March 4, 2008 / 5:40 AM / 10 years ago

"Away From Her" wins top Canadian film honors

TORONTO (Hollywood Reporter) - Sarah Polley’s “Away From Her” and David Cronenberg’s “Eastern Promises” were the big winners at Canada’s top film honors on Monday, each picking up seven Genie Awards.

Polley’s Alzheimer’s drama, which earned Julie Christie an Oscar nomination for best actress, took Genies for best Canadian film and best director.

“Away From Her” also dominated the acting categories, as Gordon Pinsent won for best actor, Christie for best actress and Kristen Thomson for best supporting actress.

In addition to the directing award, Polley also won the adapted screenplay race and the previously announced Claude Jutra award, which goes to a first-time feature film director.

Cronenberg’s “Eastern Promises,” a portrait of the Russian mafia in London, won a supporting actor honor for German actor Armin Mueller-Stahl and an original screenplay statuette for British playwright Steven Knight. The film also picked up awards for cinematography, editing, original score, overall sound and sound editing.

Roger Spottiswoode’s Rwandan biopic “Shake Hands With the Devil,” which went into the Genies with 12 nominations, left with just the award for best original song.

Also overlooked at the Genies this year was Canadian director Jason Reitman’s “Juno,” which made Oscar headlines and took the box office by storm but was excluded from consideration because of a lack of Canadian financing.

The ceremony, in its 28th year, was held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Actress Sandra Oh hosted.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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