‘Milgaard’ sweeps Gemini noms

Programs entered for consideration up 40%

TORONTO — A two-hour telepic based on the true story of a man wrongly jailed for 23 years has swept the 14th annual Gemini Award nominations, it was announced Tuesday.

“Milgaard,” the story of David Milgaard’s real-life nightmare, received 11 noms, including best TV movie or dramatic miniseries, best direction in a dramatic program or miniseries and best writing in a dramatic program or miniseries.

The made-for was produced by Vibika Bianchi, Laszlo Barna, Ritchard Findlay, Martin Harbury and Laura Lightbown.

Too many kudos?

At a press conference that ran for three eye-glazing hours and covered 75 categories, some observers mumbled that the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television has gotten carried away in its zeal to include just about everyone in Canuck TV at the kudofest.

The Academy noted in a press release that the dramatic 40% increase — to 450 — in programs entered for consideration was due to “the strength of private, pay and specialty broadcasters, the availability of funding dollars to producers from private and public agencies and greater government support of cultural industries.”

Other top nominees include the Salter Street-produced series “Emily of New Moon,” which received eight nominations, and the Alliance Atlantis series “Total Recall 2070,” also with eight.

‘South’ snags seven

“DaVinci’s Inquest” and “Due South” received seven nominations each. The former’s noms include best dramatic series and three for best writing in a dramatic series, while the Alliance Atlantis-produced “Due South” was nominated for best production design or art direction in a dramatic program or series.

It was a particularly fruitful year for producer Laszlo Barna, whose nominations for his work on “Milgaard,” “At the End of the Day: The Sue Rodriguez Story,” “Turning Points” and “DaVinci’s Inquest” number 24 in total.

Alliance scores

Alliance Atlantis was also much-honored. In addition to “Total Recall” and “Due South,” the Alliance Atlantis series “Traders” received six nominations, including the coveted nom for best dramatic series kudos and two for best writing in a dramatic series; its hockey drama series “Power Play” received five noms; and the pilot “Justice” received four.

Ceremonies for the 14th Gemini Awards will be held over three nights on Nov. 5, 6 and 7 in Toronto.