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‘Little Bird,’ Indigenous TV Drama, Leads Canadian Screen Awards With 19 Nominations

The Canadian indigenous TV drama Little Bird has grabbed a field-leading 19 nominations heading into the Canadian Screen Awards.

The series, which airs on Crave in Canada and PBS stateside, follows Behzig Little Bird, who was stripped of her indigenous identity when adopted into a Jewish family at age 5. As an adult, she goes looking for her indigenous roots and discovers she was forcibly taken from her birth family on the Long Pine Reserve in Saskatchewan by the Canadian government as part of a controversial Sixties Scoop policy.

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Little Bird will compete for best drama series. and Darla Contois and Ellyn Jade nabbed nominations for best lead performer in a drama. Little Bird also earned Imajyn Cardinal a nomination for best guest drama performance, and Braeden Clarke grabbed a mention for best supporting drama performance.

The final seasons of CBC comedies Sort Of and Workin’ Moms earned 18 and 12 nominations, respectively. Other best TV drama nominees include the CBC series Essex County from creator Jeff Lemire and the time travel series Plan B, which stars Patrick J. Adams.

On the film front, Matt Johnson’s BlackBerry tops nominations with 17, including Jay Baruchel earning a mention for best leading performance in a comedy and co-stars Glenn Howerton and Johnson earning best comedy supporting performances.

Blackberry, a fact-based feature that bowed in Berlin, portrays the spectacular rise and fall of the once-ubiquitous Canadian mobile device, before it was bowled over by competition from Apple’s iPhone. Johnson directed BlackBerry from a script he co-wrote with Matthew Miller.

Ariane Louis-Seize’s Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person earned 12 nominations, followed by Brandon Cronenberg’s Infinity Pool picking up 11. Both films are entered in the best film competition alongside Blackberry, Pascal Plante’s Red Rooms thriller, Pier-Philippe Chevigny’s Richelieu and Sophie Dupuis’s Solo.

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television has pushed the dates for the country’s equivalent of the Oscars and Emmys combined to May 28-31 in Toronto, with Mae Martin set to host a TV special to celebrate award winners. In 2012, the organization replaced separate Gemini and Genie award shows with a single event in the Canadian Screen Awards, traditionally held after the Academy Awards stateside.

A full list of Canadian Screen Award nominations will be available on the Academy’s website.

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