Docs

CSAs ’19: “The Detectives”, “Amazing Race Canada” win big

The non-fiction gala also saw Property Brothers, Equus: Story of the Horse and You Are Here take home prizes.
March 28, 2019

Night one of the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards saw non-fiction projects take the stage, with The Detectives (CBC), The Amazing Race Canada (CTV), You Are Here (HBO Canada) and Property Brothers (HGTV Canada) emerging as some of the gala’s big winners.

All told, this year’s opening gala saw Canadian pubcaster CBC earn 28 awards, while mass media company Bell Media won 16 and broadcaster Corus Entertainment won three.

Hour-long true-crime series The Detectives, produced by WAM Media GRP, won a pair of awards: best factual series, and best picture editing in a factual series for the episode “The Wells Gray Gunman.” The wins come a day after CBC greenlit the show to a third season.

Meanwhile, You Are Here (M.D.F Productions) won best doc program, TVOKids’ Science Max: Experiments at Large (Breakthrough Entertainment) won best non-fiction children’s show, Property Brothers (pictured; Cineflix) won best lifestyle series and CBC doc Equus: Story of the Horse (Handful of Films) won the Rob Stewart Award for Best Science or Nature Documentary Program.

Equus director Niobe Thompson took the moment to pay respect to Canadian filmmaker Stewart, who died two years ago. “Rob Stewart was an incredible filmmaker, he inspired all of us and we miss him. And it’s such an honor to stand here, winning an award in his memory,” said Thompson.

The Amazing Race Canada (Insight Productions) won three out of the four technical categories in the reality/competition field, claiming prizes for direction, photography and editing, in addition to the Golden Screen Award for the most-watched reality TV show. And Insight’s wins didn’t stop there, with the prodco also taking home the award for best live entertainment special for the Junos and best live program host for Rick Mercer in New Year’s Eve 2017.

“I’d just like to point out that this is the last show my sister produced and she retired after that. I just wanted to give a shout out to Barb [Bowlby], she’s been with me for 38 years and it’s been fantastic,” said John Brunton while accepting the Golden Screen Award for The Amazing Race Canada.

In the writing categories, The Great Canadian Baking Show won best lifestyle or reality/competition, Still Standing won best writing in a factual series and the fifth estate: The Truth Smugglers nabbed the award for best writing in a doc. The latter also picked up a pair of Barbara Sears Awards for best visual research and best editorial research.

Projects from CBC also won the best history documentary program for The Nature of Things: Ice Bridge (Yap Films); best talk or entertainment program for The Filmmakers; and best biography or arts documentary program or series for Jumbo: The Life of an Elephant Superstar (Infield Fly Productions). Gord Downie’s Secret Path in Concert (Antica Productions) also claimed the prize for Best Variety or Entertainment Special and Best Sound, Non-Fiction.

Elsewhere, APTN earned the Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary Program for Quiet Killing (produced by WABANOK), Larry Weinstein won best direction in a doc for Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas (documentary Channel) and Spencer Ramsay won best direction in a lifestyle series for Carnival Eats (Food Network Canada).

From Playback Daily

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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