Atom Egoyan's epic-scale Ararat has garnered nine Canadian Genie Award nominations, including one for Best Motion Picture, but the man himself was bypassed for a Best Direction nomination as candidates for Canada's major film prize were announced.
English-Canada's other prominent filmmaker, David Cronenberg, did however get nominated. His Cannes competitor Spider received six nods in all, albeit not for Best Picture and none for its widely-acclaimed cast of Ralph Fiennes, Miranda Richardson, Gabriel Byrne and Lynne Redgrave. Novelist Patrick McGrath was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Savage Messiah was the second-most nominated film, with seven nominations, including three for lead performers Luc Picard, Isabelle Blais and Polly Walker.
Anne Wheeler's Suddenly Naked tied Spider's six nominations, including Best Picture and a Best Direction nod for the unsung veteran director. As with Spider, no actors were nominated.
Deepha Mehta's Bollywood/Hollywood had five nominations, including Best Motion Picture and Original Screenplay for Mehta, although its lead performers were also blanked. Another five-time nominee nominated for Best Picture was Sturla Gunnarson's comedy Rare Birds. Director Gunnarson was nominated for Direction, however lead actor William Hurt, another performer who might have expected attention, was overlooked.
Edoardo Ponti's Between Strangers also received five nominations, including a Best Actress nod for Deborah Kara Unger. Ricardo Trogi's Quebec-Montreal had four nominations, joining Ararat, Bollywood/Hollywood, Rare Birds and Suddenly Naked as contenders for Best Picture.
The 23rd annual Genie Awards will be announced 13 February 2003.