On January 28, this years Genie nominations were announced, and theres solid Halifax representation, thanks to Shake Hands With The Devil (12 nominations, including Best Motion Picture for Michael Donovan) and Poor Boys Game (with three noms), plus a Best Actress shout-out to Ellen Page for The Tracey Fragments.
Joining the H-town red carpet crew on Monday, March 3 is Marc Almon, writer and director of Faire Chaluim Mhic Leid (The Wake Of Calum MacLeod), which debuted at the 2006 Atlantic Film Festival. The first Gaelic language short film produced in North America is nominated for Best Live Action Short Drama. Almon, along with the films producer Nona MacDermid, sent the application in five months ago, but hadnt thought about it until last Monday when they heard the good news. So what does it take to be considered by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television?
What the academys looking for is if your film has won any awards at film festivals and/or has it been screened for paying audiences at screenings outside of festivals, says Almon. Lucky, Calum had both, as we had a series of paid screenings, and some of the societies screened it, like AFCOOPs Monday Night Movies and the Bridgewater and Cape Breton film societies. Its very hard for short films to get screened in theatres nowadays.
Calum, which was purchased by CBC Television and will be broadcast on Bravo (and is also in negotiations with the BBCs Gaelic Media Services for broadcast in the UK) was nominated for best drama at the Yorkton Short Film & Video Festival, and Almon won best emerging filmmaker at the St. Johns Nickel Independent Film Festival. But the work isnt over: the challenge ahead is how we promote the film to the academy members. Theres about 3,000---the ones that decide. Now were trying to figure how the system works.
Almon hopes that the exposure from the Genie nomination will help raise support for several new projects, including a half-hour project based on a short story by Alistair MacLeod that he would like see evolve into a series.