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January 17, 2017

Orphan Black and It’s Only the End of the World lead Canadian Screen Awards nominations


Peter Howell / The Toronto Star

Canada’s Oscar contender It’s Only the End of the World and TV sci-fi series Orphan Black top this year’s nominations for the Canadian Screen Awards, a.k.a. the Candys.

It’s Only the End of the World, Xavier Dolan’s drama of a terminally ill gay man’s emotional return to his fractious family, took a leading nine nominations in the film section of the Candys, which were announced Tuesday. The movie is also shortlisted in the Oscars’ Best Foreign Language Film category, with nominations to be unveiled Jan. 24.

Perennial TV winner Orphan Black, a sci-fi thriller series starring Tatiana Maslany as multiple clones, leads the broadcast section of the Candys with 14 nominations, including Best Dramatic Series.

Both the film and TV leaders have competitors snapping at their heels.

Race, a dramatic biopic by Stephen Hopkins of history-making Olympic runner Jesse Owens, has eight Candy noms, including Best Motion Picture.

And the TV series Schitt’s Creek has 13 nominations, including Best Comedy Series. It has a strong challenger in Kim’s Convenience, which has 11 Candy noms, Best Comedy Series among them.

Other top film nominees are the dramas Before the Streets, Operation Avalanche and Weirdos, each with six nominations, including Best Motion Picture. The rest of the 10 Best Motion Picture nominees are Old Stone (five noms), Bad Seeds (4 noms), Hello Destroyer (four noms), Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves (three noms) and Maliglutit (Searchers) (two noms).

And besides Orphan Black and Schitt’s Creek, other top nominees in the TV/Digital categories are: 19-2 and Vikings, both with nine nods; CBC News: The National and Letterkenny, both with eight nods; and Frontier and The Amazing Race Canada, both with seven nominations.

It’s Only the End of the World was assailed by critics for its melodramatic flourishes upon its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival last May. Dolan was so rattled by the response he mused about possibly never returning to Cannes, yet at the end of the festival, his film won the Grand Prix, which is second only to the Palme d’Or for fest honours. Now it’s Canada’s Oscar standard-bearer and a Candys leader.

And roughly half of the nominees for Best Motion Picture have yet to open in Toronto, Canada’s largest movie market.

The TV series up for Candy glory, meanwhile, are mostly both critical and popular favourites.

The Candys, the combo awards replacing the Genies for film and Geminis for TV, acquired their new nickname during last year’s telecast. Host Norm Macdonald declared that it was finally time to make good on the long-proposed suggestion that the awards be named in honour of the late John Candy, a popular star of both Canadian films and television.

This year’s telecast is set for March 12, with Howie Mandel hosting.