Distinguished writers for both stage and screen, Katherine Thomson and Andrew Bovell each won $25,000 for the Australian Writers Foundation Fellowship and the David Williamson Prize respectively. Thomson’s fellowship was awarded to entice her back to the stage where her career started with an impressive body of work. Bovell’s prize is in recognition of the most outstanding play of the year – The Secret River.
Sue Smith, widely praised for her television work, this year won a $15,000 Australian Writers Foundation Fellowship to further her recent move into theatre. Her play Kryptonite opens at the Sydney Theatre Company on Thursday 11 September.
In addition to the AWGIE Awards for the most outstanding scripts of the year, the night also sees writers taking the opportunity to single out and celebrate individuals who have made contributions so special that they have helped shape the industry. Special awards for the night were:
- Everett DeRoche was posthumously awarded the Dorothy Crawford Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Profession. DeRoche began his career with Crawford Production writing classics such as Homicide and Division Four before making his name for the Ozploitation thrillers Patrick and Razorback.
- The Fred Parsons Award for Outstanding Contribution to Australian Comedy was presented by Julian Morrow to Andrew Denton – a man who needs no introduction to Australian comedy writers or audiences. Denton has done as much behind the scenes as in front of it – nurturing and investing in new generations of Australian comedy talent.
- The Hector Crawford Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Craft via a Body of Script Editing Work went to Peter Matheson. Recognized by the Guild for his generous and creative work with playwrights and theatre companies across Australia.
- The Richard Lane Award for Outstanding Service and Dedication to the Australian Writers’ Guild was awarded to Jon Stephens and Bruce Pulsford. Considered the Guild’s highest honour, the award recongises the all too often unsung heroes who have given long and generous service to the Guild in support of writers around the country.
Winner of the Foxtel Fellowship, established to recognise and reward a writer with an impressive and significant body of work in television, was Kelly Lefever. Lefever’s credits span Australian television history from Prisoners to Home and Away to the prize-winning drama The Circuit where she both wrote scripts and nurtured new writers.
The yet to be seen TV mini-series, The Code, was the winner of the Original Television Mini-Series Award, and also took out the Major AWGIE – given to the best of the best – selected from all of the night’s winners across stage, screen, new media and radio. The winning writers are Blake Ayshford, Shelley Birse and Justin Monjo. The six-hour political thriller filmed in Canberra, Broken Hill and the outback, promises a new “Australian noir” when it screens Sunday 21 September on ABC.
New writers breaking through were the winner of the feature film award, Adelaide writer Matthew Cormack, for his first feature, the “bold” and “structurally adventurous” film 52 Tuesdays, and winner of Best Documentary writer Sally McKenzie for A Woman’s Journey Into Sex. The category-busting AUTHENTIC IN ALL CAPS, which is billed as “a web audio adventure” won the Interactive Media Award for creator Christy Dena.
Writer/director Peter Duncan ensured that Rake continues its winning streak in the television series category, though Andrew Knight didn’t go home empty handed winning an AWGIE for his script for the telemovie The Broken Shore, his adaption of the Peter Temple novel. ANZAC Girls won for best adapted mini-series, and Stephen Vagg’s Neighbours script for best serial.
In theatre, Finegan Kruckemeyer won two awards, for his children’s play, The Grumpiest Boy in the World, and for The Violent Outburst That Drew Me To You in the Theatre for Young Audiences category. This category saw joint winners this year – a rare event, as Tom Holloway was also a winner for his adaption of Storm Boy.
The AWGIE Awards are the only awards for writers, judged by writers, and based solely on the script – the writer’s own intention. Each award is judged by a jury of their peers – other writers.
Writers on ABC programs dominated the television categories with wins for episodes of comedy The Moodys, sketch show Wednesday Night Fever, and young audience programmes Hoopla Doopla! and Nowhere Boys.
AWARD RECIPIENTS FOR THE 47th ANNUAL AWGIE AWARDS
Monte Miller – Long Form
Alexei Mizin and Ryan van Dijk
Monte Miller – Short Form
Children’s Television – P
Hoopla Doopla! ‘Snow Business’
Children’s Television – C
Nowhere Boys: Episode 3
The Grumpiest Boy in the World
Get Ace: ‘Ace Gets Braced’
Community and Youth Theatre
Comin’ Home Soon
Theatre for Young Audiences (Joint Winners)
The Violent Outburst That Drew Me To You
Theatre – Stage
The Secret River
AUTHENTIC IN ALL CAPS
Radio – Original Broadcast
My Life in Cookbooks
Documentary – Public Broadcast
A Woman’s Journey Into Sex
Documentary – Corporate and Training
Indigenous Cultural Awareness
Comedy – Sketch or Light Entertainment
Wednesday Night Fever: Series 1
Mat Blackwell, Rick Kalowski, Steve Lynch, Sammy J, Ian Simmons, Joel Slack-Smith and Stephen Walsh with Anne Edmonds, Heath Franklin and Richard Thorp
Comedy – Situation or Narrative
The Moodys: ‘Australia Day’
Phil Lloyd and Trent O’Donnell
Television – Serial
Neighbours: Episode 6857
Television – Series
Rake: Series 3 ‘Their Lordships v. Finnane’
Television Mini Series – Original
Blake Ayshford, Shelley Birse and Justin Monjo
Television Mini Series – Adaptation
Niki Aken and Felicity Packard
Telemovie – Adaptation
The Broken Shore
Feature Film – Original
Blake Ayshford, Shelley Birse and Justin Monjo
Dorothy Crawford Award
For Outstanding Contribution to the Profession
Richard Lane Award
For Outstanding Service and Dedication to the Australian Writers’ Guild
Jon Stephens &
Fred Parsons Award
For Outstanding Contribution to Australian Comedy
Hector Crawford Award
For Outstanding Contribution to the Craft via a Body of Script Editing Work
In Recognition of a Outstanding and Significant Body of Work in Television
David Williamson Prize
In Celebration and Recognition of Excellence in Writing for Australian Theatre
Australian Writers’ Foundation Playwrights Fellowship
The AWGIE Awards are the only Australian awards judged exclusively by esteemed writers on the basis of the script – the writer’s intention. For more information, about the AWGIE’s and the Australian Writers Guild, visit: www.awg.com.au for details.
Image: The Secret River – photo by Heidrun Lohr