‘Journey’ ends in victory

'Sunshine' nabs three awards

TORONTO — Atom Egoyan’s “Felicia’s Journey,” the downbeat curtain-raiser at last year’s Toronto Film Festival, took four nods at the 20th annual Genie Awards, held Sunday in Toronto.

The Bob Hoskins-Elaine Cassidy starrer received the most nods at this year’s kudocast honoring the Canadian film industry. Atom Egoyan took the award for screenplay adaptation; Bob Hoskins, actor; Paul Sarossy, cinematography; and Mychael Danna, original score.

“Sunshine,” produced by Alliance founder Robert Lantos and directed by Istvan Szabo, took three awards, for motion picture, overall sound and sound editing.

The coveted award for direction went to Jeremy Podeswa for “The Five Senses,” while the Claude Jutra Award for direction in a first film went to Louis Belanger for “Post Mortem,” a love story revolving around a single mother and a morgue attendant. Belanger also took the Genie for original screenplay.

Sylvie Moreau, the only Canadian among the five nominated in her field, won the actress award. Former Kid in the Hall Mark McKinney took the supporting actor prize for his role in “Dog Park,” Catherine O’Hara supporting actress for “The Life Before This.”

The Quebec hockey comedy sequel “Les Boys II,” directed by Louis Saia, picked up the Golden Reel Award, given to the Canadian film with the highest B.O. “Les Boys” picked up the same award last year.

This year’s edition of the Genies was the first in which the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television has permitted minority Canadian co-productions to qualify for awards.

The two most-nominated films, with 14 and 10 noms, respectively, were “Sunshine,” a Canadian-German-Austrian-Hungarian co-production, and “Felicia’s Journey,” a British-Canadian co-production.

While the change makes for bigger names in the news, it didn’t seem to have much impact at the awards themselves. Both Hoskins and Ralph Fiennes, who starred in “Sunshine,” sent their regrets. The usual Canadian troops were trotted out, including host Patrick McKenna and presenters David Cronenberg, Atom Egoyan, Don McKellar and Jason Priestley, all of whom dutifully tore themselves away from the Super Bowl to add some star quality to the event.

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