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While Canadian cinema continues to hit new creative highs, with the rock 'n' roll coming-of-age film C.R.A.Z.Y. receiving 12 Genie nominations yesterday, the trick remains to get people to watch Canada's version of the Oscars.

This year, the broadcast is changing format yet again and will simply be a one-hour, party-like event shown on various CHUM networks on March 13. After trying over the last two years to stage the Genies in a Golden Globes-style dinner-theatre setting, CHUM now plans to follow much the same format as it does with its annual Toronto International Film Festival red-carpet special, in which announcers mingle with celebrities in a party atmosphere.

The live broadcast from the party in the Grand Foyer at Toronto's Carlu will also include clips from the winning films and highlights from the just-concluded awards show.

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"We're trying to create a show that is going to be entertaining, a little faster paced," said Marcia Martin, executive producer of the show, noting that even the Oscars show has suffered lower ratings in recent years. "We all know what awards show are like. They are important to the industry and the nominees, but maybe there's a better way of presenting it."

"The academy is very open to putting a little adrenalin into these shows, which historically have been a tough sell to a television audience," said Paul Gratton, chair of the Academy of Canadian Film and Television, which administers the Genie Awards.

Along with the many nominations for director Jean-Marc Vallée's Quebec-made film C.R.A.Z.Y.

C.R.A.Z.Y. is up for best film, best direction and is also seen as a likely contender for an Oscar, other films nominated for multiple Genies yesterday included Water, Deepa Mehta's emotionally charged depiction of Indian widows, with nine nominations, and director Michael Dowse's hard-edged send-up of rave and techno-music culture, It's All Gon e Pete Tong, with eight nominations.

Quebec films such as Familia and C.R.A.Z.Y. particularly dominated this year's acting categories, largely because family-based dramas tend to bring out strong performances, Gratton noted.

He added that although Quebec films didn't steamroll over English-Canadian films quite as much in terms of Genie nominations as they have in recent years, Quebec cinema continues to show no sign of losing momentum. "Nobody can afford to ignore Quebec movies, even at the strict business level," Gratton said.

Notably absent from the list of nominees yesterday was Toronto director David Cronenberg's A History of Violence, which according to the academy's detailed rules for Canadian co-productions, is classified too much as a U.S.-financed film to be included in the field. Atom Egoyan's Where the Truth Lies does qualify for the Genies, but was shut out of the biggest categories, such as best film. However, it did receive five nods, including a nomination for Egoyan himself for best adapted screenplay.

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Genie nominees

Best motion picture

C.R.A.Z.Y.

Familia

It's All Gone Pete Tong

Saint Ralph

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Water

Direction

Luc Picard, L'audition

Jean-Marc Vallée, C.R.A.Z.Y.

Louise Archambault, Familia

Michael Dowse, It's All Gone Pete

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Tong

Deepa Mehta, Water

Cinematography

Pierre Mignot, C.R.A.Z.Y.

André Turpin, Familia

Balazs Bolygo, It's All Gone Pete Tong

Bernard Couture, Le survenant

Giles Nuttgens, Water

Lead actor

Luc Picard, L'audition

Michel Côté, C.R.A.Z.Y.

Marc-André Grondin, C.R.A.Z.Y.

Paul Kaye, It's All Gone Pete Tong

Adam Butcher, Saint Ralph

More Genie nominees

Supporting actor

Denis Bernard, L'audition

Rémy Girard, Aurore

Bernard Starlight, Hank Williams First Nation

Campbell Scott, Saint Ralph

Gordon Pinsent, Saint Ralph

Lead actress

Macha Grenon, Familia

Sylvie Moreau, Familia

Arsinée Khanjian, Sabah -- A

Love Story

Gina Chiarelli, See Grace Fly

Seema Biswas, Water

Supporting actress

Suzanne Clément, L'audition

Marianne Fortier, Aurore

Danielle Proulx, C.R.A.Z.Y.

