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Lubna Azabal poses with her Genie award for Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role at the 31st Genie Awards in Ottawa, Thursday March 10, 2011Fred Chartrand

Denis Villeneuve's searing drama Incendies inched ahead of Barney's Version to take the most Genies on Thursday night, earning eight awards, including best motion picture.

The French-Canadian production was also nominated for an Oscar for best foreign film this year.

Barney's Version won seven awards, including best actor for Paul Giamatti, who won a Golden Globe in the same category for his portrayal of the irascible Barney Panofsky. Dustin Hoffman, who played Barney's dad, received the best supporting actor Genie.

Going into the race, Barney's Version, based on Mordecai Richler's prize-winning novel, was in the lead with 12 nominations, including best picture, direction, and adapted screen play, as well as the lead and supporting actor fields. Incendies trailed closely behind with 11.

Incendies, the story of a Montreal matriarch who hides her tragic past from her children, also won best direction for Mr. Villeneuve, whose 2009 drama Polytechnique, about the Montreal Massacre, won nine Genies last year.

Incendie's female lead, Lubna Azabal, won the Genie for best actress, while Minnie Driver, who plays the second of Barney's three wives, won best supporting actress at the gala ceremony hosted by William Shatner and held at Ottawa's National Arts Centre.

Jacob Tierney's Montreal-set comedy The Trotsky, starring Jay Baruchel, landed four awards including best original screenplay, while Incendies took home adapted screen play.

The acclaimed Last Train Home won for best documentary.

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television also named Canadian-German co-production Resident Evil: Afterlife, the fourth instalment in the popular thriller-horror franchise produced by Toronto's Don Carmody, its Golden Reel Award winner in 2011. The film, which stars Milla Jovovich, was the top-performing Canadian film in domestic theatres last year, grossing nearly $7-million.

Afterlife, which was shot in stereoscopic 3-D in Toronto, has grossed almost $300-million worldwide to date, toppling the former Canadian-made record-breaker, Porky's, a 1982 Carmody-made film.

Best picture - Incendies

Best direction - Incendies

Editing - Incendies

Best actor - Paul Giamatti, Barney's Version

Best supporting actor - Dustin Hoffman, Barney's Version

Best actress - Lubna Azabal, Incendies

Best supporting actress - Minnie Driver, Barney's Version

Original Screenplay - The Trotsky

Adapted Screenplay - Incendies

Best Documentary - Last Train Home