Denys Arcand's The Barbarian Invasions swept Canada's Genie Awards, winning six major prizes, including best picture and two prizes for Arcand himself, best direction and best original screenplay.

Quebecois icon Remy Girard won the best actor prize for his role in The Barbarian Invasions as the bon vivant stricken with terminal cancer, while newcomer Stephane Rousseau took the supporting actor prize for his performance as the estranged son and Marie-Josee Croze, who won the acting prize at Cannes for her role, took the supporting actress prize.

Arcand's film won best foreign-language Oscar at this year's Academy Awards as well France's Cesar for best film.

Sarah Polley won the best actress prize for My Life Without Me, the Canada-Spain coproduction which won the European Film Prize.

Following the broadcast, Polley, the only performance prize-winner in attendance, said the Canadian government should impose a screen quota to give Canadians a chance to see Canadian films.

Polley was not the only one to make a political statement. Prior to the broadcast, veteran producer Peter Simpson was presented with a Special Genie Award for his contribution to the industry. Accepting the prize, Simpson took the opportunity to ask Telefilm Canada to pressure the UK's Department of Culture, Media and Sport to alter its punitive posture vis-a-vis Canadian coproduction.

Canada was singled out by the DCMS as a coproduction nation that was benefiting inequitably from its partnerships with UK producers. It was just as well plain-speaking Simpson's comments were not televised. He said that his career has seen him work with "great people and assholes. Thank goodness tonight is not about assholes."

In terms of Genie bragging rights, Arcand and his Quebecois peers dominated the evening. Jean Francois Pouliot's Seducing Dr. Lewis, which lead the nominations with 11 nods, won the cinematography prize for the work of Allen Smith while perennial favourite Robert Lepage won the adapted screenplay prize for The Far Side Of The Moon (La Face Cachee De La Lune), his adaptation of his own stage play.

But despite that domination, Quebeckers were thin on the ground however: all three actors from Barbarian Invasions were absent from the Toronto ceremony, as was Lepage.

Guy Maddin's outlandish comedy The Saddest Music In The World took prizes for editing, costume design and score while Scott Smith's Falling Angels received the awards for best song and best art direction.

Documentary filmmaker Nettie Wild won for her latest film, Fix: The Story Of An Addicted City, a look at heroin users in Vancouver and the city's pioneering efforts to create safe-injection sites.

The Quebec smash Seraphin: Un Homme Et Son Peche was awarded the Golden Reel Award as the highest-grossing home-grown film of the year. The film earned C$9.6m during the qualifying period, breaking the all-time record.

Debut filmmaker Sebastien Rose was the recipient of the Claude Jutra Award for his first feature How My Mother Gave Birth To Me During Menopause (Comment Ma Mere Accoucha De Moi Durant Sa Menopause).

2004 Genie Award winners:

Best Motion Picture
Les Invasions Barbares - Denise Robert, Daniel Louis, Fabienne Vonier

Performance By An Actor In A Leading Role
Remy Girard - Les Invasions Barbares

Performance By An Actress In A Leading Role
Sarah Polley - My Life Without Me

Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role
Stephane Rousseau - Les Invasions Barbares

Performance By An Actress In A Supporting Role
Marie-Josee Croze - Les Invasions Barbares

Achievement In Direction
Denys Arcand - Les Invasions Barbares

Original Screenplay
Denys Arcand - Les Invasions Barbares

Adapted Screenplay
Robert Lepage - The Far Side Of The Moon (La Face Cachee De La Lune)

Achievement In Cinematography
Allen Smith - Seducing Dr. Lewis (Le Grande Seduction)

Achievement In Editing
David Wharnsby - The Saddest Music In The World

Achievement In Art Direction/Production Design
Rob Gray, Christina Kuhnigk - Falling Angels

Achievement In Costume Design
Meg Mcmillan - The Saddest Music In The World

Achievement In Music - Original Score
Christopher Dedrick - The Saddest Music In The World

Achievement In Music - Original Song
Ken Whiteley - Falling Angels "Tell Me"

Achievement In Overall Sound
D. Bruce Carwardine, Todd Beckett, Michael O'farrell, Don White - The Statement

Achievement In Sound Editing
Michael O'farrell, Mark Gingras, Paul Intson, Goro Koyama, John Laing, Andy Malcolm, Jill Purdy, John Douglas Smith - The Statement

Best Documentary
Fix: The Story Of An Addicted City - Betsy Carson, Nettie Wild

Best Live Action Short Drama
Noel Blank - Christiane Ciupka, Jean-François Rivard

Best Animated Short
Falling In Love Again - Marcy Page, Munro Ferguson