Canadian Screen Award for Best Screenplay

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television presents one or more annual awards for the Best Screenplay for a Canadian film. Originally presented in 1968 as part of the Canadian Film Awards, from 1980 until 2012 the award continued as part of the Genie Awards ceremony. As of 2013, it is presented as part of the Canadian Screen Awards.

In their present form, two awards are presented for Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay, although historically this division was not always observed. In the Canadian Film Awards era, two awards were usually presented in Feature and Non-Feature (television films, short films, etc.) categories, although on two occasions the feature category was further divided into separate categories for Original and Adapted Screenplay, resulting in the presentation of three screenplay awards overall, and on two occasions only one award for Non-Feature Screenplay was presented. Beginning with the 1st Genie Awards, permanent categories for Original and Adapted Screenplay were introduced, although in some years in the 1980s and 1990s they were again temporarily collapsed back into a single award for Best Screenplay.

Under current Academy rules, the categories are collapsed into one if either category has fewer than five eligible submissions within the qualifying period; however, if both categories receive five or more eligible submissions, then separate awards are presented even if one category or the other ends up with fewer than five final nominees. To date, the 19th Genie Awards (presented in 1999 for films released in 1998) is the last time the categories were collapsed; since the 20th Genie Awards the following year, the separate awards have consistently been presented.


Year Nominee Film
20th Canadian Film Awards
Screenplay (Non-Feature)
Phillip Hersch Swing Low Sweet Chariot
21st Canadian Film Awards
Screenplay (Non-Feature)
Joan Finnegan The Best Damn Fiddler from Calabogie to Kaladar


Year Nominee Film
22nd Canadian Film Awards
Screenplay (Feature)
William Fruet Goin' Down the Road
Screenplay (Non-Feature)
Ian McNeill Freud: The Hidden Nature of Man
23rd Canadian Film Awards
Screenplay (Feature)
Clément Perron Mon oncle Antoine
Screenplay (Non-Feature)
Don Arioli Propaganda Message and Hot Stuff
24th Canadian Film Awards
Screenplay (Feature)
Gilles Carle The True Nature of Bernadette (La Vraie Nature de Bernadette)
Screenplay (Non-Feature)
Michel Tremblay Françoise Durocher, Waitress
25th Canadian Film Awards
Screenplay (Feature)
Jacques Benoît, Denys Arcand Réjeanne Padovani
Screenplay (Non-Feature)
Alvin Goldman, Douglas Jackson The Sloane Affair
No awards presented this year
26th Canadian Film Awards
Original Screenplay (Feature)
Michel Brault Les Ordres
Adapted Screenplay (Feature)
William Weintraub Why Rock the Boat?
Screenplay (Non-Feature)
Patricia Watson A Bird in the House
27th Canadian Film Awards
Screenplay (Feature)
Ted Allan Lies My Father Told Me
Screenplay (Non-Feature)
David King For Gentlemen Only
28th Canadian Film Awards
Original Screenplay (Feature)
Robin Spry, Peter Pearson, Peter Madden One Man
Adapted Screenplay (Feature)
James DeFelice Why Shoot the Teacher?
Screenplay (Non-Feature)
Cam Hubert Dreamspeaker
29th Canadian Film Awards
Screenplay (Feature)
Martyn Burke Power Play
Richard Gabourie Three Card Monte
William Gray, John Hunter Blood and Guts
Screenplay (Non-Feature)
Gilles Carle The Machine Age (L'Âge de la machine)


