Academy Special Awards
The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television is proud to announce its Academy Special Awards for the 2015 Canadian Screen Awards.
“The Academy Special Awards are presented annually to uniquely talented people in our industry who have left an indelible impression in the Canadian film, television and digital media landscape” says Academy Chair Martin Katz.
Academy Board of Directors’ Tribute
Montreal-born writer and producer George Anthony has contributed decades of creative hard and successful work to the Canadian entertainment industry. In his long run as the head of Arts, Music, Science & Variety television programming at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, he championed dozens of series, including long-running hits as ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FARCE and THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES, high-rated specials with Anne Murray, Celine Dion and Shania Twain, and TV movies and feature films, notably the critically-acclaimed 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould.
Canadian programs under Anthony's aegis have won more than 100 Gemini awards and an impressive array of other honours, including the Prix Italia and a number of international Emmy Awards.
Anthony initially made his mark as a founding member of the Toronto Sun as both its entertainment editor and its best-read entertainment columnist and critic. He returned to writing with his 2007 biography Starring Brian Linehan and collaborated with Gordon Pinsent on the actor's 2012 autobiography, Next. He currently serves as the CBC's creative point person on its highest-rated comedy series, the RICK MERCER REPORT
Academy Fan’s Choice Award
Anna Silk wins the Academy Fan’s Choice Award
47,000 fans have voted and chosen Anna Silk of LOST GIRL as the winner of the Fan’s Choice Award it was announced today by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.
“We asked the public to name their favourite Canadian Screen Star and thousands answered,”said Helga Stephenson. “Congratulations to Anna Silk who has been voted as the 2015 Fan’s Choice Award winner.”
Anna Silk was announced as the winner at the 2-Hour Live Broadcast of the CANADIAN SCREEN AWARDS at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto.
Fans around the world voted online for their favourite actor or actress. The FanZone website fanzone.academy.ca is sponsored by the Canada Media Fund, produced with the participation of the Bell Fund and developed by Smiley Guy Studios.
Before playing "Bo" on Lost Girl, Anna Silk is perhaps best known for her role as the caustic “Deb” -- the cantankerous flight attendant in the Nicoderm commercials. She divides her time between the big and small screen and has spent the past four years in Los Angeles where one of her fondest roles was playing a hit woman in the film, Stacking Chips. Her film credits also include Breakfast with Scot, Do Not Bend, Where the Truth Lies, and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.
Academy Icon Award
Insight Production Company Ltd.
Insight is widely known for its fresh approach to formats (THE AMAZING RACE CANADA and BIG BROTHER CANADA, among others); inventive original formats (BATTLE OF THE BLADES; CANADA SINGS); exuberant celebrations of Canadian talent (CANADA’S WALK OF FAME; THE JUNO AWARDS); ground breaking feature documentaries (HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD); buzzed about comedy (JOKE OR CHOKE; BUT I’M CHRIS JERICHO; THE JON DORE TELEVISION SHOW; A RUSSELL PETERS CHRISTMAS); highly rated specials (KURT BROWNING: YOU MUST REMEMBER THIS; SCOTT HAMILTON: UPSIDE DOWN; TARA LIPINSKI: FROM THIS MOMENT); and critically acclaimed scripted series (READY OR NOT; FALCON BEACH). The company has created thousands of hours of groundbreaking television entertainment that is broadcast over major television networks worldwide and online.
Academy Legacy Award
Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)
To honour its 40th anniversary, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) will receive the first Academy Legacy Award – for unyielding dedication in bringing international acclaim to Canadian talent in film, television or digital media.
“TIFF put Canada on the world stage. It brought Canadian cinema into the international spotlight. It established Toronto as a key date on the festival circuit for players around the globe. The Academy salutes TIFF for its resolute commitment to Canadian cinema,” says Stephenson.
“TIFF’s commitment to showcasing Canadian cinema, to both Canadians and the world, has played an important role in promoting homegrown talent and success stories,” says Carolle Brabant, Telefilm Canada Executive Director. “TIFF is most deserving of this newly minted Academy Legacy Award, and the CANADA STARS IN AWARDS SEASON event in Los Angeles is a most fitting event to spotlight the contribution of our talent in front of and behind the camera,” she adds.
Digital Media Trailblazing Award
Sponsored by the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC)
Jeffrey Elliott has over twenty-five years of strategic and creative experience in broadcasting, production and digital media, always at the forefront of emerging technologies in broadcasting and new media.
