‘Milgaard’ dominates at Geminis

Banned telepic gets 6 nods

TORONTO — “Milgaard,” a controversial two-hour telepic currently banned from Canadian TV, has won more Gemini awards than any other TV program in Canada this year.

Six Geminis — Canada’s equivalent of the Emmys — have gone to the true-life tale of a man wrongly convicted of murder and imprisoned for 23 years. Produced by Vibika Bianchi, Laszlo Barna, Ritchard Findlay, Martin Harbury and Laura Lightbown for CTV, “Milgaard” picked up kudos for TV movie, direction, performance by a lead actor, picture editing, supporting actor and supporting actress in a dramatic program or miniseries.Telepic is banned because the DNA evidence that exonerated David Milgaard in 1997 appears to have fingered another man, Larry Fisher, who is currently on trial for the 1969 rape and murder.

“Milgaard” originally aired Canada-wide (except in Saskatchewan, where the trial was set to take place) on CTV in April. The Gemini awards, which aired Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening, were presented without clips or stills from the telefilm, which boasted 11 noms, the most of any program.

Other multiple Gemini winners include the Salter Street comedy series “This Hour Has 22 Minutes,” which took awards for performance, direction, writing and music in a variety program or series.

Alliance Atlantis newcomer “Da Vinci’s Inquest” took the coveted dramatic series prize as well as the award for writing in a dramatic series.

‘Fifth’ in first

Nelvana’s “Rolie Polie Olie” nabbed nods for animated program or series or short animated program, writing in a children’s or youth program and original music score for a dramatic series. CBC newsmagazine “The Fifth Estate” received kudos for news information series, direction and picture editing in an information program or series.

The Alliance Atlantis sci-fi series “Total Recall 2070” picked up three nods, for photography, overall sound and sound editing in a dramatic program or series; hockey series “Power Play” picked up three acting-related Geminis.

Director Atom Egoyan’s better half, Arsinee Khanjian, took the award for performance by an actress in a continuing leading dramatic role for her part in Ken Finkelman’s “Foolish Heart,” which also picked up kudos for direction in a dramatic series.

‘Hitman’ pins field

Salter Street’s “Made in Canada” received the nod for comedy program or series as well as the award for direction in a comedy program or series; High Road Prods. and the NFB’s “Hitman Hart” won the history/biography docu program and picture editing in a docu program or series categories.

The 14th annual Gemini Awards honoring the best in Canuck TV saw 75 statuettes given out over three nights by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television in Toronto.