Year Nominees Film
1st Genie Awards
Original screenplay
Janis Allen, Dan Goldberg, Len Blum Meatballs
Mireille Dansereau Heartbreak (L'Arrache-cœur)
Allan Moyle, John Laing, Stephen Lack The Rubber Gun
Jim Osborne Summer's Children
Anne Claire Poirier, Marthe Blackburn A Scream from Silence (Mourir à tue-tête)
Steven Hilliard Stern Running
Adapted screenplay
Diana Maddox, William Gray The Changeling
Ted Allan It Rained All Night the Day I Left
Jean Beaudin, Marcel Sabourin Cordelia
R. J. Dryer, Martin Lager Jack London's Klondike Fever
Jean-Claude Lord, Jean Salvy Chocolate Eclair (Éclair au chocolat)
2nd Genie Awards
Original screenplay
Réjean Ducharme Good Riddance (Les Bons débarras)
Marc Rosen Final Assignment
Jean-Claude Labrecque, Jacques Benoit L'Affaire Coffin
Micheline Lanctôt The Handyman (L'Homme à tout faire)
Ken Mitchell The Hounds of Notre Dame
Adapted screenplay
Max Fischer The Lucky Star
Bernard Slade Tribute
Ronald Sutherland, Robin Spry Suzanne
3rd Genie Awards
Original screenplay
Terence Heffernan Heartaches
Clay Borris Alligator Shoes
Paul Illidge, James Sanderson Head On
Adam Arkin, Ian Sutherland, Morrie Ruvinsky Improper Channels
Réjean Ducharme Happy Memories (Les Beaux souvenirs)
David Cronenberg Scanners
Adapted screenplay
Roger Lemelin, Gilles Carle The Plouffe Family (Les Plouffe)
Anne Cameron, Ralph L. Thomas Ticket to Heaven
Diana Maddox The Amateur
4th Genie Awards
Original screenplay
John Hunter The Grey Fox
Phil Savath, Laurence Keane, Chris Windsor Big Meat Eater
David Lee Henry Harry Tracy, Desperado
John Juliani, Sharon Riis Latitude 55°
Roger Fournier A Day in a Taxi (Une journée en taxi)
Adapted screenplay
Richard Paluck, Robert Guza, Jr. Melanie
Peter Dion The Hot Touch
5th Genie Awards
Bob Clark A Christmas Story
David Cronenberg Videodrome
Jack Darcus Deserters
Timothy Findley The Wars
6th Genie Awards
Daniel Petrie The Bay Boy
Micheline Lanctôt Sonatine
Michel Langlois, Léa Pool A Woman in Transit (La Femme de l'hôtel)
Don Owen Unfinished Business
7th Genie Awards
Sandy Wilson My American Cousin
Lise Lemay-Rousseau The Alley Cat (Le Matou)
Mordecai Richler Joshua Then and Now
Louise Rinfret, Claude Jutra The Dame in Colour (La Dame en couleurs)
8th Genie Awards
Original screenplay
Denys Arcand The Decline of the American Empire (Le Déclin de l'empire américain)
Sharon Riis Loyalties
Yves Simoneau, Pierre Curzi Intimate Power (Pouvoir intime)
Richard Nichol Sitting in Limbo
Michael Jones, Andy Jones The Adventure of Faustus Bidgood
Adapted screenplay
Leon Marr Dancing in the Dark
Gordon Pinsent John and the Missus
Peter Rowe Lost!
9th Genie Awards
Jean-Claude Lauzon Night Zoo (Un zoo la nuit)
Sally Bochner, John N. Smith, Sam Grana Train of Dreams
Atom Egoyan Family Viewing
William D. MacGillivray Life Classes
Patricia Rozema I've Heard the Mermaids Singing
10th Genie Awards
Original screenplay
Trevor Rhone, Glen Salzman Milk and Honey
André Melançon, Jacques Bobet The Tadpole and the Whale (La Grenouille et la baleine)
Marie-José Raymond, Claude Fournier, Michel Cournot The Mills of Power (Les Tisserands du pouvoir)
Guy Maddin Tales from the Gimli Hospital
Michael Rubbo Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller
Adapted screenplay
Norman Snider, David Cronenberg Dead Ringers
Jackie Burroughs A Winter Tan
Francis Mankiewicz, Jacques Savoie The Revolving Doors (Les Portes tournantes)
Robin Spry, Douglas Bowie Obsessed
Phil Savath The Outside Chance of Maximilian Glick


