Celebrating the best in TV, film and digital media production in Alberta, the Alberta Film & Television Awards honoured 58 Alberta productions and film artists at the Shaw Conference Centre on Saturday, May 23. Calgary productions and artists won the highest number of awards but the production that won the most awards was The Great Human Odyssey, an ambitious interactive TV miniseries by filmmaker Niobe Thompson of Edmonton-based Clearwater Documentary.
Thompson’s CBC documentary, which followed the path of human evolution and global migration from Africa onward, took home five “Rosie” Award trophies, including for best documentary series, best cross-platform production, best non-fiction director, best screenwriting and best overall sound.
Calgary-based production winners included FX’s Fargo (starring Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman) for best dramatic made-for-TV film or miniseries, and for the fourth year in a row, Nomadic Pictures’ Hell on Wheels won for best dramatic series. Nomadic productions and artists who worked on them took home a total of eight awards.
The Edmonton-shot series Blackstone picked up three awards, including a third best-actress prize for Calgarian Michelle Thrush. Calgary’s Corkscrew Media’s production of Balletlujah, which follows the creation of Alberta Ballet’s work based on kd lang’s music, won three awards, including the prize for best comedy or variety production.
Best feature went to the Calgary-shot sci-fi film Painkillers, which has yet to be released. It beat out the Drumheller-shot ensemble drama The Valley Below and the Calgary-shot thriller Ally Was Screaming, which was screened at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Calgary actor David Trimble (Brokeback Mountain and the soon-to-be released Forsaken with Demi Moore and Donald and Kiefer Sutherland) picked up the best actor prize for the short film One Night in Aberdeen, defeating veteran actor Shaun Johnston from Heartland, Julian Black Antelope from Blackstone, Jason Cermak from Hell on Wheels, and Niall Matter from Ally Was Screaming.
One Night in Aberdeen, which picked up the Calgary International Film Festival’s Alberta Spirit award last year, also won a best director prize for Calgarian Brett Ferster and screenwriting awards for Charles Netto and Mark Hopkins.
Rosie Awards for excellence in television broadcast news in Alberta were also celebrated and honoured with awards. CTV Morning Live Edmonton’s 60th Anniversary Show produced by Brent Pushkarenko won for Best News Series, CBC Calgary won for Best Daily Newscast for CBC News Calgary at 6:00 and Edmonton’s CTV Morning Live’s Stacey Brotzel won the Best Television Host Award.
See the complete list of winners at: http://ampia.org/events/ab-film-tv-awards/2015winners.