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LEO AWARDS: Motion Picture Leo Winners & Nominees Led by Ben Ratner’s DOWN RIVER

Ben Ratner’s Down River, inspired by his friendship with late Vancouver actor Babz Chula, capped the Leo Awards on Sunday night with its win for Best Motion Picture. It’s the little movie that could because they made it with love, said lead actor Helen Shaver, who plays an older woman named Pearl who guides three younger talents who live in her West End building. When Pearl gets ill with cancer and unexpectedly leaves their lives, the three are forced to face the future on their own.

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Jennifer Spence won the Leo for her supporting performance as one of the young talents, artist Aki. In the photograph below, she presents a category with her husband Ben Ratner.

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Ratner earned a Leo himself for screenwriting plus the production picked up awards for overall sound and costume design for a total of five.

Sitting on the Edge of Marline: Ana Valine took home a Leo for directing her mother-and-daughter con movie with Paloma Kwiatkowski (Bates Motel’s Cody) as the daughter. The film also picked up a Leo for production design for a total of two awards.

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Evangeline: Leos for sound editing and hair styling went to this horror thriller, represented by director Karen Lam with star Kat de Lieva on the red carpet.

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If I Had Wings: Richard Harmon was nominated as the blind runner in his Harmon family film but Jaren Brandt Bartlett took home the Leo for best lead performance.

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Cinemanovels: the Leo for best lead performance went to Lauren Lee Smith for this Gastown anti-romance.

The Call: the Leo for best supporting performance went to Michael Eklund who played opposite Halle Berry.

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Lawrence & Holloman: the Leo for casting went to this feel-bad comedy, represented by leads Ben Cotton and Daniel Arnold and filmmaker Matthew Kowalchuk on the red carpet.

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Hitchockian thriller 3 Days in Havana won the Leo for cinematography;  STD rom-com That Burning Feeling for picture editing; Stephen Segall movie Force of Execution for stunt coordination; Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium for visual effects, Brent Butt’s comedic film noir No Clue for musical score and Evil Feed for makeup.

Stress Position had a good time on the red carpet with cinematographer Amy Belling, filmmaker A.J. Bond and actor David Amito. How can these men be friends after days of psychological torture at the hands of one another? “It’s just for one night,”  claimed Bond, laughing.

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For complete list of winners go to the Leo Awards site.

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