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Canadian screenwriters honored

Polley wins feature film award for 'Away'

MONTREAL — Toronto writer-director Sarah Polley won the feature film award for her directorial debut “Away From Her” at the 2007 Canadian Screenwriting Awards held Monday night in Toronto.

The awards, organized by the Writers Guild of Canada, honor film, TV and radio scripts.

“Away From Her,” which stars Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent, will bow in limited release May 4 across North America, with Lionsgate handling the pic in the U.S. and Mongrel Media in Canada.

Brad Wright picked up the first Writers Guild of Canada Showrunner Award for his work as writer-producer on “Stargate Atlantis” and “Stargate: SG-1.” The comedy and variety award went to thesp-writer Brent Butt and Kevin White for the hit CTV sitcom “Corner Gas,” which stars Butt. The half-hour drama series prize went to Laura Kosterski for an episode of the Montreal production “Naked Josh,” a sexy series about a young university prof that airs on Showcase. Another Showcase drama, “Slings & Arrows,” took the one-hour award. Susan Coyne, Bob Martin and Mark McKinney’s show, set at a Shakespeare fest not unlike the Stratford Festival, airs on the Sundance Channel in the U.S.

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The youth award went to Brent Piaskoski for the Decode Entertainment production “Naturally Sadie,” which runs on the Disney Channel in the U.S. and the Family Channel in the Great White North. The nod for movie of the week or miniseries was nabbed by Newfoundland writers John W. Doyle and Lisa Porter for the CBC mini “Above and Beyond,” which stars Richard E. Grant and looks at Lord Beaverbrook’s attempt to transport aircraft from Newfoundland to Europe during WWII.

The Jim Burt Screenwriting Prize, for unproduced script, went to Ryan Redford for the screenplay “Bones.” Barry Stevens drew the documentary nod for “The Bomber’s Dream,” which ran on History Television in Canada. The awards are presented solely based on the merits of the script and not on the productions.

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