How long have the Genie Awards been around?

The Genie Awards have been awarded every year for over three decades, beginning with the first ceremony, which was broadcast live on the CBC from Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre in 1980.

Why wasn’t my favourite Canadian film nominated?

It can sometimes be surprising to learn that a certain film, while amazing, simply doesn’t qualify for a nomination under the very specific rules. To be eligible to receive a Genie Award, a film must qualify as a Canadian production or co-production, under rules set out by CAVCO and/or the CRTC and to have had a theatrical release in Canada between January 1st and December 31st of the previous year. If eligible, a film must then be submitted for consideration by the film’s owner or an authorized representative.

Who gets to vote on the winner?

The Genie Awards are based on a peer-voting system. Each year, Academy members and other industry professionals, including filmmakers and critics, sit on juries to review submissions and choose the final nominees across all categories. At this point, the voting is turned over to members of the Academy’s Cinema division. Each member may vote in the categories related to his or her own field; for instance, editors vote in the editing category, directors in directing. As well, all voting members may vote in the following categories:

• Best Motion Picture,
• Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role,
• Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role,
• Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role,
• Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role.

The balloting process itself is facilitated by and audited by PriceWaterhouseCoopers

How many categories are there?

There are currently twenty categories, plus two special awards, The Golden Reel Award for top box-office success, and The Claude Jutra Award for outstanding achievement by a first-time feature film director.

The Genie Awards Statuette

The history of the Genie Award statuette actually dates back to 1968, when award-winning Canadian sculptor Sorel Etrog was commissioned to create a statuette for the Canadian Film Awards, which existed between the years of 1949 and 1978. The striking and unusual artwork he created was called “The Etrog” which was renamed “The Genie” in 1980. It is, according to Etrog, a standing figure whose focus of energy is concentrated in the upper part of the body, thus reflecting the process involved in transforming an idea or concept into a visual reality.

The Genie statuette, gold-plated bronze mounted on a marble base, stands 14 inches tall (over 35 cm) and weighs in at 14 pounds (or a little over 6 kg.)

Etrog’s larger work is visible around Toronto, including “The Hand” and “Sunlife” on University Avenue and many pieces around the University of Toronto campus.

The 32nd ANNUAL GENIE AWARDS will be broadcast on Thursday, March 8 at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT) on CBC Television. Genie32 will be held at The Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto

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