‘Rumble’ Sweeps Screenies

Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World

By Pat Mullen

It’s a clean sweep! Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World won all three awards for feature-length documentary at last night’s Canadian Screen Awards. The doc directed by Catherine Bainbridge and Alfonso Maiorana picked up honours for Best Documentary Feature, cinematography and film editing. The wins for Rumble marked the first time that a film swept all three documentary categories at the Screenies.

The Screenie victories gave Rumble a strong finish after cleaning up all year long. The film, which chronicled the unsung contributions of Indigenous voices in rock and roll history, was a favourite of critics and audiences on the festival circuit. Rumble debuted at last year’s Sundance Film Festival where it won a special jury prize for masterful storytelling and then scored a one-two punch at Hot Docs by winning the Audience Award for Best Canadian Feature and the Audience Award as the overall festival favourite. The film also landed on this year’s Canada’s Top Ten list alongside Screenie nominee Unarmed Verses. Bainbridge and Maiorana’s film had the most star-studded roster of talking heads in a Canadian doc in recent memory with big names like Robbie Robertson, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Steven Tyler, Tony Bennett, and Martin Scorsese among the cast of interviewees.

Other wins on the documentary front at the Screenies included Take a Walk on the Wild Side for Best Documentary Short. The film directed by Lisa Rideout profiled Toronto entrepreneur Paddy Alridge and her mission to help members of the LGBTQ community find comfort in their own skin.

In the only documentary category to make the prime time broadcast, the CBC doc The Secret Path scooped the Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary Program. The Secret Path adapted the graphic novel by Jeff Lemire and told the story of Chanie Wenjack, who fled Residential School and embarked on a 600 km trek home. The award provided a sentimental highlight of the night by giving late Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie his second posthumous win of Canadian Screen Week after being honoured for the film’s music a few days prior. Watch The Secret Path below.

Last night’s wins capped off a full week of Screenie gongs. Winners were previously announced in the broadcast non-fiction categories, while the interactive doc The Space We Hold, an iteration of Tiffany Hsiung’s feature The Apology, won in the digital fĂȘte.

Last night’s complete list of Canadian Screen Awards documentary winners:

Ted Rogers Best Feature Length Documentary:
Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World – Stevie Salas, Tim Johnson, Christina Fon, Catherine Bainbridge, Alfonso Maiorana, Linda Ludwick, Lisa M. Roth, Ernest Webb, Diana Holtzberg, Jan Rofekamp

Best Cinematography in a Feature Length Documentary:
Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World – Alfonso Maiorana

Best Editing in a Feature Length Documentary:
Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World – Benjamin Duffield, Jeremiah Hayes

Best Documentary Short:
Take a Walk on the Wild Side – Lisa Rideout, Lauren Grant, Sasha Fisher

Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary:
The Secret Path – Stuart Coxe, Mike Downie, Jocelyn Hamilton, Gord Downie, Justin Stephenson, Jeff Lemire, Sarah Polley, Patrick Downie