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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