WGC Awards: TV is ‘bread & butter’

Television series dominated this year's Writers Guild of Canada Top Ten Awards for Excellence in Screenwriting, with feature films sneaking a bare look-in at the awards ceremony, held last week in Toronto....

Television series dominated this year’s Writers Guild of Canada Top Ten Awards for Excellence in Screenwriting, with feature films sneaking a bare look-in at the awards ceremony, held last week in Toronto.

Jim McKee, director of policy and communications for the wgc, puts this emphasis on episodic television down to economic necessity.

‘So much of the production of our industry takes place in television, it’s really the bread and butter of our industry. There’s been a real boom, partly because of tax credits, but also because of the ctf – for Canadian writers the [industry has] been thriving.’

Meanwhile, feature film remains, he says, ‘a difficult area. Access to Canadian screens remains such a difficult proposition; only 3% of Canadian screens will have a Canadian film on them at any one time. Do the math and you’ll see potential returns are difficult to see.’

Made in Canada, among the series honored at the 4th annual awards, distinguished itself as the only show taking multiple awards. Two scripts from the Salter Street Films satire made the cut – ‘Connect the Dots’ from Mark Farrell and ‘Damacles Directs’ from Ed Macdonald.

Genies standout Sunshine (screenplay by Istvan Szabo and Israel Horovitz) and children’s animated feature Jacob Two Two Meets the Hooded Fang (written by Tim Burns) were the only two feature film scripts recognized by the awards.

The awards, which do not use categories, honor work drawn from all areas under the guild’s jurisdiction: feature film, mows, drama series, children’s and youth programming, documentaries, comedy and radio drama. To be eligible, the script must be written by a wgc member.