01/31/2013 01:32 EST | Updated 04/02/2013 05:12 EDT

Laurence Anyways, War Witch lead race for Jutra awards

Canadian Oscar nominee War Witch and film festival favourite Laurence Anyways dominate nominations for the Jutra Awards, the annual prizes for Quebec films.

Xavier Dolan’s Laurence Anyways, which examines the strain on long-time lovers when the main character Laurence wants a sex change, is leading with 10 nominations, including best film. The Prix Jutra nominations were revealed Thursday in Montreal.

Lead actress Suzanne Clément is up for a Jutra for her performance. Dolan, the 23-year-old filmmaker who previously won the best picture Jutra for I Killed My Mother, is vying for best director and best screenplay for Laurence Anyways.

War Witch, or Rebelle — Kim Nguyen’s film about a child stolen from her village to become a soldier in an unnamed African conflict — has nine nominations, including best picture.

Rachel Mwanza, the young actress who Nguyen plucked off the streets of Kinshasa to play the lead, has earned a nomination for best actress, along with teen actor Serge Kanyinda who is up for best supporting actor. Nyugen himself has nods for best director and best screenplay.

Another strong contender that was overlooked for best picture is L’Affaire Dumont, a film that follows a man caught in the prison system and the woman who believes in him. The movie earned eight nominations, including best director for Daniel Grou. Its leads, Marilyn Castonguay and Marc-André Grondin, are in the running for best actress and actor, respectively.

Other films vying for Jutra Awards in multiple categories include Le Torrent, directed by Simon Lavoie, with six nominations; Ésimésac, directed by Luc Picard with five; Mars et Avril, directed by Martin Villeneuve, with five.

The Jutra winners will be presented in a gala on March 17 in Montreal.