'Schitt's Creek,' 'Anne with an E' lead Canadian Screen Awards pack

TORONTO — It will be a celebrated ending for "Schitt's Creek" and "Anne with an E" at next month's Canadian Screen Awards, with a slew of nominations for each show.

"Schitt's Creek," which announced last year that the currently running sixth season will be the last, is up for a leading 26 trophies going into Canadian Screen Week. Organizers say that's a record number of nominations for a television series in a single year.

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Nominations for the internationally beloved riches-to-rags story include best comedy series, best writing, and best lead actor for both father-son stars/co-creators Daniel and Eugene Levy.

Other shows up for best comedy series include CTV's "Jann," CBC's "Kim's Convenience," Crave's "Letterkenny" and CBC's "Workin' Moms."

"There are 147 hard working Canadians that make Schitt's Creek and we wouldn't be where we are today without each and every one of them," Daniel Levy said Tuesday on Twitter.

"Congrats to the greatest team I've ever worked with. Thank you Canada."

Meanwhile, the CBC coming-of-age story "Anne with an E," which was cancelled in late November after three seasons, is next with 17 nominations.

Its chances include best drama series, best writing, and best lead actress for Amybeth McNulty, who plays the titular Prince Edward Island orphan from Lucy Maud Montgomery's classic novel "Anne of Green Gables."

The category of best drama series also includes CTV's "Cardinal," CBC's "Coroner," Global's "Mary Kills People" and History's "Vikings."

"Our hearts are so full right now!" said a message on the official "Anne with an E" Twitter account.

"Absolutely honoured to be recognized among these other amazing shows! The love and support from our fans has not gone unnoticed. And even though the road has ended for us, what a way to go out!"

The leading film contender for this year's Canadian Screen Awards, which will be held March 29, is "The Song of Names" with nine nominations.

The drama, from Quebec director Francois Girard, stars Tim Roth and Clive Owen in a story of a Polish-Jewish refugee and violin virtuoso who disappears before a 1951 concert that was to launch his career.

It's up for trophies including best score and best original song for three-time Oscar-winning composer Howard Shore, who mined his own childhood memories of hearing cantors in his Toronto synagogue to create the film's music.

But while "The Song of Names" leads the film pack, it's not nominated in the top categories of best picture or best director.

That distinction, however, does belong to the Matthew Rankin-directed "The Twentieth Century," which has the second-highest number of film nominations with eight.

The comical reimagining of the formative years of former Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King is also up for hardware including best screenplay for Rankin and best actor for Dan Beirne.

Netting seven film nominations is "Antigone," which was Canada's submission for consideration for this year's Oscars category of best international feature.

The refugee drama is up for awards including best picture, best director and adapted screenplay for Sophie Deraspe, and best actress for Nahema Ricci, who plays a teenager trying to prevent her brother from being deported.

The other best picture nominees are:

— Kazik Radwanski's "Anne at 13,000 ft," about a daycare worker trying to find her place in life.

— "The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open" by Kathleen Hepburn and Elle-Maija Tailfeathers, about two Indigenous strangers who bond after one of them is assaulted by her boyfriend.

— And "White Lie" by Calvin Thomas and Yonah Lewis, about a woman who fakes a cancer diagnosis.

The TV series with the third-highest number of nominations is CTV's crime drama "Cardinal."

The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, which administers the awards, announced nominees in a total of 141 film, TV, and digital media categories on Tuesday.

The contenders were chosen by nominating juries and members of the academy.

Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta chaired the film jury alongside representatives from production, acting, and media industries.

The awards will be presented over five days, culminating in the March 29 televised show on CBC and the CBC Gem streaming service.

The academy membership will vote between Feb. 18 and March 6 to determine the winners.

"Supporting these voices has never been more important, and we are proud to be at the heart of those efforts," Beth Janson, the academy's CEO, said in a statement.

Online: www.academy.ca/nominees

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 18, 2020.

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