11 September, 2015

The brilliance of Australian writing for stage, radio and screen shone through at this year’s AWGIE Award ceremony.In what the Australian Writers’ Guild says is a sign of the depth, determination and dexterity of the nation’s performance writing industry, there is a tremendous amount of both writer-driven and writer-originated work. And there are decades of dreams and heartbreaks in the stories behind many of the scripts, as always.It is serendipitous, but also a sign of the times, that all four of the nominated adapted screenplays have already had success in other forms at the hands of the writers themselves.The two screenplays that shared the prestigious Feature Film Adaptation AWGIE were both previously written as stageplays by these talented writers, before being adapted into screenplays. Brendan Cowell first crafted his winning movie Ruben Guthrie as a stage play, as did Tommy Murphy, whose critically-acclaimed adapted stageplay Holding the Man, based on Timotohy Conigrave’s memoir, had its first success on stage in 2006 winning best main stage play of the year. The other two finalists, Last Cab to Darwin, by Reg Cribb with Jeremy Simms made a similarly well-tended journey from stage to screen, and Sucker, by Benn Chessell and Lawrence Leung is based on Leung’s own long-running, award-wining one-man comedy show.AWG President Jan Sardi says the 2015 AWGIEs demonstrate several important milestones for the Australian stage and screen industries.“Not only are many of this year’s recipients multi-talented across platforms, but they place the writer front and centre in the creative process of taking an idea from imagination into an award winning script that can attract the highest calibre of production, direction and acting talent – and of course money,” says Sardi. “At least that’s the idea!”Thirty-seven AWGIEs were presented at the 48th Awards night at Doltone House overlooking Sydney’s Hyde Park, in front of more than three hundred of TV, film, stage, radio and online writers and guests from throughout the Australian industry.The AWGIE for Best Feature Film Original Screenplay went to Andrew Knight and Andrew Anastasios for The Water Diviner. Knight and Anastasios went on to win the 2015 Major Award for their The Water Diviner script. “This is the first time since 2012 that a Feature Film took out the Major Award,” said Sardi. “It is truly a beautiful script to read.”The AWGIE Awards have a unique place in the Australian awards landscape, being judged on the scripts – the writer’s intention – rather than the finished production.Not only the strength but also the breadth of Australia’s performance writing talents were on display this year in the awards in 25 categories spread across stage, screen, radio and online, from children’s theatre to major international movies and musicals.For a full list of 2015 AWGIE winners click HEREFor 2015 AWGIEs Facts and Highlights click HEREMedia Enquiries: Olya BooyarDirector, Communications & Public Affairsolya@awg.com.auT: (02) 8036 6010 M: 0408347409
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