Screen Nova Scotia hosted its eighth annual awards gala on Saturday, June 18th, in the Schooner Ballroom at Casino Nova Scotia in front of a sold-out crowd of industry members and supporters. The event was the first in-person awards show since 2019 when the COVID-19 pandemic moved the awards to an online format for two years.
The awards gala celebrates the incredible talent, creativity, and passion that are the trademarks of Nova Scotia’s screen industry. Notable awards include the ACTRA Awards for Outstanding Performances, the Groundbreaking Performance Award, the Film Crew Excellence Award, the Women in Film & Television – Atlantic Award, and the Community Recognition Award, along with the Screen Nova Scotia Awards for best television, film, and animation.
The night’s finale was the Screen Nova Scotia Award for Best Feature Film, which went to Night Blooms from writer/director Stephanie Joline and producers Marc Tetreault and Jason Levangie (Shut Up & Colour Pictures). The film is a coming-of-age drama set in the 1990s about teenage Carly (Jessica Clement) and her affair with her best friend’s dad (Nick Stahl).
Joline also took home the Best Nova Scotia Director Award from Women in Film & Television – Atlantic for her work on Night Blooms, while actor Alexandra McDonald took home an ACTRA Maritimes Award for Outstanding Performances for her role as Laura, Carly’s best friend, in the film. Night Blooms is now available to rent or buy on streaming platforms across Canada.
The first season of the CBC original comedy series Moonshine from showrunner Sheri Elwood and producer Charles Bishop (Six Eleven Media) was crowned the Best Television Series Award winner. The show tells the story of the Finley-Cullens, a dysfunctional family of half-siblings battling to take control over the family business – a ramshackle summer resort on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, with a dark family secret at its core. Season 2 will begin production in Nova Scotia this summer, with a Fall 2022 air date.
The Best Documentary Award went to Freedom Swell from Marie and Meaghan Wright (Mirror Image Media). The powerful documentary highlights North Preston Surf, a program designed to empower African Nova Scotian youth to connect with the ocean. The film explores the lack of diversity in the east coast surf scene, stemming from complex, historical barriers such as racism, segregated beaches, and generational fear of water. The film is now available to stream on CBC Gem.
“Congratulations to all the nominees and award winners,” said Laura Mackenzie, Executive Director, Screen Nova Scotia. “Tonight we celebrate our industry and all those who contributed to bringing our Nova Scotia stories to life. The importance of storytelling on screen has been so obvious after spending two years at home, which makes finally celebrating together in person feel even more special.”
Two new awards were handed out at the show, including the Groundbreaking Performance Award, which celebrates a performer who identifies as diverse and does not meet the eligibility criteria for the ACTRA awards for their work in a film or television/web series. The award recipient was determined by an online voting process, to better involve the wider community outside of the screen industry. This year’s winner was Patrick Cadegan for his performance on the comedy web series Tracy & Martina: Dirty Deeds (Swearnet).
The new award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography went to cinematographer Kevin Fraser, who was nominated for his work on feature films Dawn, Her Dad & the Tractor and Bone Cage, as well as on several documentary projects.
Fourteen-year-old Avery Winters-Anthony took home an ACTRA Maritimes Award for Outstanding Performances for his role as Travis in the critically-acclaimed Indigenous drama Wildhood, from Two-Spirit L’nu filmmaker Bretten Hannam. Reid Price also won an Outstanding Performances award for playing Byron in filmmaker Shelley Thompson’s debut feature film, Dawn, Her Dad & the Tractor.
Baduk from writer/director Induk Lee and producer Kelsey Power (You First Productions) won the Best Short Film Award, while Beth Amiro won an Outstanding Performance award for her work in the short film Second Wedding (directed by Taylor Olson).
Digital animation was also spotlighted at the awards, with Teen Titans Go! winning Best Animated Series for the Nova Scotian animation studio Copernicus Studios. The series, now in its sixth season, airs on the Cartoon Network.
This year’s Film Crew Excellence Award went to Construction Coordinator Stephan Bernier (Art Department). A member of IATSE Local 849, Stephan has worked in film and television for over 30 years and has been a mentor to many in the industry. Stephan has been an integral part of many large-scale set builds for US service productions but also works on local projects, regardless of their size. His credits include the recent EPIX series From and Chapelwaite, and feature films The Lighthouse, Books of Blood, and Tin Can.
The 2022 Community Recognition Award went to Juanita Currie, Business Rental Area Sales Manager at Enterprise Rent-A-Car. A long-time industry supporter, Juanita is representative of a business that truly understands the value and economic impact that the film industry brings to the province.
The Screen Nova Scotia Awards were made possible this year due to the generous support of many sponsors, including our Platinum Partners at Support4Culture, the Directors Guild of Canada, the Canadian Media Producers Association, IATSE Local 849, and William F. White International Inc. Special thanks to 902 Post and the Hideout Studios.
List of award winners:
Screen Nova Scotia Awards
Best Feature Film: Night Blooms (Shut Up & Colour Pictures)
Best Television Series: Moonshine S1 (Six Eleven Media)
Best Documentary Film: Freedom Swell (Mirror Image Media)
Best Short Film: Baduk (You First Productions)
Best Animated Series: Teen Titans Go! S6 (Copernicus Studios)
Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography: Kevin Fraser
Groundbreaking Performance: Patrick Cadegan (Tracy & Martina: Dirty Deeds)
ACTRA Maritimes Awards for Outstanding Performances
Beth Amiro (Second Wedding)
Alexandra McDonald (Night Blooms)
Reid Price (Dawn, Her Dad & the Tractor)
Avery Winters-Anthony (Wildhood)
WIFT-AT Award for Best Director: Stephanie Joline (Night Blooms)
Film Crew Excellence Award: Stephan Bernier, Construction Coordinator
Community Recognition Award: Juanita Currie, Enterprise Holdings