Year Nominees Film
11th Genie Awards
Original screenplay
Denys Arcand Jesus of Montreal (Jésus de Montréal)
Anne Wheeler Bye Bye Blues
Don McKellar Roadkill
Atom Egoyan Speaking Parts
Colleen Murphy Termini Station
Peter Mettler The Top of His Head
Adapted screenplay
Richard Beattie, L. Elliot Simms Cold Comfort
Dany Laferrière, Richard Sadler How to Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired (Comment faire l'amour avec un nègre sans se fatiguer)
John Varley Millennium
12th Genie Awards
Original screenplay
Paul Quarrington, Eugene Lipinski Perfectly Normal
Claire Wojas Love Crazy (Amoureux fou)
Darrell Wasyk H
Pierre Falardeau The Party (Le Party)
André Forcier, Jacques Marcotte An Imaginary Tale (Une Histoire inventée)
Adapted screenplay
Brian Moore Black Robe
James DeFelice, Anne Wheeler Angel Square
Léa Pool, Laurent Gagliardi, Michel Langlois The Savage Woman (La Demoiselle sauvage)
13th Genie Awards
Original screenplay
Jean-Claude Lauzon Léolo
Paul Donovan, Bill Fleming Buried on Sunday
Paul Tana, Bruno Ramirez La Sarrasine
Jeff Schultz North of Pittsburgh
Francis Damberger Solitaire
Adapted screenplay
David Cronenberg Naked Lunch
Kelly Rebar Bordertown Café
Yvon Rivard, Jacques Leduc Phantom Life (La Vie fantôme)
David Brandes The Quarrel
Gail Singer True Confections
14th Genie Awards
Peggy Thompson The Lotus Eaters
Suzette Couture, Pierre Sarrazin La Florida
Atom Egoyan Calendar
François Girard, Don McKellar Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould
David King Harmony Cats
15th Genie Awards
Original screenplay
Atom Egoyan Exotica
Mina Shum Double Happiness
Gilles Desjardins Les Pots cassés
Roger Cantin Matusalem
Léa Pool Desire in Motion (Mouvements du désir)
Adapted screenplay
Brad Fraser Love and Human Remains
Jefferson Lewis Ordinary Magic
Paul Quarrington, Richard J. Lewis Whale Music
16th Genie Awards
Gerald Wexler, Mort Ransen Margaret's Museum
Sylvain Guy Black List (Liste noire)
Clément Virgo Rude
Stephen Williams Soul Survivor
17th Genie Awards
Original screenplay
Pierre Gang Not Me! (Sous-sol)
Andrew Rai Berzins Blood and Donuts
Gilles Carle Poor Man's Pudding (Pudding chômeur)
Donald Martin Never Too Late
Peter Wellington, Doug Smith The Boys Club
Adapted screenplay
David Cronenberg Crash
Noel Baker Hard Core Logo
Michel Marc Bouchard, Linda Gaboriau Lilies
John L'Ecuyer Curtis's Charm
Robert Lepage, Marie Brassard Polygraph (Le Polygraphe)
18th Genie Awards
Thom Fitzgerald The Hanging Garden
Atom Egoyan The Sweet Hereafter
André Forcier The Countess of Baton Rouge (La Comtesse de Bâton Rouge)
Gabriel Pelletier, Yves Pelletier, Andrée Pelletier, Ann Burke Karmina
Lynne Stopkewich, Angus Fraser Kissed
19th Genie Awards
François Girard, Don McKellar The Red Violin
Don McKellar Last Night
André Morency, Robert Lepage
Allan Scott Regeneration
Sooni Taraporevala Such a Long Journey
20th Genie Awards
Original screenplay
Louis Bélanger Post Mortem
Bruce McCulloch Dog Park
Jeremy Podeswa The Five Senses
Léa Pool Set Me Free (Emporte-moi)
Monique Proulx The Big Snake of the World (Le Grand Serpent du monde)
Adapted screenplay
Atom Egoyan Felicia's Journey
François Bouvier, Marc Robitaille Winter Stories (Histoires d'hiver)
Jean-Philippe Duval, Alexis Martin Matroni and Me (Matroni et moi)
Kim Hogan Heart of the Sun
Wayne Johnston The Divine Ryans
Monique Proulx, Jean Beaudin Memories Unlocked (Souvenirs intimes)


