Georges Schwizgebel wins at Genies with “Romance”

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Romance,” a co-production of the National Film Board of Canada and two Swiss stu­dios, was named Best Ani­mated Short on Thurs­day night at the Genie Awards, Canada’s equiv­a­lent of the Oscars.

Pro­duced by Georges Schwiz­gebel, René Chénier and Marc Bertrand, Romance was also a release of Radio Télévi­sion Suisse and Schwizgebel’s own ban­ner, Stu­dio GDS.

The short defeated con­tenders Choke (Michelle Latimer), La Cité entre les Murs/Inner City (Alain Fournier), Muybridge’s Strings (Koji Yama­mura, Michael Fukushima, Shuzo John Shiota and Keisuke Tsuchi­hashi) and Wild Life (Amanda For­bis, Wendy Tilby, Marcy Page and Bon­nie Thompson).

In Romance, while on an air­plane, a traveler’s spirit plunges into a dream world. Here, under the influ­ence of the unknown, the logic of his desires pre­vails and a grand roman­tic saga takes shape. Ani­mated with pen­cil, pas­tels and acrylics, this film is a daz­zling tran­scrip­tion of a Rach­mani­noff scherzo. Fol­low­ing the twists and turns of one of the composer’s sonatas, the film mas­ter­fully trans­ports us through music and move­ment, eras­ing the bound­ary between desire and reality.

Pick­ing up the top honor at the Genies was Mon­sieur Lazhar, named best film. It also won tro­phies for best direc­tor (Philippe Falardeau), actor (Fel­lag), sup­port­ing actress (Sophie Nélisse), edit­ing (Stéphane Lafleur) and adapted screenplay.

The 32nd Annual Genie Awards were pre­sented by the Acad­emy of Cana­dian Cin­ema & Tele­vi­sion at The Westin Har­bour Cas­tle in Toronto.

The com­pe­ti­tion was fierce in this vin­tage year for Cana­dian film,” said Acad­emy interim CEO Helga Stephen­son. “The indus­try is strong, more Cana­di­ans are watch­ing Cana­dian film than ever before, and we look for­ward to more great films from our incred­i­ble pool of film talent.”

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