Geminis gala evening sees three awards go to York graduates

Three York graduates were among the winners at the 2006 Gemini Awards Gala held Saturday in Richmond, BC. York was also represented among the nominees by seven other graduates and a former student in this, the grand finale of the Gemini awards presentations held over the past two weeks.

Daniel Iron (LLB ‘87), executive producer with Toronto-based Foundry Films and a graduate of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, was among those who picked up the Gemini for Best Dramatic Series for “Slings & Arrows” Season 2 by Rhombus Media Inc. Rhombus’ Niv Fichman, who received an honorary degree from York’s Faculty of Fine Arts in 1998, and Sari Friedland also accepted the award for the series, which features an artistic director who collaborates with his ghostly mentor on the most jinxed play of all times, Macbeth. Former York student Jennfier Podemski, of Big Soul Productions, was also nominated in the category for the series “Moccasin Flats”.

Right: Gerry Flahive (left) and Silva Basmajian

A York graduate was all but guaranteed to win the Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary Program, as three of the four nominees included producers from York. National Film Board colleagues Gerry Flahive (BA ‘78) and Silva Basmajian (BA ‘74) won for their production titled “House Calls”. The documentary looked at the lack of home care services for the elderly through the eyes of physician and photographer Mark Nowaczynski.

Osgoode alumnus Bernard Zukerman (LLB ‘72) of Indian Grove Productions was also nominated in the category as a member of the production team for the third season of the CBC-TV series “This is Wonderland”. Former CBC producer Greg Kelly (BA ‘85), now with National Public Radio in North Carolina, was nominated for the CBC News Sunday feature titled “Beyond Words: Photographers of War”. York film & video graduate Rudy Buttignol (BFA ‘82), creative head, network programming at TVO, was nominated in the category as the commissioning editor for Allan King’s documentary “Memory for Mac, Claire, Ida and Company”.

Spencer Rice (BA ‘93), one half of the comedy team of “Kenny vs. Spenny”, was nominated for a Gemini in the category Best Comedy Program or Series, along with producer Kirsten Scollie (BA ‘87) of Toronto’s Breakthrough Films.

Bruce McDonald (BA ‘85) received his Gemini nomination for Best Direction in a Dramatic Program or Series for “The Love Crimes of Gillian Guess”.

Tracy Hoyt (BFA ‘87) was among the group of comedians who play characters in the minor hockey spoof “The Tournament”, nominated for Best Ensemble Performance in a Comedy Series or Program. The series, which follows the trials and tribulations of a small-town minor hockey team, was also produced by York’s Bernard Zukerman.

Distinguished actor and York honorary degree recipient Martha Henry (DLitt ‘90) received a nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role for her character in an episode of “At the Hotel”.

For more information visit the Gemini Awards Web site.