Runaway, Cordell Barker’s tale about a driverless train filled with happy passengers careening towards an unknown fate, picked up the prize for Best Animated Short at the 2010 Genie Awards. Barker, one of the premier Canadian animation director and a long-time collaborator with the NFB, has been nominated twice for animated short Oscars with his 2002 film Strange Invaders as well the 1989 The Cat Came Back. Runaway also won the Audience Prize this past year at Cannes.
The Genie Awards are given out each year by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Teleivision to celebrate and showcase the year’s best achievements in Canadian cinema. The Academy, founded in 1979, is a national non-profit professional association dedicated to the promotion, recognition and celebration of exceptional achievements in the Canadian film and television industries.
The Genie Awards are based on a peer-voting system. Each year, Academy members, filmmakers, critics, and other industry professionals, are invited to sit on nominating committees. These committees review all submissions to determine nominations across a range of awards categories. The nominations are then voted upon by members of the Academy's Cinema division. Each member is eligible to vote for categories directly related to his/her membership branch (ie. editors vote in the editing category), as well as Best Motion Picture, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, and Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
In order to be eligible for The Genie Awards, a film is required to qualify as a Canadian film production or co-production (as defined by CAVCO and/or CRTC criteria) and have had a theatrical release in Canada between January 1 and December 31 of the previous year.