1st Genie Awards

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1st Genie Awards
Date March 20, 1980
Site Royal Alexandra Theatre, Toronto
Hosted by Bruno Gerussi
Best Picture The Changeling
Most nominations The Changeling

The 1st Genie Awards were presented on March 20, 1980, and honoured films released in 1979.[1] They were given out at a gala event at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto with Bruno Gerussi as host.[1]

A luncheon the day before the gala saw the non-feature film awards presented.[2]

The first time they were presented as the Genie Awards instead of the Canadian Film Awards, the 1980 ceremony also marked the first time the awards were presented by the newly organized Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.[3]

The show was broadcast on CBC Television and was noted for its Oscars-like production design, with production numbers including a jazz dance performance by Jeff Hyslop and Karen Kain set to the tune of "Dancing in the Dark", and a performance by female impersonator Craig Russell in character as Judy Garland.[4]

The show was not without controversy: award winner Christopher Plummer used his speech to criticize the distinction made between Canadian and foreign actors, calling on the Academy to treat "Canadian or Samothracian" actors equally.[1] The fact that no French language films won any major awards was also a source of some controversy,[1] In addition, despite having duly released three nominations in the category of Editing in a Dramatic Film (Non-Feature), the jury used the moment of presentation to announce that they had deemed none of the three to be sufficiently worthy of an award;[2] producer Sam Levene, in his acceptance speech for another award, called that decision an "arrogant slap in the face" to the nominees.[2]

Several awards were presented at this ceremony in specialized categories which were not retained in future years.

Award winners and nominees[edit]

Motion Picture Direction
Actor in a leading role Actress in a leading role
Actor in a supporting role Actress in a supporting role
Foreign Actor Foreign Actress
Actor (Non-Feature) Actress (Non-Feature)
Original Screenplay Adapted Screenplay
Outstanding Independent Film Theatrical Short
Art Direction and Production Design Art Direction (Non-Feature)
Direction in a Dramatic Film (Non-Feature) Direction in a Documentary (Non-Feature)
Outstanding Screenplay (Non-Feature) Non-Dramatic Script
Outstanding TV Drama Over 30 Minutes Outstanding TV Drama Under 30 Minutes
Outstanding Documentary - 30 Minutes and Over Outstanding Documentary - 30 Minutes and Under
Costume Design Cinematography
Cinematography in a Dramatic Film (Non-Feature) Cinematography in a Documentary (Non-Feature)
Animation Sound Editing
Sound Sound (Non-Feature)
Editing Editing (Non-Feature)
Musical Score Musical Score (Non-Feature)
Editing in a Dramatic Film (Non-Feature) Special Awards


  1. ^ a b c d Jay Scott, "Changeling wins Genie as year's best movie". The Globe and Mail, March 21, 1980.
  2. ^ a b c Rick Groen, "NFB, Brittain dominate TV Genie awards". The Globe and Mail, March 20, 1980.
  3. ^ Jay Scott, "Changeling leads Canadian Film Award nominees". The Globe and Mail, February 8, 1980.
  4. ^ Meg Floyd, "Jazzing up the Genies". The Globe and Mail, March 15, 1980.

External links[edit]