The LEO AWARDS Roar Again in 2024

For reasons of pandemics and lack of official red carpets, it has been five long years since I’ve set foot in a Leo Awards ceremony. The annual celebration of BC film and TV achievement has always figured prominently in the industry calendar and I’ve always made sure to keep apprised of the nominations and to congratulate my friends and colleagues who made the list. I’ve even served as a juror for the Dramatic Series Picture Editing category for the last two years (no conflict of interest. All my work has been in features or TV movies).

While I didn’t manage to score my first nomination this year, several movies I edited were up for awards including four performances that I cut: Sebastien Roberts in Mercy, Rhiannon Fish & Leanne Lapp in Living With My Mother’s Killer, and Megan Peta Hill in Prey for the Bride. In addition to wanting to cheer them on (and hopefully meet them!) I also missed rubbing elbows at the glitziest film event in town so I was determined not to miss out on this year’s edition.

Held annually since 1999, the Leo Awards are run by the Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Foundation of British Columbia and honour the best and brightest BC film talent both in front and behind the camera, covering all craft categories in film, TV, documentary, web series and student film.

“I think it’s very integral” says Gary Hawes, nominated for Best Direction of a Dramatic Series for The Good Doctor. “I think that celebrating the talent that we have locally is crucial and important.”

The awards are in fact split up into two nights: one for TV and one for Film. While we’ve normally attended the latter in the past, it seemed appropriate for me to attend the first night on Saturday, July 6 as this time, the majority of my projects that are nominated are TV movies. Among the multiple nominees is Holiday Road, one of several Hallmark movies with the ever-reliable Christmas-theme.


Actress Princess Davis and her date Joshua toast the evening


“It’s my first nomination!” exclaims Princess Davis who is nominated for Best Supporting Performance for her role as Maya in the movie. “I really love Maya’s arc, how she starts off really extra and like girly and then she turns into her true form which is a really grounded young woman and it was just really fun to play.”

Some are lucky enough to be blessed enough to score multiple nominations, sometimes within the same category! Film editor Gordon Rempel was nominated twice for Best Picture Editing for Monster High 2 (Paramount Plus) and the aforementioned Holiday Road. “I can say that singing and dancing monsters are as difficult to cut as any choreographed fight scene, except the fighters aren’t singing at the same time.” Rempel shouts over the din of the crowd in the reception room.  “Good challenge. Looking forward to Monster High 3!”