Martin Cummins, son of Delta-South Richmond MP John Cummins, stepped into the national film spotlight with a Genie Award Monday. “I am so very proud of him,” his father said. The actor-writer-director won best supporting actor for his part in the drama, Love Come Down, a story about two brothers trying to come to terms with their past. The mother of the brothers is in jail for murder. The sons – one of whom is black, the other white – must deal with a history of family abuse as well as guilt over the murder.
“The director Clement Virgo is just outstanding in the way he weaves the elements of this story together and produces this movie,” Cummins said. “It’s an outstanding movie. Martin plays one of the brothers.”
The actor starred in four seasons of Poltergeist, the TV series shot locally. That’s where he got his hand in directing by doing a few of the show’s episodes. In addition to acting, he writes and produces. His first big project, We All Fall Down, also picked up a Genie.
“This is the first movie he’s written, first one he’s directed,” said Cummins, who was on hand in Toronto for his son’s award. “He’s certainly been acting for a long time but this is a big step for him.”
We All Fall Down, like Love Come Down, has made the film festival circuit, but has yet to be commercially released in BC. The film, a drug drama, was shot in Vancouver. It’s a semi-autobiographical story of someone who loses his mother and develops a drug dependency and then manages to shake it off. Helen Shaver picked up the best supporting actress award for her role as a prostitute in the film.
“I fell down a lot of times in my life,” she said in receiving the Genie. “It’s really wonderful to use my experience at the bottom in a place like this.”
Shaver, who has been acting for years, had some reservations in taking on the role, Cummins said, “This was a real challenge for her. She had some concerns about it because she sort of let it all hang out for it, but it turned out excellently.”
By Carolyn Cooke
February 8, 2001