‘Unspeakable,’ ‘Edge of the Knife (Sgaawaay K'uuna)’ triumph at final night of #LeoAwards19

‘Unspeakable,’ ‘Edge of the Knife (Sgaawaay K'uuna)’ triumph at final night of #LeoAwards19

Two remarkable and daring screen projects won the top prizes at the 2019 Leo Awards Red Carpet Gala, the annual awards extravaganza that celebrates achievements in the British Columbia film and television industry.

One of those projects was Unspeakable, an eight-part miniseries about Canada’s tainted blood scandal. In the early 1980s, blood that was infected with Hepatitis C and HIV made it into the Canadian blood supply. The tainted blood scandal — as it came to be known in the wake of class-action lawsuits, criminal charges and a Royal Commission — is considered one of the worst public health disasters in Canadian history.

Unspeakable was filmed in the Lower Mainland and was spearheaded by television veteran Robert C. Cooper, who was born with hemophilia and was infected with Hepatitis C as a result of the tainted blood scandal.

Cooper was on hand with Unspeakable cast members David Lewis, Michael Shanks, Camille Sullivan, and Kimberly Sustad when the series won the Leo Award for Best Dramatic Series at Sunday’s Red Carpet Gala, the third and final night of #LeoAwards19.

In that same category, Van Helsing’s actors received a bounty of hardware: Jonathan Scarfe won Best Lead Performance Male, Michael Eklund won Best Guest Performance Male, Vincent Gale won Best Supporting Performance Male, and Rukiya Bernard won Best Supporting Performance Female.  

In the Motion Picture category, the remarkable Edge of the Knife (Sgaawaay K'uuna) added to the three Leos it had received the previous weekend when it won Best Motion Picture and Best Direction for Helen Haig-Brown and Gwaai Edenshaw. Edge of the Knife (Sgaawaay K'uuna) is the first Haida-language feature film on the planet. Set in 19th century Haida Gwaii, it tells the classic Haida story of the traumatized and stranded man transformed to Gaagiixiid, the wildman.

Bruce Sweeney won Best Screenwriting in a Motion Picture for Kingsway, and the acting awards went to actors from four different films: Best Lead Performance Male for Darren Mann (Giant Little Ones), Best Lead Performance Female for Julia Sarah Stone (Honey Bee), Best Supporting Performance Male for Philip Granger (Woodland), and Best Supporting Performance Female for Gabrielle Miller (Rabbit).

Beloved director and actor Amanda Tapping (Stargate SG-1, Sanctuary) took to the stage to introduce a scene from her award-winning short film Reel Women Seen, which highlights the challenges faced by women working in the film and television industry – and the Crazy8s Film Society was recognized with an achievement award for its ongoing efforts to nurture and inspire emerging filmmakers.  

Full results below.

MOTION PICTURE

BEST MOTION PICTURE
Edge of the Knife (Sgaawaay K'uuna)
Jonathan Frantz, Stephen Grosse, Zacharias Kunuk – Producers

BEST DIRECTION – MOTION PICTURE
Helen Haig-Brown, Gwaai Edenshaw
Edge of the Knife (Sgaawaay K'uuna)

BEST SCREENWRITING – MOTION PICTURE
Bruce Sweeney
Kingsway 

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE MALE – MOTION PICTURE
Darren Mann
Giant Little Ones

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE FEMALE – MOTION PICTURE
Julia Sarah Stone
Honey Bee

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE MALE – MOTION PICTURE
Philip Granger
Woodland

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE FEMALE – MOTION PICTURE
Gabrielle Miller
Rabbit 

DRAMATIC SERIES

BEST DRAMATIC SERIES
Unspeakable           
Robert Cooper, Neil Champagne, Lily Hui, Lawren Bancroft-Wilson, John Lenic - Producers

BEST DIRECTION – DRAMATIC SERIES
Anne Wheeler
Anne With an E - Memory Has As Many Moods As The Temper

BEST SCREENWRITING – DRAMATIC SERIES
Christopher C. Chan
Blood and Water - Episode 203

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE MALE – DRAMATIC SERIES
Jonathan Scarfe
Van Helsing - Been Away

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE FEMALE – DRAMATIC SERIES
Crystal Balint
The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco - Wake

BEST GUEST PERFORMANCE MALE – DRAMATIC SERIES
Michael Eklund
Van Helsing - Crooked Steps

BEST GUEST PERFORMANCE FEMALE – DRAMATIC SERIES
Jessica Harmon
The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco – Madhouse

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE MALE – DRAMATIC SERIES
Vincent Gale
Van Helsing - Like Suicide

Rukiya Bernard accepts her Leo Award. Photo by Sabrina Furminger

Rukiya Bernard accepts her Leo Award. Photo by Sabrina Furminger

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE FEMALE – DRAMATIC SERIES
Rukiya Bernard
Van Helsing - Pretty Noose

BEST CASTING – DRAMATIC SERIES
Corinne Clark, Jennifer Page
Unspeakable - Emergence

BEST STUNT COORDINATION – DRAMATIC SERIES
Eli Zagoudakis, Jeff Robinson
Arrow - The Slabside Redemption

SHORT DRAMA

BEST SHORT DRAMA – WINNER
The Fish & The Sea
Phillip Thomas, Spencer Foley - Producers

BEST DIRECTION – SHORT DRAMA
Phillip Thomas
The Fish & The Sea

BEST SCREENWRITING – SHORT DRAMA
Kailey Spear, Sam Spear
CC

BEST PERFORMANCE MALE – SHORT DRAMA
Max Haynes
The Fish & The Sea

BEST PERFORMANCE FEMALE – SHORT DRAMA
Jewel Staite
CC

TELEVISION MOVIE

BEST TELEVISION MOVIE
Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance
Shawn Williamson, Jamie Goehring, Kevin Leeson, Merideth Finn, Michele Weiss, Lina Wong, Kyle A. Clark - Producers

BEST DIRECTION – TELEVISION MOVIE
Vanessa Parise
The Simone Biles Story: Courage To Soar

BEST SCREENWRITING – TELEVISION MOVIE
Christie Will Wolf
Killer Ending

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE MALE – TELEVISION MOVIE
Niall Matter
Frozen in Love

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE FEMALE – TELEVISION MOVIE
Matreya Scarrwener
No One Would Tell

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE MALE – TELEVISION MOVIE
Hamza Fouad
The Christmas Pact

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE FEMALE – TELEVISION MOVIE
Alison Wandzura
Garage Sale Mysteries: Murder in D Minor

STUDENT PRODUCTION

BEST STUDENT PRODUCTION
I Will Keep Your Light
Chelsea Xinyi Chen, Kerem Can Erman, Ian Mrożewski – Producers

The final night of the 2019 Leo Awards were hosted by Peter Kelamis and took place in the third-floor ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Saturday, June 1, 2019. Find photos from the event at www.leoawards.com and our coverage from the first night here and the second night here.

Top photo: still from ‘Unspeakable.’ Courtesy of CBC

Episode Twenty-One: Johannah Newmarch

Episode Twenty-One: Johannah Newmarch

Episode Twenty: Mayumi Yoshida

Episode Twenty: Mayumi Yoshida