Capping a three-night extravaganza of award presentations, the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television last night handed out Gemini awards to some of the most popular and familiar names in Canadian TV.
In a two-hour gala ceremony with comedian Mike Bullard as host and broadcast on CBC, Da Vinci's Inquest,the CBC's long-running crime show, won its third consecutive Gemini for best dramatic series, while its principal star, Nicholas Campbell, won one for best performance by an actor. (Earlier, Campbell pocketed a second statuette for his guest-star appearance in another crime series, Blue Murder,while Da Vinci creator Chris Haddock won for best direction and for best writing of a dramatic-series episode.)
Another CBC series, Street Cents, now in its 13th season, won its sixth Gemini -- for best children's or youth program or series.
Other previous winners saluted during the final evening of the academy's 16th annual awards included scriptwriter Suzette Couture -- best writing in a dramatic program or mini-series -- for After the Harvest,a two-hour drama of life on the Canadian prairie in the 1920s (CTV); CBC newsman Peter Mansbridge, for best news anchor; the CBC's Ron MacLean, for best sports broadcaster; and Made In Canada,the half-hour show produced by Halifax's Salter Street Films and featuring Rick Mercer as host, for best comedy program or series (CBC); Mercer and the show's co-stars (Emily Hampshire, Peter Keleghan, Dan Lett, Leah Pinsent) also won the Gemini for best ensemble performance in a comedy program or series.
Alliance Atlantis and Productions La Fete's Nuremberg (CTV), based on the post-Second World War trials of Nazi military officers, won the Gemini for best dramatic mini-series. In total, Nuremberg, starring Alec Baldwin and Jill Henessey, garnered four Geminis.
Scorn (CBC), based on 17-year-old Darren Hueneman's real-life murder of his mother and grandmother in Victoria, B.C., in 1991, earned the citation for best TV movie for producers Christian Bruyere, Laszlo Barna and Maryke McEwen.
Actress Babz Chula won the Gemini for best performance in a continuing leading dramatic role. She played magazine publisher Esme Prince in These Arms of Mine,a CBC series that was cancelled earlier this year.
Actor Hugh Thompson won a Gemini for best performance in a leading role in a drama or mini-series for Blessed Stranger: After Flight 111,the story of the Swissair jet that crashed off Peggys Cove in Nova Scotia, in September, 1998, (CTV). The award for best performance by an actress in a leading role in a drama or mini-series went to 18-year-old Elisha Cuthbert, for Lucky Girl (CTV).
The Donald Brittain Award for best social/political documentary went to Breakaway -- a tale of two survivors. Produced by Mathew Welsh, Johanna Eliot and Johanna Lunn Montgomery, it chronicled the troubled relationship between two men coping with the consequences of traumatic brain injury (CTV).
The award for best direction in a dramatic program or mini-series was awarded to Jerry Ciccoritti for Chasing Cain (CTV). Starring Alberta Watson and Peter Outerbridge, it told the story of a Croatian woman murdered after marrying into a Serbian family.
The 16th Annual Gemini Humanitarian Award went to veteran screenwriter Donald Martin, who is putting a foster child from Colombia through medical school. As part of the award, $10,000 will be donated to Foster Parents Plan of Canada.
Actor Jackie Burroughs won the Earle Grey Award, honouring her contribution to the international profile of Canadian television. Burroughs plays Aunt Hetty on CBC's Road to Avonlea. And the Royal Canadian Mint Viewers' Choice Award was presented to members of the Royal Canadian Air Farce (CBC), Roger Abbott, Don Ferguson, Luba Goy and John Morgan.
During two previous nights of award-giving in such categories as technical achievement, variety, sports, children's, music and animation programming, CBC productions grabbed the lion's share of Geminis.
Gemini award winners, 2001
TV movie: Scorn Dramatic Mini-series: Nuremberg Dramatic Series: DaVinci's Inquest Comedy program or Series: Made in Canada Donald Brittain Award for best Social/Political Documentary: Breakaway -- A Tale of Two Survivors Childrens' or Youth Program or Series: Street Cents Direction in a Drama: Jerry Ciccoritti (Chasing Cain) Writing in a Drama: Suzette Couture (After the Harvest) Actor in a Leading Role in a Drama: Hugh Thompson (Blessed Stranger: After Flight 111) Actress in a Leading Role in a Drama: Elisha Cuthbert (Lucky Girl) Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role: Nicholas Campbell (DaVinci's Inquest) Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role: Babz Chula (These Arms of Mine) Ensemble Performance in a Comedy: Rick Mercer, Emily Hampshire, Peter Keleghan, Dan Lett, Leah Pinsent News Anchor: Peter Mansbridge (CBC News: The National: P.E.T./Town Hall/Election) Sports Broadcaster: Ron MacLean (NHL All Star Break & NHL All Star Game) 16th Annual Gemini Humanitarian Award: Donald Martin Earle Grey Award: Jackie Burroughs Royal Canadian int Viewers' Choice Award: Royal Canadian Air Farce (CBC Television) For full award listings check our website at http://www.globeandmail.ca Canadian Press