Canada

Unité 9 locks up Prix Gémeaux victory; District 31 takes Prix du public

Unité 9, a gritty show about a group of women in a Quebec prison, won the award for best year-long drama at the Prix Gémeaux gala Sunday night.

It was the fourth consecutive year the hugely popular show took the prize.

The 33rd edition of the event, which honours the best in Quebec television, was broadcast live on ICI Radio-Canada from Théâtre Maisonneuve of Place des Arts.

Jean-Philippe Wauthier hosted. Absent from the stage was previous co-host Éric Salvail, a one-time popular television personality now facing a number of sexual misconduct allegations.

Unité 9 was not the only show to be honoured with a repeat award. Lâcher prise, a dramatic comedy about a woman dealing with major burnout, was voted best comedy, as it was in 2017. And Sophie Cadieux, who played the character on the verge of a nervous breakdown, once again took home the award for best actress in a comedy, as she did last year.

Antoine Bertrand also repeated last year’s win as best actor in a comedy for Boomerang, and En direct de l’univers won as best variety show once again.

And as she did in 2017, Céline Bonnier won as best actress in a year-long drama for L’heure bleue, which follows a family trying to recover from a devastating loss.

Among other major winners: the sci-fi drama Plan B, for best dramatic series; Magalie Lépine-Blondeau, as best actress in a dramatic series for Plan B; Vincent-Guillaume Otis, as best actor in a year-long drama for District 31; Fabien Cloutier, as best actor in a dramatic series for Faits divers; Deuxième chance, as best documentary series.

In accepting his award, Cloutier congratulated his sons for not “giving in to this fear of others that some politicians want to establish as the new norm.” Afterward in the press room, he had more to say: “It is Sept. 16, it is 30 degrees, it should perhaps speak more than the number of immigrants that a people like ours can receive.”

In addition to its win for best actor in a year-long drama, District 31 also took home the coveted Prix du public. The series, produced by Fabienne Larouche, had received 12 nominations in all.

In a pre-gala awards ceremony held on Sunday afternoon, Unité 9 took three additional prizes and Lâcher prise took four. The food/lifestyle show Di Stasio was among eight productions that took two prizes.

For a complete list of winners from Sunday’s ceremonies, and from last week’s Soirée des artisans et du documentaire, see academie.ca/prixgemeaux.

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