Elliott was the founder and CEO of GlassBOX Television, which became one of Canada's leading multiplatform media companies. One of its channels, Bite TV, the world's first interactive and multiplatform television channel, was awarded an International Emmy for Interactive Broadcasting and won the best in Cross Platform Broadcasting at the DIGIS (Canadian New Media Awards).
Prior to GlassBOX, Elliott held senior positions with leading Canadian media companies including Alliance-Atlantis where, as SVP Interactive, he crafted their digital strategy. He was Managing Director at Netstar Communications (then parent company of The Sports Network and Discovery Canada) and Director of Programming at TSN. There he created the award-winning multiplatform content project THE LEGENDS OF HOCKEY. He also led the launch of Discoverychannel.ca and TSN.ca.
He is currently a Board member of Interactive Ontario, an active member of the Interactive Peer Group for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
THE EXHIBITION is directed by Damon Vignale, executive produced by Robert Straight and produced by Damon Vignale and Miho Yamamoto.
An accomplished writer, producer and director, THE EXHIBITION is Vignale’s first documentary. He has produced both award winning feature films and episodic television. Accolades include a Gemini Award for his groundbreaking web series THE VETALA. He has written and produced on four seasons of the APTN drama series BLACKSTONE. His current writing credits include Bravo’s character-driven cop drama 19-2, and CTV’s crime drama series MOTIVE.
In 1996 Yamamoto started her broadcasting career in Japan. An awareness of many perspectives concerning the 9/11 attacks and her struggles to report the facts played a major influence in shifting her career to be a filmmaker. Since relocating to Vancouver in 2004, she has worked on award - winning films and TV series such as The Entrance, Conversation with the Supplicant, THE VETALA, and R.L. STINE’S THE HAUNTING HOUR.
Earle Grey Award
Since rising to international stardom as Constable Benton Fraser in the hit television series DUE SOUTH, Paul Gross has written, directed and/or appeared in significant roles on the small screen, the silver screen and on stage, garnering innumerable honours, including the Order of Canada.
Gross won four Geminis for the Best Performance By An Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role – two for DUE SOUTH and two for SLINGS & ARROWS – as well as one for Best Writing in a Dramatic Series for DUE SOUTH. Gross starred in the miniseries THE TROJAN HORSE as well as H2O, the latter winning him awards from both the WGC and the DGC.
Gross’ passion project – the feature film Passchendaele – which he wrote, produced and starred in won the Best Motion Picture Genie and the Academy’s Cineplex Golden Reel award.
Gross is currently directing and starring in a feature film script he wrote: the upcoming Afghanistan war epic Hyena Road.
On stage, Calgary-born and University of Alberta educated Gross has starred as Hamlet at Stratford, and as Elyot in Private Lives at both the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto and at the Music Box on Broadway.
The Earle Grey Award is presented to an actor/actress for a body of work in Canadian television, or for their significant contribution to the international profile of Canadian television.
Cineplex Golden Screen Award
Pompeii, the historical drama of a 79 AD Roman resort town — starring Kiefer Sutherland as a corrupt Roman Senator — wins the 2014 Cineplex Golden Screen Award for Feature Film.
The Cineplex Golden Screen Award for Feature Film (previously called The Cineplex Golden Reel Award) is presented annually to the Canadian film that earns the highest domestic box office of its year. Pompeii grossed over $4 million in Canada in 2014, and triggered producer Don Carmody's ninth win of this award. Previously, he took the title for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2014), Resident Evil: Retribution (2013), Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010), Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), The Art of War (2000), Johnny Mnemonic (1996), Porky’s (1983) and Meatballs (1980).
"Pompeii represents his ninth win of the Academy’s top box office prize so we are especially delighted to present the newly named Cineplex Golden Screen Award for Feature Film to Don Carmody for Pompeii this year. The Academy also extends sincere congratulations to Pompeii's Canadian distributor, Entertainment One, on this success," says Academy Chair Martin Katz.
Golden Screen Award for TV Drama / Comedy
Global (Shaw Media) (Entertainment One Television International)
After the bullet wounds and trauma of last season, life at 15 Division goes on for young cops, Andy, Sam, Chloe and Nick. Andy and Sam reunite and she's tasked with training a challenging new rookie, under the watchful eye of a tough inspector.
