Vancouver actor Dakota Daulby in a scene from Roar
Vancouver actor Dakota Daulby in a scene from Roar

The nominees for the 17th annual Leo Awards, celebrating British Columbia’s film and television industry, were revealed recently. Among the nominees is 20-year old Dakota Daulby who received two best lead actor nominations in both the feature and short drama categories for the films Black Fly and Roar. Daulby shares nominations in both categories with his co-star Matthew MacCaull from the same two films.

In the horror thriller Black Fly, Daulby plays troubled teen Jake Henson who reunites with his estranged brother, played by MacCaull, only to discover a violent side to his older sibling. In the supernatural Roar, Daulby plays another reunited sibling who helps his brother, again played by MacCaull, carry out their dying grandfather’s final wishes.

“I couldn’t do anything but laugh,” says Daulby on learning he was nominated alongside MacCaull for the same awards for the two films. “It is hilarious, but in a good way. We worked hard on the films together, and it is nice that we were both nominated.”

While Daulby and MacCaull had crossed paths in Vancouver’s film community, it wasn’t until appearing together as brothers in the back-to-back movies that the two became friends in real life.

“We did Black Fly first and then about a month later went on to do Roar,” says Daulby. “We originally thought perhaps it was something more than coincidence, but after talking with the [Roar] director we discovered that it really was just a coincidence.”

Matthew MacCaull and Dakota Daulby in a scene from Black Fly
Matthew MacCaull and Dakota Daulby in a scene from Black Fly, Photo: Black Fly / Facebook

The youngest of the nominated actors in both categories, Daulby says it really is an honour just to be nominated.  “It is definitely cool to be nominated while I’m young,” says Dakota who has been working in the film and television business since he was fourteen. “That might not be a huge amount of time for most people, but I’ve been working hard at it.”

For Daulby part of his success comes from surrounding himself with positive people, and while he says he doesn’t want to “jinx” a potential win by preparing an acceptance speech just yet, it is evident that at least one person will be high on his thank you list should he walk away with one, or both, trophies on awards night.

“One person that I really want to give a shout-out to is my acting mentor, Phil Granger,” says Daulby. “He helped me prepare for both films and I really appreciate all that he has done for me.”

Both Black Fly and Roar have also been nominated in their respective categories for best film, director, screen writing, and cinematography.

Leading the way in this year’s crop of Leo Award nominees are the feature film Eadweard, a psychological drama about 19th century stop-motion photography pioneer Eadweard Muybridge which received fifteen nominations, and the CTV police drama Motive that walked away with an impressive twenty-one.

The Leo Awards will be handed out during ceremonies over two consecutive weekends in June. Visit http://leoawards.com for information.