AMI’s That Sex Show and Bell Fibe’s Vollies among Screen Nova Scotia 2024 award winners

From a media release:

Screen Nova Scotia hosted its tenth anniversary awards gala on Saturday, May 11th, in the Bruce Guthro Theatre at Casino Nova Scotia in front of a sold-out crowd of industry members and supporters. The annual event celebrates the incredible talent, creativity, and passion that are the trademarks of Nova Scotia’s screen industry. Awards handed out included the ACTRA Maritimes Awards for Outstanding Performances, the Film Crew Excellence Award, the Women in Film & Television – Atlantic Award, the Community Recognition Award, and the Screen Nova Scotia awards for best television, film, and animation. New 2024 awards included the Screen Nova Scotia award for Outstanding Achievement in Screenwriting and the addition of a new category from ACTRA Maritimes for Series Ensemble.

The night’s finale was the Screen Nova Scotia Award for Best Feature Film, sponsored by the Director’s Guild of Canada, which went to The Queen of My Dreams from writer/director Fawzia Mirza and producers Marc Tetreault and Jason Levangie (Shut Up & Colour Pictures) and Andria Wilson (Baby Daal Productions). Filmed in Pakistan and Nova Scotia, the film tells the story of a mother, Mariam (Nimra Bucha) and her daughter, Azra (Amrit Kaur) coming of age in two different eras while exploring the characters’ complicated relationships to their home countries and each other.

The third season of the Bell Fibe TV1 series Vollies from Canadian Content Studios was crowned the winner of the Best Scripted Television Series Award. The fresh, funny comedy follows the Essex-West-Essex Fire Department, a small town volunteer fire department that never has any actual fires to fight. The cast of Vollies (Jonathan Torrens, Mary Austin, Brian George, and James Faulkner) also took home the inaugural ACTRA Maritimes Award for Series Ensemble.

Meanwhile, the Best Unscripted Television Series Award went to That Sex Show (featured image above) from Ocean Entertainment. The AMI series, hosted by sex educator Rachele Manett, features experts and members of the disability community discussing the myths and misconceptions surrounding the sex lives of people with a disability.

The Best Documentary Film Award went to Cold Dip from Amy Mielke and Brittany Gavin (A+B Roll Films). The film follows Jessica Wiebe, a Canadian veteran and artist, who practices cold dipping in Nova Scotia as a way to heal physical and emotional trauma. Mielke and Gavin also took home the Best Nova Scotia Director Award from Women in Film & Television – Atlantic.

The new award for Outstanding Achievement in Screenwriting went to writer/director Taylor Olson for his 2020 award-winning micro-budget feature Bone Cage, while Best Animated Production was awarded to Toopy and Binoo: The Movie, animated by HH Animation.

Locally filmed TV series proved to be a showcase for N.S. talent, with Kristin Howell (Moonshine) and Shelley Thompson (Sullivan’s Crossing) both taking home ACTRA Maritimes trophies for Outstanding Performances. Britt Loder also won an Outstanding Performances award for her role in the Hallmark movie Christmas Island, while David Rossetti won for his performance in the short film Remnants, which was made in the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative’s Film5 Program.

Songs of Unama’ki (Ruby Tree Films) was the winner of the Best Short Film Award. Directed by Mi’kmaw filmmaker Dawn Wells and Jeff Miller, the film details how the Mi’kmaq of Unama’ki (Cape Breton) are turning to the musical traditions of their ancestors in a race against time to revive their dying language and culture.

The Groundbreaking Performance Award, which celebrates a performer who identifies as being from an underrepresented community and does not yet meet the eligibility criteria for the ACTRA awards for their work in a film or television/web series, went to drag performer Deva Station (Steven MacLeod) for their role in the series Apocalyptic Kitchen. The award recipient is determined by an online voting process, to better engage the wider community outside of the screen industry.

This year’s Film Crew Excellence Award went to art director and production designer Ewen Dickson. A skilled carpenter and member of DGC Maritimes, Dickson has worked in the Nova Scotia film and television industry for over 25 years on countless productions of all sizes, genres, and budgets. A mentor to many, Dickson is known for his skill, generosity, enthusiasm and professionalism. His credits include Kids vs AliensBooks of Blood, MoonshineDiggstown, and Hobo with a Shotgun, as well as countless short films.

The 2024 Community Recognition Award recipient was Janet Hawkwood, a former lead instructor of the Screen Arts program at the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC). Hawkwood was recognized for her dedication to nurturing, promoting, and elevating the local film scene through mentoring hundreds of emerging filmmakers over her 20 year tenure at the college. She was pivotal in the development of the two-year filmmaking diploma at NSCC that has since served as a launching pad for many individuals who have gone on to create impactful and critically acclaimed work.

This year’s prestigious Industry Champion Award was awarded posthumously to visionary television producer David MacLeod. A passionate industry advocate and a pillar in the local production community for over 30 years, MacLeod will be remembered for mentoring and encouraging an entire generation of Nova Scotian filmmakers. MacLeod was a true trailblazer and instrumental in the early success of Screen Nova Scotia as a founder and long-time board member.

The Screen Nova Scotia Awards were made possible this year due to the generous support of many sponsors, including Platinum Partners at the Directors Guild of Canada, Support4Culture, the Canadian Media Producers Association, and William F. White International Inc. Special thanks to 902 Post, Narrative Environment Studios, and The Hideout Studios for their continued work to ensure another successful event in 2024.

2024 Winners:

– Best Feature Film: The Queen of My Dreams (director Fawzia Mirza / producers Shut Up & Colour Pictures) 

– Best Documentary Film: Cold Dip (directors/producers Amy Mielke and Brittany Gavin, A+B Roll Films)

– Best Scripted Television Series: Vollies S3 (Canadian Content Studios)

– Best Unscripted Television Series: That Sex Show S1 (Ocean Entertainment) 

– Best Short Film: Songs of Unama’ki (Ruby Tree Films)

– Best Animated Series: Toopy and Binoo: The Movie (HH Animation) 

– Outstanding Achievement in Screenwriting: Taylor Olson, Bone Cage 

– Groundbreaking Performance: Deva Station (Steven MacLeod), Apocalyptic Kitchen 

– ACTRA Maritimes Awards for Outstanding Performances: Britt Loder (Christmas Island); David Rossetti (Remnants); Kirstin Howell (Moonshine S3); Shelley Thompson (Sullivan’s Crossing S1)

– ACTRA Maritime Series Ensemble: Vollies (Jonathan Torrens, Mary Austin, Brian George, and James Faulkner)

– WIFT-AT Award for Best Nova Scotia Director: Amy Mielke and Brittany Gavin (Cold Dip)

– Film Crew Excellence Award: Ewen Dickson, Art Director/Production Designer

– Community Recognition Award: Janet Hawkwood, NSCC Screen Arts Program (retired)

– Industry Champion Award: David MacLeod, Producer 


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