At 44 years old, the Alberta Film and Television Awards, or the “Rosies” as they are affectionately known, are the oldest film and television awards show in Canada, dating back to 1974. This past weekend on May 12, 2018, Boom was pleased to produce the awards, which marked a defining year for Alberta: “100 years of cinema in the province”. The epoch film, Until They Get Medirected by American director Frank Borzage’s and released in 1917, was the first film shot in Alberta. A cut from the original film was screened in honor of the century marker.
The Rosie Awards fall into two category streams – 27 class awards, presented for productions produced or co-produced by an Alberta production company, and 33 craft categories for craftspeople who lived in Alberta for the 2017 calendar year, summing 60 award categories presented. The awards are determined on a submission basis, and a total of 686 class and craft entries were submitted to be judged this year.
Alberta has an impressive resume of media production, including one of the most currently successful and anticipated television shows of all time; Game of Thrones shot on location near Banff for three seasons, and Alberta’s own Heartland filmed in and around the Albertan town of High River, and which has aired for an impressive eleven seasons. Distinguished Hollywood blockbusters Inception, Brokeback Mountain, Legend of The Fall, The Borne Legacy, and The Revenant were all shot in Alberta. With anticipated sector growth in media production in Alberta, and growing international recognition as a major production destination, it is no surprise that Alberta celebrates the best and brightest accomplishments of cinematic creation with the AMPIA Rosie Awards.
The Imperial Ballroom in the Hyatt Regency Calgary was the perfect space to gather guests for an elevated awards show experience. The grand size of the ballroom set the stage for the Boom Goes the Drum team to develop and execute an enormous tech script with the incomparable partnership of FM Systems, Pro-Show, and Orange Frog Productions, who elevated the visual and technical aspects of the entire show. 570 guests walked into a room equipped with 4 large wall screens for a 360 degree view of the show, a stage for winners to accept their awards, and a massive 12 foot by 56 foot screen, which played the category nominee and winner reel for each of the 60 award categories. Among these categories was the newly renamed Fil Fraser Award for Best Student Production, in honour of the Albertan filmmaker and broadcaster, production company founder, and Canada’s first black broadcaster. Randal Fraser, Fil Fraser’s son, was on deck to present his father’s namesake award and to commend his father’s impressive career in Albertan filmmaking and broadcasting.
Bonnie Thompson was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award after 18 years with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). Her career with the NFB is a highlight reel of Albertan talent and technical execution. Bonnie helped produce more that 65 films out of the organisation’s Edmonton office. In Bonnie’s acceptance speech she praised the talent of her colleagues in all areas of production, and made a call for the industry to “make room for women, for aboriginals, and minorities”, for their talent, expertise, and perspectives. As noted, guests were treated to a clip from Frank Borzage’s 1917 film Until They Get Me, a short of the magic of Hollywood films shot in Alberta’s majesty, Women in Film & Television Alberta has an important message to create opportunities for women in media production, a highlight reel of Bonnie Thompson’s greatest life works, and the AMPIA 100 film which was a compilation of films shot in Alberta by Albertan’s. The guests were treated to a three-course meal thoughout the show, and the master of ceremonies, Mr. Fred Keating, kept the award transitions light and fun.
Next year, the AMPIA Awards go into their 45thyear of celebrating the best in Albertan media production. You can find more information on The Alberta Media Production Industries Association (AMPIA) and the 2018 Rosie Awards here. If you find yourself wanting to rub shoulders with Albert’s top talent at the 2019, 45thanniversary, then head over to the site as tickets are open to the public and next year’s Rosie Awards are sure to be another night to remember.