Screen Nova Scotia hosted its fourth annual awards show on Wednesday, May 16th, in front of a sold-out crowd at Casino Nova Scotia. Featuring the Screen Nova Scotia Awards, the ACTRA Awards, the Digital Animators of Nova Scotia Award, the Film Crew Excellence Award, and the Women in Film and Television Atlantic Award, the evening was a celebration of the incredible talent, creativity, and passion that are the trademarks of Nova Scotia’s film, television and animation industry.
The event was co-hosted by a star-studded cast that included some of Nova Scotia’s brightest talents, such as Jonathan Torrens, Cathy Jones, Bette MacDonald, and Robb Wells. Presenters included producers, directors, crew members and actors, with musical accompaniment from the Bill Stevenson Trio.
The night’s finale was the Screen Nova Scotia Award for Best Feature Film, which was awarded to the indie drama Black Cop, the debut feature film from writer/director/performer Cory Bowles and his producing partner, Aaron Horton. The film — about a Black man torn about his role as a police officer — was made with support for Telefilm Canada’s Micro-Budget Production Program (rebranded earlier this year as the Talent to Watch Program) and recently picked up for distribution in the U.S. by Samuel Goldwyn Films.
Critically acclaimed crime drama Pure was the winner of the Best TV Series Award. Produced by Two East Productions, the second season is scheduled to begin production in Nova Scotia later this month and anticipated to premiere on Super Channel in early 2019.
“The Screen Nova Scotia Awards are a celebration of the aspiration and commitment that our talent embodies,” said Laura Mackenzie, Executive Director. “Every year the film industry in Nova Scotia eclipses its fullest potential, as evidenced by the world-class work we’ve seen on screen at this event. I congratulate each of the winners, and everyone who contributed — no matter how small or large their role.”
Double-nominee Jennie Raymond took home the ACTRA Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Female Role for her portrayal of Maria Roach in the TV series Sex & Violence, while Shelley Thompson won Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Female Role for her terrifying turn as Monica the innkeeper in the NS horror film The Child Remains.
Filmmaker Daniel Boos’ film Thug won the Best Short Film Award, with the film’s actors also taking home top prizes. Simon Paul Mutabazi was awarded Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Male Role, and Emmanuel John won Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Male Role. The film portrays the cast’s real life struggle to participate in the film industry stereotypes that affect their experience off-screen.
Following an emotional memorial video tribute to the iconic Nova Scotian actor John Dunsworth, ACTRA Maritimes announced the creation of the John Dunsworth Screen Actor’s Fund, which will support the professional development of Nova Scotia performers. More information on this fund will be made available shortly.
The Best Documentary Film Award went to Sickboy, directed by Andrew MacCormack and produced by Dream Street Pictures. New this year, Women in Film & Television – Atlantic presented the Best Director Award, which honours the outstanding achievement of a female director based in Nova Scotia. This inaugural award went to Donna Davies, director of the documentary High Hopes.
Digital animation was spotlighted at the awards, with Lorna Kirk winning the DANS Award for Outstanding Animation for her short film Him and Copernicus Studios taking home the trophy for Best Animated Series for their work on the Emmy-nominated Amazon show If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.
Scenic Artist Kevin Lewis (IATSE 849) won the 2018 Film Crew Excellence Award. Kevin’s recent production credits include The Lighthouse, Let’s Get Physical, Polaroid, The Mist, and several seasons of Haven. The Community Recognition Award was presented to VanEssa Roberts (Director of Community Development, Tourism & Recreation) and the Town of Windsor, Nova Scotia for their
THE FULL LIST OF AWARD WINNERS:
Screen Nova Scotia Awards:
Best Feature Film: Black Cop (Blac Op Films)
Best Television Series: Pure (Two East Productions)
Best Documentary Film: Sickboy (Dream Street Pictures)
Best Short Film: Thug (Oneiric Films / Make Your Day Productions)
Best Animated Series: If You Give A Mouse A Cookie
ACTRA Maritimes Awards:
Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Female Role: Jennie Raymond (Sex & Violence)
Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Male Role: Simon Paul Mutabazi (Thug)
Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Female Role: Shelley Thompson (The Child Remains)
Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Male Role: Emmanuel John (Thug)
WIFT-AT Award for Best Director: Donna Davies (High Hopes)
Film Crew Excellence Award: Kevin Lewis, Scenic Artist
Community Recognition Award: VanEssa Roberts (Director of Community Development, Tourism & Recreation) & the Town of Windsor, Nova Scotia.
DANS Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Animation: Lorna Kirk (Him)
Screen Nova Scotia would like to thank our generous partners and sponsors: their support helps us to produce a world-class event that celebrates Nova Scotia’s media creativity. Special thanks to the NS Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.