Year Nominees Film
21st Genie Awards
Denis Villeneuve Maelström
Denys Arcand, Jacob Potashnik Stardom
Frank Borg My Father's Angel
Michel Marc Bouchard, Gilles Desjardins The Orphan Muses (Les Muses orphelines)
Clement Virgo Love Come Down
22nd Genie Awards
Paul Apak Angilirq Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner
Renny Bartlett Eisenstein
Catherine Martin Marriages (Mariages)
Judith Thompson Lost and Delirious
André Turpin Soft Shell Man (Un crabe dans la tête)
23rd Genie Awards
Original screenplay
Deepa Mehta Bollywood/Hollywood
Atom Egoyan Ararat
Paul Gross, John Krizanc Men with Brooms
Robert Morin The Negro (Le nèg')
Jean-Phillipe Pearson, Patrice Robitaille, Ricardo Trogi Québec-Montréal
Adapted screenplay
Sharon Riis Savage Messiah
Dominique Demers The Mysterious Miss C. (La Mystérieuse mademoiselle C.)
Patrick McGrath Spider
Edward Riche Rare Birds
Judith Thompson Perfect Pie
24th Genie Awards
Original screenplay
Denys Arcand The Barbarian Invasions (Les Invasions barbares)
Louis Bélanger Gaz Bar Blues
Sébastien Rose How My Mother Gave Birth to Me During Menopause (Comment ma mère accoucha de moi durant sa ménopause)
Ken Scott Seducing Doctor Lewis (La Grande séduction)
Peter Wellington Luck
Adapted screenplay
Robert Lepage Far Side of the Moon (La Face cachée de la lune)
Maurice Chauvet Owning Mahowny
Daniel MacIvor Marion Bridge
Charles Martin Smith The Snow Walker
Esta Spalding Falling Angels
25th Genie Awards
Original screenplay
Francis Leclerc, Marcel Beaulieu Looking for Alexander (Mémoires affectives)
Denise Filiatrault Bittersweet Memories (Ma vie en cinémascope)
Federico Hidalgo, Paulina Robles A Silent Love
Don McKellar, Michael Goldbach Childstar
David "Sudz" Sutherland Love, Sex and Eating the Bones
Adapted screenplay
Luc Dionne, Sylvain Guy Machine Gun Molly (Monica la mitraille)
Joël Champetier, Daniel Roby White Skin (La Peau blanche)
Jerry Ciccoritti Blood
Todd Klinck, Jaie Laplante, John Palmer Sugar
Jacob Tierney Twist
26th Genie Awards
Original screenplay
Jean-Marc Vallée, François Boulay C.R.A.Z.Y.
Louise Archambault Familia
Michael Dowse It's All Gone Pete Tong
Deepa Mehta Water
Luc Picard Audition (L'Audition)
Adapted screenplay
Atom Egoyan Where the Truth Lies
Diane Cailhier The Outlander (Le Survenant)
David Christensen Six Figures
Luc Dionne Aurore
Nathalie Petrowski Maman Last Call
27th Genie Awards
Original screenplay
Philippe Falardeau Congorama
Martin Girard, Ghyslaine Côté A Family Secret (Le secret de ma mère)
Stéphane Lapointe The Secret Life of Happy People (La Vie secrète des gens heureux)
Ken Scott The Little Book of Revenge (Guide de la petite vengeance)
Ken Scott The Rocket (Maurice Richard)
Adapted screenplay
Robert Favreau, Gil Courtemanche A Sunday in Kigali (Un dimanche à Kigali)
Mike Clattenburg, Robb Wells Trailer Park Boys: The Movie
François Létourneau Cheech
28th Genie Awards
Original screenplay
Steven Knight Eastern Promises
Denys Arcand Days of Darkness (L'Âge des ténèbres)
Douglas Coupland Everything's Gone Green
Pierre Lamothe, Claude Lalonde The 3 L'il Pigs (Les 3 p'tits cochons)
Marc-André Lavoie, Simon Olivier Fecteau and David Gauthier Bluff
Adapted screenplay
Sarah Polley Away From Her
Michael Donovan Shake Hands With the Devil
Maureen Medved The Tracey Fragments
29th Genie Awards
Original screenplay
Bernard Émond The Necessities of Life (Ce qu'il faut pour vivre)
Randall Cole Real Time
Travis McDonald Normal
Deepa Mehta Heaven on Earth
Guillaume Vigneault Everything Is Fine (Tout est parfait)
Adapted screenplay
Marie-Sissi Labrèche, Lyne Charlebois Borderline
Richie Mehta, Shaun Mehta Amal
Jeremy Podeswa Fugitive Pieces
30th Genie Awards
Original screenplay
Jacques Davidts Polytechnique
David Bezmozgis Victoria Day
Atom Egoyan Adoration
Émile Gaudreault, Ian Lauzon Father and Guns (De père en flic)
Charles Officer, Ingrid Veninger Nurse.Fighter.Boy
Adapted screenplay
Kari Skogland Fifty Dead Men Walking
Tony Burgess Pontypool
Marie-Hélène Cousineau, Susan Avingaq, Madeline Ivalu Before Tomorrow (Le jour avant le lendemain)


