The BET+/CBC drama The suitcase carrier and the HBO Max/CBC comedy Kind of were the big winners Friday night at the Canadian Screen Awards.
the trunk carrier, a civil rights drama about 1920s Black Train employees in Montreal and Chicago, won Best TV Drama, Best Drama Direction for Charles Officer, Best Drama Writing for Marsha Greene, and Alfre Woodard took the trophy for Best Guest Drama Performance.
The first Canadian drama to feature an all-black creative team, it also scooped numerous other trophies for best photography, original music, image editing, makeup and hair, and costume and production design. The suitcase carrier led the film and TV field for the Canadian Screen Awards with a total of 19 nominations, including Best Small Screen Drama.
The Peabody Award-winning comedy also dominated the TV categories at the untelevised Canadian Screen Awards Kind of. The series about a gender-fluid young Muslim in Toronto, played by Bilal Baig, won Best TV Comedy, a Best Comedy Lead Artist Award for Baig, a Best Comedy Director Award for co-creator Fab Filippo and an award for best guest comedy for Amanda Brugel, in addition to craft category awards.
And the CBC series TallBoyz picked up trophies for Best Sketch Comedy and Best Writing and Direction in a Variety or Sketch Comedy Show.
In TV acting, Ennis Esmer won Best Supporting Comedy Performance for his role in the CTV series Kids ruin everything Hamza Haq won the award for Best Leading Role in NBC/CTV Transplantation series and the Best Supporting Drama Performer award went to the late Christopher Plummer for his role in the Global TV series Departure.
In the best movie categories, Clement Virgo’s mystery drama Brother took home 12 trophies, including Best Picture. The indie also earned Virgo Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay awards such as Brother was adapted from David Chariandy’s novel of the same name and tells the story of Francis and Michael, sons of Caribbean immigrants who grow into young men in Toronto’s hip-hop scene in the 1990s.
Brother earned The last of us actor Lamar Johnson won the Best Leading Role award, while Aaron Pierre took home the Best Supporting Actor trophy for his performances alongside Kiana Madeira and Marsha Stephanie Blake.
The film is produced by Virgo and longtime business partner Damon D’Oliveira of Conquering Lion Pictures, along with Aeschylus Poulos and Sonya Di Rienzo of Hawkeye Pictures, who collectively accepted the Best Picture trophy at a non-televised awards ceremony in Toronto.
Emerging this year as an important showcase for people of color, the Canadian Screen Awards followed the industry’s efforts in recent years to ensure diversity and inclusion in the country’s indie production sector and awards process.
In other movie categories, that of David Cronenberg Crimes of the future won trophies for Best Visual Effects and Best Makeup, and Anthony Shim won for Best Screenplay for Riceboy sleeps, which he also directed.
The National Film and TV Awards, produced by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, handed out trophies off-camera this year, before Samantha Bee aired an hour-long pre-recorded Canadian Screen Awards special on the CBC network and CBC Gem hosted 16.
A full list of winners is available at the Canadian Academies website.