Link: Enrico Colantoni calls foul on Orphan Black at Canadian Screen Awards

From Cassandra Szklarski of the Canadian Press:

Enrico Colantoni calls foul on Orphan Black at Canadian Screen Awards
 star Enrico Colantoni says the smash Space series Orphan Black has an unfair advantage at the Canadian Screen Awards.

And he’s tired of seeing the BBC America-backed show dominate at the bash, which celebrates the best in homegrown film, TV and digital media.

The sci-fi serial heads into this weekend’s televised ceremony with a leading eight trophies from a pre-show gala. This Sunday it competes for the title of Best Drama against Global’s Remedy, Bravo’s 19-2, Showcase’s Continuum and CTV’s Motive. Continue reading.


12 thoughts on “Link: Enrico Colantoni calls foul on Orphan Black at Canadian Screen Awards”

  1. I love Rico but he’s way off base on this one. The Borgias/Tudors is a case of a “minority co-production” where the majority of the creative decisiomaking is not driven by Canadians

    Orphan Black may be marketed as “British-ish” by BBC America, but it doesn’t have “BBC Money.” It has “BBC America” money, which is very different.

    And all of the writers, most of the producers, and just about every creative decision is made by Canadians.

    This is one of those cases where “follow the money” actually isn’t the best advice. “Follow the people calling the shots” is.

    1. Agreed. The people who call the shots should be the #1 criteria for determining if a show is “Canadian”. Doesn’t matter where the $$$ come from.

  2. I’m gonna agree with Denis on this. I get that Enrico Colontoni doesn’t like that Flashpoint was excluded from the regular Canadian Best Drama award (I have problems with the separate categories myself) but Orphan Black does qualify fairly. And I know this means nothing, but Orphan Black has more of a Canadian feel than Flashpoint. Flashpoint always seemed like a recycled American network procedural while Orphan Black, which never explicitly states its setting, has a Canadian feel to it. Now, as for Remedy, it’s a good show which I like and I think it has the potential to be very good, but it’s first season didn’t come anywhere near either Orphan Black or 19-2.

    1. I might be misunderstanding, but Flashpoint wasn’t excluded – it won in 2013. That’s why some of us are reacting to his comments as a bit hypocritical – if Orphan Black shouldn’t qualify, Flashpoint shouldn’t have either.

      1. Didn’t it win in 2013 after it was no longer a co-pro? For its first one or two seasons it was a co-pro but then it was a solely Canadian production. Correct me if I’m wrong.

        1. It was always eligible and nominated in the regular drama category, always considered a fully Canadian production with a licensing fee from CBS or something (this is where we need Kelly Lynne for details). The international drama category was only introduced after 2012.

          Before 2013 the awards were still the Geminis and Flashpoint won best drama in 2009.

  3. Orphan Black very clearly ID’d as Canada in the early episodes Season 1, and has never said different since. From time to time it gets a nod. Never liked Flash Point, very American flavouring, don’t see any swat teams missions like that in Canadian news, few refs to Canada too, and I was devastated it won over Border which was very Canadian which got cancelled after FP won.

    1. I find it interesting the different way we all perceive things like what makes something “Canadian” (which makes sites like this interesting). It can be a kind of cultural Rorschach test.
      For my part, one of the things I find disappointing about Orphan Black is its unwillingness to admit it’s set in Canada (even the creators have referred to the setting as Generica) – or at least for everything that implies a Canadian setting, something else seems to deny that. And while I certainly felt Flashpoint was a “soft” Canadian, it never pretended it wasn’t Canada (the actors used Canadian pronunciations and I believe their uniforms had maple leaf emblems). Indeed, the funny thing about Flashpoint is that just as some people dismissed it as too American, I know other people (including American viewers) felt it offered a distinctly Canadian vision by virtue of compassionate cops who tried to talk down the crisis and a tendency to avoid too many obvious “black hat” bad guys. The presumption being – whether fair or not – that an American series would just involve macho shoot-outs with one-note villains.
      I guess it gets down to whether you see the glass as half full or half empty :)

      1. Orphan Black is an interesting case regarding the setting though as often they’ve shown Canadian elements such as Canadian money, passports, the Scarborough sign, etc.The show isn’t trying to American and they aren’t denying their Canadianness. That’s progress.

        1. I suspect I come across as contrary sometimes, but it’s really that I’m genuinely intrigued by different perspectives. Particularly since I’m assuming most people visiting a site like this are more-or-less on the same page, but we each have different focuses or prioritizes.
          The currency thing is particularly interesting because I’ve seen people say that before (that Orphan Black shows Canadian currency). But all I recall are scenes where they filmed a stack of bills from the side (so that you couldn’t see the design) or the way they often do what I call The Currency Fold (where the actor closes their hand/fist around the bills so you can’t see it clearly).
          Perhaps the interesting thing about Orphan Black is its deliberate contradictions (a number of reviewers specifically commented on how the setting was confusing). There are some Canadian aspects, like brief glimpses of Ontario driver’s license (if you squint — what I think of as the “blink and you’ll miss it” Canadian reference) with other things that contradict a Canadian setting (like a “police lootenant” which not only is the American pronunciation – but lieutenant isn’t a rank in Canadian police departments) or unilingual train platform announcements. The series frequently refers to well known American place names (ie: New York, Chicago, wherever it is Cossima lives – can’t recall right now) but the only nominally Canadian place name they use is Scarborough – a suburb unlikely to have much recognition outside of Southern Ontario and could easily be construed as some other Scarborough, or a fictional town as they never actually link it to Toronto.
          I think of there being different levels of Canadian reference.
          A reference you’d “get” if you intimately know the location (street signs, minor landmarks) but it wouldn’t place the setting for anyone else. A reference you might get if you were Canadian, but wouldn’t place it for someone who wasn’t. And a reference that pretty clearly places the story even for an international audience (flags clearly displayed; identifying the location as internationally recognized cities like Toronto and Montreal; and things that mark the setting as not America – given the otherwise similar accents, architecture, etc, — like Canadian pronunciations, robed lawyers, or simply referring to a U.S. location as “The States” and so something separate from where the story takes place).
          I’ve sometimes thought that’s the biggest taboo in recent Canadian programs: not so much identifying a Canadian location, as acknowledging Canada and the U.S. are separate jurisdictions.

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