Leo Awards honour those behind-the-scenes
On Friday night, 41 Leo Awards were handed out to the technicians and craftspeople behind the top film and television productions in our province. While lacking the botox-injected glamour of the red carpet Gala Awards Ceremony on Saturday (June 5), the Celebration Awards Ceremony was a laidback affair befitting the people whose keen eyes and ears, and patient personalities, make film and TV productions possible.
Big winners on the night included the miniseries Alice with five awards (Production Design, Sound Editing, Overall Sound, Picture Editing, Best Visual Effects) and fiction-fantasy series Sanctuary with four (Direction, Costume Design, Make-up, Production Design). The short film The Gray Matter also nabbed four Leos (Costume Design, Production Design, Sound Editing, Overall Sound) while the documentary Facing Ali had three wins (Direction, Cinematography, Picture Editing). The top award for Best Direction in a Feature Length Drama went to Bruce Sweeney for his romantic comedy Excited.
Host Ellie Harvey kept the proceedings light and energetic with jokes about roles she never got to play and projects she wished she had worked on. Speeches were mercifully short, with one winner offering in jest to exchange his Leo for Tom Petty tickets. There was, however, cringe-worthy banter between award presenters, excruciating muzak playing during the buffet dinner, and near-continuous technical glitches with the clips.
Before the event, Hal Beckett, Musical Director for the Leo Awards and multiple nominee for his scores for League of Super Evil, spoke of the important contributions made by the people who work behind the scenes. He explained that the “technical skill of our crews and craftspeople” has enabled the Vancouver film and TV industry to weather the recession and high Canadian dollar. The level of professionalism, he added, has kept many productions from heading south to more tax-friendly locations.