Micheline Lanctôt, Familia Babz Chula, Seven Times Lucky

Art Direction/Production Design

Michel Proulx, Aurore

Patrice Vermette, C.R.A.Z.Y.

Deanne Rohde, Ricardo Alms, Shawna Balas, Seven

Times Lucky

Dilip Mehta, Water

Phillip Barker, Where the Truth Lies

Costume Design

Francesca Chamberland, Aurore

Ginette Magny, C.R.A.Z.Y.

Anne Dixon, Saint Ralph

Francesca Chamberland,

Le survenant

Dolly Ahluwallia, Water

Editing

Paul Jutras, C.R.A.Z.Y.

Stuart Gazzard, It's All Gone

Pete Tong

Jeremy Peter Allen, Manners

of Dying

Colin Monie, Water

Susan Shipton, Where

the Truth Lies

Original screenplay

Luc Picard, L'audition

Jean-Marc Vallée, François

Boulay, C.R.A.Z.Y.

Louise Archambault, Familia

Michael Dowse, It's All Gone

Pete Tong

Deepa Mehta, Water

Adapted screenplay

Luc Dionne, Aurore

Nathalie Petrowski, Maman

Last Call

David Christensen, Six Figures

Diane Cailhier, Le survenant

Atom Egoyan, Where the Truth Lies

Original Score

Byron Wong, Lie With Me

Éric Pfalzgraf, Manners of Dying

Geoff Bennett, Longo Hai, Ben Johannesen, Sabah -- A Love Story

Mychael Danna, Water

Mychael Danna, Where

the Truth Lies

Original Song

Daniel Bélanger, L'audition:

Tourner

Matt Murphy, Michael Mabbott, The Life and Hard Times of Guy

Terrifico: Just a Show

Matt Murphy, Michael Mabbott, The Life and Hard Times of Guy

Terrifico: Make Believe

Glenn Buhr, Margaret Sweatman, Seven Times Lucky: When

Wintertime

Sylvain Cossette, Michel Corriveau, Robert Marchand, Le survenant: Comme une plume au vent

Sound

Yvon Benoît, Daniel Bisson, Luc Boudrias, Bernard Gariépy Strobl, C.R.A.Z.Y.

Greg Stewart, Michael Thomas, It's All Gone Pete Tong

Daniel Pellerin, John Hazen, Jan Rudy, Bisa Scekic, Lie With Me

Leon Johnson, Bruce Little, Howard Rissin, Seven Times Lucky

Chris Munro, John Hazen, Daniel Pellerin, Where the Truth Lies

Sound editing

Olivier Calvert, Diane Boucher,

Simon Meilleur, Francine Poirier, Jean-François Sauvé, L'audition

Martin Pinsonnault, Mira Mailhot, Simon Meilleur, Mireille Morin, Jean-François Sauvé, C.R.A.Z.Y.

Michael Mccann, Chester Bialowas, Tony Gort, Roger Morris, It's All Gone Pete Tong

Bruce Little, Russ Dyck, Seven Times Lucky

Alice Wright, Valéry Dufort-Boucher, Alexis Farand, Jacques Plante, Christian Rivest, Le survenant

Documentary

Scared Sacred, Velcrow Ripper, Tracey Friesen, Cari Green, Harry Sutherland

Les Voleurs d'enfance / Thieves of Innocence, Paul Arcand, Denise Robert

Live-action short drama

The Big Thing, Carl Laudan

Les derniers jours, Simon Olivier Fecteau, Guillaume Lespérance, Jean-François Lord

Mardi matin . . . quelque part / Tuesday Morning . . . Somewhere, Hélène Bélanger Martin,

Antonello Cozzolino

Milo 55160, David Ostry,

Matthew Cervi

Noise, Greg Spottiswood, Jason Charters, Liam Romalis

Animated short

CNote, Chris Hinton, Michael

Fukushima

Dehors novembre, Patrick

Bouchard, Michèle Bélanger

Ruzz et Ben / Ruzz And Ben,

Philippe Jullien, Marcel Jean,

Jean-Pierre Lemouland

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