Ghosts of Afghanistan

Ghosts of Afghanistan, Oscar Peterson Lead Canadian Screen Award Winners

Academy announces documentary and factual winners

6 mins read

Ghosts of Afghanistan and Oscar Peterson: Black + White topped the first wave of Canadian Screen Award winners. The documentaries won three awards each in the presentation of News, Documentary, and Factual categories during Canadian Screen Week. The awards were presented virtually with the Academy announcing winners on Twitter as well.

Directed by Julian Sher, Natalie Dubois, and Graeme Smith, Ghosts of Afghanistan took top honours in the documentary categories  at the Canadian Screen Awards with a win for the Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary Program. The doc follows Canadian journalist Graeme Smith as he captures the stories of people on the ground working to rebuild Afghanistan in the aftermath of war. Ghosts of Afghanistan also won for writing and picture editing. It is available to stream on YouTube.

Oscar Peterson: Black + White scored a win for Best Biography or Arts Documentary Program or Series. The doc directed by Barry Avrich explores the life and career of the acclaimed jazz pianist through archives, interviews, and performances by contemporary artists he inspired. Black + White also won honours for Avrich’s direction and the Barbara Sears Award for Best Visual Research. The film is now playing on Crave. Black + White led the TV doc nominees overall.

On the environmental front, Borealis directed by Kevin McMahon, won two prizes including Rob Stewart Award for Best Science or Nature Documentary Program or Series. Borealis’s visually striking consideration of the Canadian landscape also netted a win for John Minh Tran’s cinematography. Borealis is now streaming at

The film categories were split between wins for My Tree and Prayer for a Lost Mitten. The docs won prizes for film editing and cinematography, respectively. Both films are nominated in the Ted Rogers Best Feature Length Documentary Award, which will be revealed later this week.


The full list of  2022 documentary and factual Canadian Screen Award winners:


Best Editing in a Feature Length Documentary  

Ben Lawrence – My Tree


Best Cinematography in a Feature Length Documentary

Marianne Ploska – Prayer for a Lost Mitten | Prière pour une mitaine perdue


Best Short Documentary  

Sponsor | Hot Docs

Nalujuk Night – Jennie Williams, Latonia Hartery, Kat Baulu, Rohan Fernando, Annette Clarke


Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary Program

Sponsor | ROGERS

Ghosts of Afghanistan – Arnie Gelbart, Julian Sher, Natalie Dubois


Rob Stewart Award for Best Science or Nature Documentary Program or Series

Borealis  – Kevin McMahon, Michael McMahon, Kristina McLaughlin, Justine Pimlott, Felicity Justrabo


Best History Documentary Program or Series

How to Start a Revolution – Catherine Legge, Tarannum Kamlani, Geoff Turner, Francis Plourde, Anne MacRae


Best Biography or Arts Documentary Program or Series                      

Oscar Peterson: Black + White – Randy Lennox, Jeffrey Latimer, Barry Avrich, Mark Selby


Best Writing, Documentary

Ghosts of Afghanistan – Julian Sher, Graeme Smith, Natalie Dubois


Best Picture Editing, Documentary

Ghosts of Afghanistan – Susan Shanks


Best Original Music, Non-Fiction

The Covid Cruise- Erica Procunier


Best Photography, Documentary or Factual

Borealis – John Minh Tran


Barbara Sears Award for Best Editorial Research

W5Flight 752 – Stephen Bandera, Shelley Ayres


Barbara Sears Award for Best Visual Research      

Oscar Peterson: Black + White – Mark Selby


Best Documentary Program

Catching a Serial Killer: Bruce McArthur – Carrie Mudd, James Buddy Day, Ryan Valentini, Diana Foley


Best Direction, Documentary Program

Oscar Peterson: Black + White – Barry Avrich


Best Direction, Documentary Series

Being Black in Halifax – Kardeisha Provo, Tyler Simmonds, Dena Williams, Lily Nottage


Best Factual Series

Employable Me – Thomas Howe, Penny Wheelwright, Katie Lafferty, Claire Freeland


Best Direction, Factual

Spirit TalkerMembertou First Nation, NS – Stephanie Clattenburg


Best Writing, Factual

Arctic Vets – Arctic Goodbyes – Jeff Thrasher


Best Picture Editing, Factual

Arctic VetsPolar Bear Heli-Rescue – Anna Bigos


Pat Mullen is the publisher of POV Magazine. He holds a Master’s in Film Studies from Carleton University where his research focused on adaptation and Canadian cinema. Pat has also contributed to outlets including The Canadian Encyclopedia, Paste, That Shelf, Sharp, Xtra, and Complex. He is the vice president of the Toronto Film Critics Association and an international voter for the Golden Globe Awards.

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