicada' among candidates

TORONTO — “Downton Abbey” (U.K.) is up against “The Pillars of the Earth” (Canada-Germany), “Talking to the Wind” (Spain), “Shades of Happiness” (Germany), “The Eighth Day of Cicada” (Japan) and “The Promise” (U.K.) for the miniseries Rockie, the most sprawling category at the 32nd Banff World Media Festival’s awards bash.

Banff, the annual June forum for global TV and digital media industryites, announced nominees for the fiction, non-fiction and interactive Rockies on Monday, with U.S., U.K. and Canadian production companies and broadcasters receiving the lion’s share of kudos in terms of country representation.

The Fiction Rockies will laud achievement in miniseries, animation, comedy, music and variety, sitcoms, soaps, children’s and youth programming. Continuing series noms include episodes of “Accused” (BBC1), “Boardwalk Empire” (HBO), “Detroit 1-8-7” (ABC), “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC), “Pretty Little Liars” (ABC/MuchMusic) and “Sherlock” (BBC), while “Civil Courage” (West German Television), “Clandestine” (France Televisions, TV5Monde), “I Am Slave” (Channel 4), “Temple Grandin” (HBO) and “You Don’t Know Jack” (HBO) will vie for made-for-TV movie.

The Non-Fiction Rockies will hand out prizes in docu-style reality, reality, arts and performing arts, environmental, history and biography, popular science and technology, wildlife and natural history, lifestyle and information, children’s and youth programming.

The noms in investigative and current affairs include HBO docus “Burma VJ” and “If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise,” “Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children” (BBC1) and episodes of “Backlight” (VPRO), “This World” (BBC2) and “Dispatches” (Channel 4), which received three additional noms in the political and humanitarian docu categories.

The Interactive Rockies, presented by Banff’s digital confab NextMedia, will honor work in branded entertainment, cross-platform projects and online programs in children and youth, drama and entertainment categories.

The online docu noms include “African to Australia” (sbs.com.au), “Jail Tales” (BBC3) and four National Film Board of Canada programs — “Welcome to Pine Point,” “This Land,” “Holy Mountain” and “Highrise/Out My Window” — which won the Intl. Digital Emmy for non-fiction at the Mip TV mart in Cannes earlier this month.

The 32nd Banff World Media Festival takes place June 12-15 at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. For a complete list of fiction, non-fiction and interactive Rockie nominees visit http://www.banffmediafestival.com.

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