'Corner Gas,' 'Stone Angel' among finalists

MONTREAL — Writers for the hit TV shows “Corner Gas” and “This Hour Has 22 Minutes” and the films “The Stone Angel” and “Poor Boy’s Game” are among finalists for the 2008 Canadian Screenwriting Awards.

The Writers Guild of Canada announced the nominees on Monday and the awards will be doled out at a ceremony in Toronto on April 14.

There are 33 finalists in nine categories. The shortlist for one-hour drama series includes Denis McGrath and Robert Wertheimer for an episode of “Across the River to Motor City”; Laurie Finstad Knizhnik for serial killer series “Durham County”; Chris Haddock for the recently-cancelled CBC crime drama “Intelligence”; and Peter Mitchell for “Sabbatical.”

The feature film finalists are Travis McDonald for “Normal”; Chaz Thorne and Clement Virgo for the Virgo-directed boxing drama “Poor Boy’s Game”; and helmer Kari Skogland for her adaptation of the classic Margaret Laurence novel “The Stone Angel,” which starred Ellen Burstyn.

The comedy and variety category has been split into two separate categories this year, variety and half-hour drama.

The odd wrinkle is that two of the finalists in the half-hour drama category are for episodes of “Corner Gas,” the hit CTV sitcom. Mark Farrell is nominated for one “Corner Gas” episode and Farrell and Robert Sheridan are nominated for another episode of the prairie town comedy. The other finalist in the half-hour drama category is Daegan Fryklind for CTV’s “Robson Arms,” a dramedy.

The variety show finalists are Rick Green and Duncan McKenzie for “History Bites Special, The Separatists” and two writing teams for episodes of long-running CBC satirical sketch show “This Hour Has 22 Minutes.”

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