York alumni nominated for six Genies

There will be a strong contingent of York filmmakers ready to skip onto the podium, speech in hand, at the 2005 Genie Awards.

sutherland and holnessThe Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television released the list of nominees for its 25th annual awards ceremony this week, and seven former York students are up for a total of six awards for their work as producer, director, writer or cinematographer. The Genies will be presented in Toronto on March 21.

Right: from left, David ‘Sudz’ Sutherland and Jennifer Holness

Leading the way with three nominations are the team of David ‘Sudz’ Sutherland, who studied at York’s Department of Film & Video from 1989-1991, and partner Jennifer Holness (BA’92) for the romantic comedy, Love, Sex and Eating the Bones. The film, produced by Holness, is up for Best Motion Picture while Sutherland is nominated for Achievements in Direction and Original Screenplay. The couple, who met at York, were featured in YFile’s Feb. 25, 2004, issue and in the Summer 2004 YorkU magazine.

bronwen hughesRight: Bronwen Hughes

York alumna Bronwen Hughes (BFA ‘85) is nominated for Achievement in Direction for Stander, the true-life story of André Stander, South African police captain turned bank robber. Hughes, who started out wanting to be a journalist, graduated from York’s film and photography program "hooked on film" and went on to direct works such as Forces Of Nature and Harriet The Spy.

laplante klinck palmer

Left: from left, Jaie Laplante, Todd Klinck and John Palmer

A trio of writers with York connections are nominated for Adapted Screenplay: John Palmer, who taught courses in playwrighting in 1991-1992, alumnus Jaie Laplante (BFA ‘92) and Todd Klinck, who studied at York from 1993 to 1995, worked on the script for Sugar, which Palmer also directed. The movie, based on a series of short stories by Bruce LaBruce, is a coming-of-age love story about Cliff, a restless teen living in the suburbs, and Butch, a street hustler.

paul sarossyCinematographer Paul Sorossy, left, (BFA ‘86), who is nominated for Head in the Clouds, is another graduate of York’s Film & Video Program, which is well known as a springboard for some of Canada’s top film talent. Sarossy’s other credits include Ararat, Felicia’s Journey and The Sweet Hereafter.

Carl Bessai (BFA ‘89/MFA ‘92) will be watching closely to see if Ian McKellen wins a best-actor Genie for emile, which Bessai co-produced with Jacqueline Renner and directed. Bessai scored a coup by persuading McKellen, who played Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings triology, to star in this film about a man exploring his Canadian roots and looking to redeem his relationship with his niece.

carl bessai and ian mckellanLeft: from left, director Carl Bessai and best-actor nominee Ian McKellen

The full list of nominees and a synopsis of each nominated film is available at the official Genie Awards Web site.