Reprinted from Vancouver Sun on 05/25/2012. Click here to see original piece.

Leos roar at Hotel Vancouver
(05/25/2012)

Amanda Tapping is going to have a busy weekend.

The acclaimed actor will co-host the Leo Awards with Robin Dunne. And her series Sanctuary leads the Leo nominations with 18, including one for Tapping as best female lead in a dramatic series.

The Leos don't have the cachet of the Oscars, or even the Geminis. But for the last 14 years, the show has been celebrating the best in B.C. film and television in a two-night extravaganza.

This year's Leos have moved uptown to the Hotel Vancouver from the Bayshore. Friday night is an informal, "cocktail attire" event where most of the craft awards will be handed out. Saturday is the glitzy red carpet, black tie-and-tuxedo night where the stars come out to shine.

About 900 people are expected to attend (400 Friday, 500 Saturday). It isn't cheap ($150 Friday, $225 Saturday, $125 Friday or $175 Saturday if you're a nominee), but Leos president Walter Daroshin says the event gives film industry types a rare chance to get together and schmooze.

"Put it in perspective," says Daroshin. "We only really do this once a year. The industry gathers in its own way during the course of the year, but usually in a fragmented sense: There are industry events that are specific to various genres of programming, or different guilds and unions and associations that have gatherings.

"[And] the film festival is primarily audience driven. But this is all industry people, for the most part. There are some [members of the] public that attend, but it's mostly all [industry people]. That's what is different, we're all seeing each other for the first time since last year. A lawyer might share a table with a picture editor or a sound designer."

Arctic Air has nine nominations on the TV side, followed by Blackstone with six and Small-ville with four. Carl Bessai's Sisters & Brothers leads the feature film nominees with 12, followed by Hamlet (eight nominations), Marilyn (eight), Sun-flower Hour (seven) and Donovan's Echo (eight).

"Carl Bessai has done some wonderful work over the years," said Daroshin. "He's the epitome of a local, independent, indigenous filmmaker who just does what he does. He's the poster child. When you think about the Leo Awards and B.C., you point to someone like that."

There is an eclectic mix of nominees, a byproduct of the Leos mandate.

"Our intention is not to [just] celebrate programs that are either shot in British Columbia or about British Columbia, our intention is to celebrate the individuals who are responsible for the creative and financial aspects of programs who happen to be a B.C. resident," he explains.

"A number of years ago, for example, [there was] Capote, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman. It appeared to be an American film, for all intents and purposes, looked like a Hollywood film, with an American star, an American director.

"But [the late] Bill Vince and his [Vancouver] company were the producing partners who controlled the creative and financial aspects of the program. So when we awarded Capote the Leo award for best picture, it was in recognition of the British Columbia component."

Sisters & Brothers is up against Daydream Nation, Doppelgänger Paul, Marilyn and The Odds for best feature. Sanctuary's competition for best dramatic series are Arctic Air, Blackstone, and Endgame. Tapping faces some top com-petition for best female lead, where Meg Tilly is nominated for Bomb Girls, Erin Karpluk is nominated for Being Erica, Car-men Moore is up for Blackstone and Laura Mennell will represent Alphas.

The ticket price includes dinner with wine, and a champagne reception.

AT A GLANCE

LEO AWARDS

When: Friday 7 p.m., Saturday 7 p.m.

Where: Hotel Vancouver

Tickets: Friday $150, $125 for nominees

Saturday $225, $175 for nominees

Info: leoawards.com

LEO AWARD NOMINEES

BEST FEATURE-LENGTH DRAMA

Daydream Nation - Christine Haebler, Trish Dolman - Producers

Doppelgänger Paul - Katherine Hazon, Oliver Linsley, Dylan Akio Smith, Kris Elgstrand - Producers

Marilyn - Christopher Petry, Kaleena Kiff, Bruce Borland - Producers

Sisters & Brothers - Carl Bessai, James Brown, Emily Alden - Producers

The Odds - Simon Davidson, Kirsten Newlands, Oliver Linsley - Producers

Best Direction in a Feature-Length Drama

Dylan Akio Smith, Kris Elgstrand - Doppelgänger Paul

Paul A. Kaufman - Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story

Christopher Petry - Marilyn

Carl Bessai - Sisters & Brothers

Simon Davidson - The Odds

Best Lead Performance by a Male in a Feature-Length Drama

Ryan Robbins - Everything and Everyone

Tygh Runyan - Doppelgänger Paul

Brad Dryborough - Doppelgänger Paul

Ryan Robbins - Marilyn

Ben Ratner - Sisters & Brothers

Patrick Gilmore - Sunflower Hour

Best Lead Performance by a Female in a Feature-Length Drama

Gabrielle Rose - Everything and Everyone

Sara Canning - Hannah's Law

Amanda Crew - Sisters & Brothers

Gabrielle Miller - Sisters & Brothers

Kacey Rohl - Sisters & Brothers

Best Dramatic Series

Arctic Air - Michael Chechik, Gabriela Schonbach, Gary

Harvey, Ian Weir - Producers

Blackstone - Ron E. Scott, Jesse

Szymanski, Damon Vignale - Producers

Endgame - Michael Shepard, Avrum Jacobson, Tim Gamble, Alex Raffe, Lily Hui, Harvey Kahn - Producers

Sanctuary - Damian Kindler, Martin Wood, Amanda Tapping, George Horie, Lee Wilson, James Thorpe, Alan McCullough, Gillian Horvath - Producers

Best Direction in a Dramatic Series

David J. Frazee - Endgame - Fearful Symmetry

Steven A. Adelson - Sanctuary - Untouchable

Martin Wood - Sanctuary - Tempus

Damian Kindler - Sanctuary - Fugue

Lauro Chartrand - True Justice - Payback

Best Lead Performance by a Male in a Dramatic Series

Warren Christie - Alphas - Pilot Steven Cree Molison - Blackstone - Hitchin Graham Wardle - Heartland - Beyond Hell's Half Mile

Robin Dunne - Sanctuary - Fugue

Best Lead Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series

Laura Mennell - Alphas - Bill and Gary's Excellent Adventure Erin Karpluk - Being Erica - Dr. Erica

Carmen Moore - Blackstone - I'm Not a Racist

Meg Tilly - Bomb Girls - Jumping Tracks Amanda Tapping - Sanctuary - Tempus

Best Feature-Length Documentary

Eco-Pirate: The Story of Paul

Watson - Trish Dolman, Kevin

Eastwood - Producers

I Am Bruce Lee - Paul Gertz, Derik Murray - Producers

People of a Feather - Joel Heath - Producer

Best Animation Program or Series

1001 Nights - Aly Jetha, Shabnam Rezaei - Producers

CMYK - Martin Rose, Tracey

Friesen - Producers

Max Steel: Makino's Revenge - Sharan Wood, Kim Dent Wilder, Greg Richardson - Producers

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - Sarah Wall, Chris Bartleman, Blair Peters, Kirsten Newlands - Producers

The Basketball Game - Yves Ma - Producer