Polley pic walks 'Away' with top Genies

'Promises' matches total via tech nods

TORONTO -- Sarah Polley's "Away From Her" and David Cronenberg's "Eastern Promises" were the big winners with seven trophies each as Canada's top film honors, the Genies, were handed out Monday night in Toronto.

Polley's Alzheimer's drama, which earned Julie Christie an Oscar nomination for best actress, took Genies for best Canadian film and best director.

"Away From Her" also dominated the acting categories, as Gordon Pinsent won for best actor, Christie earned the best actress crown and Kristen Thomson won for supporting actress.

Cronenberg's "Eastern Promises," a portrait of the Russian mafia in London, generated trophies for best original screenplay for British playwright Steven Knight and a supporting actor honor for German actor Armin Mueller-Stahl.

A number of longtime Cronenberg collaborators also earned craft awards, as Peter Suschitzky went home with hardware for best cinematography, Ronald Sanders won for editing and Howard Shore grabbed the trophy for original score.

Roger Spottiswoode's Rwandan biopic "Shake Hands With the Devil," which went into the Genies with 12 nominations, only took home hardware for best original song.

Also overlooked at the Genies this year was Canadian director Jason Reitman's "Juno," which made Oscar headlines and took the boxoffice by storm but was excluded from consideration because of a lack of Canadian financing.

A complete list of Genie winners follows:

Best motion picture
"Away From Her"

Best art direction/production design
Rob Gray, James Willcock, "Fido"

Best costume design
Carlo Poggioli, Kazuko Kurosawa, "Silk"

Best cinematography
Peter Suschitzky, "Eastern Promises"

Best achievement in direction
Sarah Polley, "Away From Her"

Best editing
Ronald Sanders, "Eastern Promises"

Best music -- original score
Howard Shore, "Eastern Promises"

Best music -- original song
Valanga Khoza, David Hirschfelder for "Kaya," from "Shake Hands With the Devil"

Best overall sound
Stuart Wilson, Christian Cooke, Orest Sushko, Mark Zsifkovits, "Eastern Promises"

Best sound editing
Wayne Griffin, Robert Bertola, Tony Currie, Goro Koyama, Michael O'farrell, "Eastern Promises"

Best original screenplay
Steve Knight, "Eastern Promises"

Best screenplay
Sarah Polley, "Away From Her"

Best documentary
"Radiant City," Gary Burns, Jim Brown, Bonnie Thompson, Shirley Vercruysse

Best live action short drama
"Apres Tout," Alexis Fortier Gauthier, Elaine Hebert

Best animation
"Madame Tutli-Putli," Maciek Szczerbowski, Chris Lavis, Marcy Page