“ROOKIE BLUE, now in its fifth season on Shaw Media’s Global Television, is this country's highestrated drama. It continues to draw significant audiences on ABC in the US and in France, Germany and around the world. The enormous success of Missy Perygrym and Gregory Smith whose characters Andy McNally and Dov Epstein have inspired a dedicated fanbase in this country and abroad has earned ROOKIE BLUE the inaugural Golden Screen Award for TV Drama,” says Academy Chair Martin Katz.
Golden Screen Award for TV Reality Show
THE AMAZING RACE CANADA
CTV (Bell Media) (Insight Production Company Ltd.)
THE AMAZING RACE CANADA is a skills-based competition show in which two-person teams, who have a pre-existing personal relationship, race against other teams. Competitors strive to arrive first at “pit stops” at the end of each leg. The first team to the final pit stop wins the grand prize.
“THE AMAZING RACE CANADA is consistently the highest-rated Canadian show in this country. Host Jon Montgomery draws over three million viewers a week to the show that sees contestants criss cross the country from coast to coast to coast. The Academy is delighted to recognize Bell Media's unmatched ratings achievement by awarding THE AMAZING RACE CANADA our first ever Golden Screen Award for TV Reality Show,” says Academy Chair Martin Katz.
Gordon Sinclair Award for Broadcast Journalism
RIC ESTHER BIENSTOCK
Ric Esther Bienstock’s documentary films have aired on networks in over 50 countries and have covered topics as diverse as corruption in professional boxing, the trafficking of women, the hard-core pornography industry, single mothers by choice, human organ trafficking and the Ebola outbreak in Zaire. Her films have won almost every major award for excellence in broadcast media.
Her honours include an Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism, two Edward R. Murrow Awards, the duPont-Columbia Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism, the Scripps Howard Award, an Amnesty International Award, the British Broadcast Award for Best Documentary, a Royal Television Society Award, two Gemini Awards and a Genie Award for Best Documentary.
Her most recent film, Tales From the Organ Trade, tackles the international black market trade in human organs. The film has garnered two Emmy nominations and received the Norman Bethune Award for Excellence in International Health Reporting. Previously, Bienstock went undercover to produce SEX SLAVES, her expose into the trafficking of women from the former Soviet bloc into the global sex trade. She also spent five weeks at the epicenter of an outbreak for Ebola: Inside An Outbreak (aka The Plague Fighters) which brought her the prestigious duPont-Columbia Award.
Michael Landsberg, host of TSN's OFF THE RECORD (OTR) speaks publicly about his personal battle with depression and considers his ability to help reduce the stigma of mental illness as his most important professional calling. In 2013 Landsberg's documentary, DARKNESS AND HOPE: DEPRESSION, SPORTS AND ME, was nominated for a 2013 Canadian Screen Award for Best History or Biography Documentary Program or Series. In 2012, the Canadian Alliance on Mental Health also named Landsberg one of its Champions of Mental Health. He was also recognized by the CMHA and the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario for fighting to reduce the stigma.
In addition, Landsberg hosts a variety of charitable events each year, most often on behalf of The Hospital for Sick Children and eye research.
Landsberg started his broadcasting career as an anchor on SPORTSCENTRE (then called SPORTSDESK), then after 13 years, moved over to host the 30-minute daily sports debate show, OTR.
Landsberg was the Whistler Host for OLYMPIC DAYTIME on CTV during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. During the London 2012 Olympic Games, he anchored TSN's OLYMPIC DAYTIME.
Margaret Collier Award
Sponsored by Halfire Entertainment
Tassie Cameron is a Gemini Award-winning screenwriter, who has written for television series, MOWs, mini-series, and feature films. Tassie is currently co-creator, executive producer and showrunner on the hit series, ROOKIE BLUE, which will begin airing its sixth season on Global and ABC in Summer 2015.
Co-Executive Producer on the first season of CTV’s hit series, FLASHPOINT, Tassie’s other credits include THE ROBBER BRIDE, WOULD BE KINGS, THE ELEVENTH HOUR, DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION, TOM STONE, FAST FOOD HIGH, RAISING THE BAR (TNT), and the romantic comedy, CAKE.
Tassie has a Masters in Film from NYU, and is a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre.
The Margaret Collier Award is presented to a writer for a body of work in Canadian film and/or television, or for significant contribution to the international profile of Canadian film and/or television.