Shaun Grant, Tony McNamara, Jacquelin Perske, Andrew Knight, Kate Mulvany, Jan Sardi and Mac Gudgeon were among the recipients of the 52nd annual AWGIE Awards presented in Sydney on Thursday night.
Grant won the feature film adaptation prize for True History of the Kelly Gang while McNamara and Deborah Davis shared best original feature screenplay for The Favourite.
Sardi and Gudgeon accepted the award on Grant’s behalf; he is in LA and will head to Toronto for the world premiere of Justin Kurzel’s bushranger tale which stars George Mackay, Russell Crowe, Nicholas Hoult, Essie Davis and Harry Greenwood.
That was Shaun’s fourth AWGIE following Snowtown, Jasper Jones and Deadline Gallipoli.
Perske’s The Cry was named best telemovie or miniseries of four hours or less and Knight’s first episode of the second season of Jack Irish was judged best series or miniseries of four hours plus.
Kate Mulvany’s adaptation of Ruth Park’s trilogy The Harp in the South won the Major prize for best script of the year, the $100,000 David Williamson prize for excellence in writing for Australian theatre and the stage prize.
Sardi received the Richard Lane award for outstanding service to the Australian Writers’ Guild, which he joined in 1982 and for which he served as president for eight years.
A writer of radio plays, Lane was the AWG’s third president at a time when writers were poorly paid and were forced to give up their rights in perpetuity, according to Sardi.
Sardi tells IF: “The Guild has to keep the flame alive and fight for the professional respect and rewards that writers deserve.”
Previous recipients of that award include Cliff Green, David Williamson, Geoffrey Atherden, Ted Roberts, Tim Pye, Ian David and Kelly Lefever.
“The breadth of our nominees and winners is tremendous,” said AWG CEO Jacqueline Elaine. “Last year a seven-minute dialogue-free animation [Bradley Slabe’s Lost & Found] took out our top award and this year the extraordinary effort behind a six-hour stage adaptation. What a delightful example of the diversity and range characteristic of Australia’s screen and stage writers.”
‘Ghosthunters’ co-producer Paula Jensen and Ben Lawrence.
Ben Lawrence’s Ghosthunters took the documentary prize. Among the other honorees were Alison James’ Judas Collar for best short, Tim Minchin’s Upright for situation or narrative comedy and Hannah and Eliza Reilly’s Sheilas Nancy Wake – WW2 Spy and Mary Ann Bugg – Bushranger for best webseries.
Joel Slack-Smith and Heidi Regan with Nazeem Hussain, Richard Thorp, Penny Greenhalgh and Sophie Braham took the comedy- sketch or light entertainment prize for Orange is the New Brown: Episode 1.
Jason Herbison’s episode 8052 of Neighbours received the TV serial award while Alix Beane’s Mustangs FC: Pity Party won the children’s TV C classification prize and the interactive media category winner was Lucas Taylor for Eleven Eleven.
The Dorothy Crawford award for outstanding contribution to the profession and the industry went to Gudgeon, honouring a career that included positions on the boards of Film Victoria, the AWG and AFTRS and numerous films and TV series credits including The Secret River, Killing Time, Halifax FP, Ground Zero, Last Ride and Wind.
Benjamin Law presented Magda Szubanski with the Fred Parsons award for outstanding contribution to Australian comedy.