Year Film Filmmakers
31st Genie Awards
Original screenplay
Jacob Tierney The Trotsky
Peter Stebbings Defendor
Adriana Maggs Grown Up Movie Star
Louis Bélanger, Alexis Martin Route 132
Claude Lalonde 10½
Adapted screenplay
Denis Villeneuve Incendies
Michael Konyves Barney's Version
Lee MacDougall High Life
Vic Sarin, Dennis Foon, Catherine Spear A Shine of Rainbows
Patrick Senécal 7 Days (Les 7 jours du Talion)
32nd Genie Awards
Original screenplay
Ken Scott, Martin Petit Starbuck
Anne Émond Nuit #1
Eilis Kirwan, Larysa Kondracki The Whistleblower
Jean-Marc Vallée Café de Flore
Ryan Ward, Matthew Heiti Son of the Sunshine
Adapted screenplay
Philippe Falardeau Monsieur Lazhar
Ryan Redford Oliver Sherman
Steven Silver The Bang Bang Club
David F. Shamoon In Darkness
1st Canadian Screen Awards
Original screenplay
Kim Nguyen War Witch (Rebelle)
Jason Buxton Blackbird
Xavier Dolan Laurence Anyways
Bernard Émond All That You Possess (Tout ce que tu possèdes)
Michael McGowan Still Mine
Adapted screenplay
Salman Rushdie Midnight's Children
Jay Baruchel, Evan Goldberg Goon
David Cronenberg Cosmopolis
Anita Doron The Lesser Blessed
Martin Villeneuve Mars and April (Mars et Avril)
2nd Canadian Screen Awards
Original screenplay
Shannon Masters Empire of Dirt
Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais, Marc Tulin Whitewash
Richie Mehta Siddharth
Sébastien Pilote The Dismantling (Le Démantèlement)
Jonathan Sobol The Art of the Steal
Adapted screenplay
Elan Mastai The F Word
Michel Marc Bouchard, Xavier Dolan Tom at the Farm (Tom à la ferme)
Javier Gullón Enemy
Robert Lepage Triptyque
Ken Scott, Michael Dowse The Grand Seduction
3rd Canadian Screen Awards
Original screenplay
Xavier Dolan Mommy
Pearl Ball-Harding, Albert Shin In Her Place
Atom Egoyan, David Fraser The Captive
Stéphane Lafleur Tu dors Nicole
Bruce Wagner Maps to the Stars
Adapted screenplay
Nicolas Billon Elephant Song
Scott Abramovitch The Calling
Joel Thomas Hynes Cast No Shadow
4th Canadian Screen Awards
Original screenplay
Benjamin August Remember
Anne Émond Our Loved Ones (Les Êtres chers)
Philippe Falardeau My Internship in Canada (Guibord s'en va-t'en-guerre)
Matthew Hansen Zoom
André Turpin Endorphine
Adapted screenplay
Emma Donoghue Room
Josh Epstein, Kyle Rideout Eadweard
Wiebke von Carolsfeld The Saver
5th Canadian Screen Awards
Original screenplay
Daniel MacIvor Weirdos
Kevan Funk Hello Destroyer
Zacharias Kunuk Searchers (Maliglutit)
Johnny Ma Old Stone
Stella Meghie Jean of the Joneses
Adapted screenplay
Xavier Dolan It's Only the End of the World (Juste la fin du monde)
Bachir Bensaddek Montreal, White City (Montréal la blanche)
David Bezmozgis Natasha
6th Canadian Screen Awards
Original screenplay
Sherry White Maudie
Josh Epstein, Kyle Rideout Adventures in Public School
Sadaf Foroughi Ava
Kathleen Hepburn Never Steady, Never Still
Sarah Kolasky, Adam Garnet Jones Great Great Great
Adapted screenplay
Anita Doron The Breadwinner
Nicole Bélanger Cross My Heart (Les Rois mongols)
Susan Coyne The Man Who Invented Christmas
Simon Lavoie The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches (La petite fille qui aimait trop les allumettes)
Gabriel Sabourin It's the Heart That Dies Last (C'est le cœur qui meurt en dernier)
7th Canadian Screen Awards
Original screenplay
Catherine Léger Slut in a Good Way (Charlotte a du fun)
Renée Beaulieu Les Salopes, or the Naturally Wanton Pleasure of Skin (Les salopes ou le sucre naturel de la peau)
Marc Bisaillon With Love (L'Amour)
Philippe Lesage Genesis (Genèse)
Guillaume Lemans Just a Breath Away (Dans la brume)
Adapted screenplay
Robert Budreau Stockholm
Sharon Lewis Brown Girl Begins
Nathan Parker Our House
Arturo Pérez Torres The Drawer Boy
Paul Risacher, Claude Landry, Maxime Landry Racetime (La Course des tuques)
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