‘Cargo’ smuggles a stellar 7 Geminis

'Trailer Park Boys' surprise comedy series winner

TORONTO — International-refugee miniseries “Human Cargo” went to the front of the line at the 19th Gemini Awards, a celebration of Canuck television held over three nights ending Monday.

Three-part mini, which drew 17 nominations, took seven Geminis including TV movie or dramatic miniseries, writer (Brian McKeown and Linda Svendsen), director (Brad Turner) and supporting actress (South African thesp Nthati Moshesh).

Two-part mini “Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion,” about an accident that killed 2,000 in that maritime city in 1917, won five statuettes, including supporting actor (Ted Dykstra) and costume design (Trysha Bakker).

Specialty TV series “Trailer Park Boys,” an expletive-fueled skein about life on the wrong side of the tracks that airs on Showcase and on BBC America, was the surprise winner of comedy series kudos, beating CTV’s much-hyped, better-funded “Corner Gas.”

“Elizabeth Rex” thesps Brent Carver and Diane D’Aquila took lead actor and actress awards for TV movie. Habitual winner “Da Vinci’s Inquest,” a skein about Vancouver’s underbelly that’s going into its seventh season, won dramatic series as well as nods for writing (Chris Haddock, Alan Di Fiore) and director (Sturla Gunnarsson).

Paul Gross drew the top actor’s nod for a continuing role for “Slings & Arrows,” a comedy set at the Stratford Festival now lensing its second season for Showcase. The series also took the awards for supporting actress (Rachel McAdams) and music (Ron Sures).

Top actress nod in a continuing role went to Catherine Disher for “Snakes & Ladders,” a CBC political satire series that has been axed.

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television staged the final night gala, broadcast on CBC, as a series of skits featuring popular TV regulars such as Sonja Smits and Don Cherry poking fun at the Canuck TV industry and themselves.

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