Thorne scores twice at AFF

Local darling ends Atlantic Film Festival with wins for best director for Just Buried and best original screenplay for Poor Boy's Game, shared with Clement Virgo

HALIFAX — The 27th Atlantic Film Festival announced its list of awards on Friday, with local filmmaker and festival darling Chaz Thorne going home with two awards.

Thorne won best director for Just Buried, his ghoulish comedy set in rural Nova Scotia. He also shared The Michael Weir Award for best original screenplay with Clement Virgo for Poor Boy’s Game. The Halifax-based boxing and race-relations drama, directed by Virgo, also garnered the prize for Atlantic feature.

The Rex Tasker Documentary Award was taken by Scouts are Cancelled, a portrait of poet John Stiles, directed by John D. Scott, and the Ed Higginson Cinematography Award went to Christopher Ball for the documentary short Fid, directed by Nance Ackerman (Cottonland).

Bruce McDonald’s The Tracey Fragments won best Canadian feature and The Bodybuilder and I, directed by Bryan Friedman, took best Canadian documentary.

Roy Dupuis won best actor for his portrayal of Lt.-Gen. Roméo Dallaire in Shake Hands With The Devil, and Haligonian Ellen Page won best actress for her leading role in The Tracey Fragments.

The winner of this year’s Inspired Script program, presented by Telefilm Canada and Astral Media The Harold Greenberg Fund, was Drew Hagen, for his pitch Pot of Gold, about two friends who leave Nova Scotia for the Alberta oil fields, but don’t find their dreams of wealth coming true. Hagen’s feature treatment was chosen to receive up to $10,000 in development money from the sponsors, and with help from a veteran story editor, he will be presenting the first draft of that script at next year’s Script Out Loud program during the 28th AFF.

Hagen was at this year’s festival having produced the short film Eastern Shore, created as part of the NSI Drama Prize and directed by his partner Eva Madden, who won the Inspired Script program last year with her feature treatment Sweet Nothing.