Fine Arts grads win Gemini industry & craft awards

Several York alumni were feted at the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television’s 2007 Gemini Awards industry & craft galas, which wrapped up Wednesday in Toronto. The award winners – five graduates of York’s Faculty of Fine Arts, one from the Faculty of Graduate Studies and a former film student – were nominated for their work in drama and documentary productions.

Best Original Music Score for a Documentary Program or Series: Aaron Davis (BFA ’79), John Lang (BFA ’80) – “The Nature of Things – Everyday Einstein

Davis continues to play piano, write music and tour with jazz singer Holly Cole. Manteca, the world-beat jazz band he helped found in 1979, has recently reformed and produced a new CD titled Onward. The album includes songs and keyboard performances by Davis. Lang, his collaborator on film score projects, has worked on productions such as the PBS program “Frontline” and the short feature film The Ritchie Boys (2004). Both are graduates of York’s Music Program in the Faculty of Fine Arts.

Sam Dunn and Scot McFaydenBest Writing in a Documentary Program or Series: Sam Dunn (MA ’01) and Scot McFadyen – “Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey

Sam Dunn delved deep into heavy metal music when he was nine, hosted an all-metal radio show at 15 and played in a number of underground acts by the time he was of legal drinking age, wrote Victoria’s Times Colonist in a story on the locally-born musician, who graduated from York’s Faculty of Graduate Studies with a masters degree in anthropolgy. But never did the towering redhead with shoulder-length hair imagine himself co-directing and starring in a heavy-metal documentary, wrote the paper. (See the March 20, 2006 issue of YFile), The program also earned Dunn and McFadyen a nomination for best direction.

Right: Sam Dunn (left) and Scot McFadyen

Best Direction in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series: David Sutherland – “Doomstown”

David SutherlandThe made-for-TV movie chronicles the life of two men who earn a living selling drugs in Doomstown, a fictitious area of Toronto. In Doomstown young black men live and die in a world of drugs and guns – a world that respects a code of silence. David "Sudz" Sutherland (left), studied at York’s Department of Film & Video from 1989-1991. The production, which was previewed for 200 students in the Jane-Finch community in June before airing on CTV, was nominated for seven awards, including a second nod for Sutherland as the writer. In the past Sutherland has collaborated with York graduate Jennifer Holness (BA ’92) on other award-wining projects (see Feb. 25, 2004 issue of YFile and the Summer 2004 issue of YorkU magazine), including Love, Sex and Eating the Bones (2003), Speakers for the Dead (2000) and My Father’s Hands (1999).

Renee OhashiBest Photography in a Dramatic Program or Series: René Ohashi (BFA ’76), CSC, ASC – “Shades of Black: The Conrad Black Story

Working in cinema, television and commercials, René Ohashi (right) has amassed a substantial and impressive body of work in film, television and commercials. A graduate of York’s Film & Video Department, Ohashi is currently working on a fifth instalment in the Jesse Stone TV mystery series, starring Tom Selleck. His other film credits include the wartime TV mini-series, “Above and Beyond” (2006) and “Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion” (2003).

Best Sound in a Dramatic Program: Robert Fletcher (BFA ’92), Michael Woroniuk, Christian Cooke, Paul Germann, Barry Gilmore – “Shades of Black”, also nominated in “Slings & Arrows” Season Three – “The Promised End”.

The 2007 Gemini Awards Gala highlighting the year’s most prominent productions will be held on Oct. 28, in Regina and broadcast on CBC Television. For more information and a list of nominees and winners, visit the Gemini Awards Web site.