Everything about Awards, eh?

TSC’s Glenn Cockburn talks the Toronto Screenwriting Awards

Have you got a script you deem award-worthy? The Toronto Screenwriting Conference wants to read it. The two-day event, scheduled to take place June 23-24, 2018, at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in downtown Toronto, is set to make an international splash with its first-ever Toronto Screenwriting Awards.

Celebrating the best in 12 categories—film (drama, comedy, genre, animation) and television (serialized drama, procedural drama, genre drama, family drama, single-camera comedy, multi-camera comedy, youth & family comedy, animation comedy)—submissions can come from any country in the world as long as it was originally written in English and the script was screened or aired between January and December of 2017.

The TSC is a conference offering screenwriters and other industry professionals an opportunity to develop their skills at a high level as well as network with some of the best in the TV and film business. The conference has attracted a who’s who of screenwriting talent to speak, including Moira Walley-Beckett (Anne), Emily Andras (Wynonna Earp), Glen Mazzara (The Walking Dead), Bruce Smith (19-2), David S. Goyer (Da Vinci’s Demons), Beau Willimon (House of Cards) and Tassie Cameron (Mary Kills People).

With the submission deadline for scripts of Monday, April 30, at midnight ET, we got TSC founder and advisory committee chair Glenn Cockburn on the phone to talk about them.

Why did you decide to have a Toronto Screenwriting Awards?
Glenn Cockburn: I resented the idea for any awards for a long time. The last thing anyone really needs is another awards show. But I did recognize the value of it and we are trying to build the best screenwriting event in the world and that’s not just about having the best speakers in the world and the best content. It’s about being a weekend that celebrates screenwriting. I knew an awards component was going to be more and more important to that but the trick was what were we going to do? When I first had the idea for the Toronto Screenwriting Conference I was shocked there wasn’t a conference for professional screenwriters anywhere in the world at the time.

As I started thinking more seriously and considered awards I wondered what that would look like. I was shocked to find out there was nowhere in the world where screenwriters were being awarded for the various categories of screenwriting. That was the big turning point for me. The realization we could do an awards show where we could take best comedy and actually award people within various aspects of that. We looked at best drama, best comedy and best screenplay, the traditional categories people win awards in. We said, ‘What if we treated those as realms and reward people within those realms?’ So, best TV drama becomes best procedural drama, best serialized drama, best genre drama and then best family drama. The ability to write those four sub-genres of drama are completely different than the others. Obviously, the difference between single-cam and multi-cam comedy is very different when it comes to structure and the types of jokes that are written. To lump everyone into one category seemed unfair and if we were going to celebrate screenwriters we should do it in the various ways they are pursuing their careers.

I agree with what you’ve said and I’m overjoyed to see categories like family drama, youth and family comedy and animated comedy. The scripts being written in those categories alone are amazing.
Absolutely. One hour drama tends to get too much attention and the people who write Heartland are amazing at it and they need to get more attention for writing something that isn’t a one hour drama that isn’t for adults only. That’s an important thing to recognize.

Having awards like this puts the Toronto Screenwriting Conference on a world stage. Are you OK with that?
That’s the intention. The conference itself is designed for and programmed for professional screenwriters and we want to make sure that the best screenwriters in the world, once a year, know and remember they need to go to Toronto to have a conversation about what’s going on in their profession. And, to be clear, the Toronto Screenwriting Awards are open to the English language. Our hope, over time, is that we’ll have nominees from England up against nominees from Australia, Canada and the United States. I would love it if something from Canada won best procedural or something from Scandinavia won best serialized drama. I would love that.

You could have, for the first year of the awards, gone with just Canada and the U.S. for entries. You went more aggressively and opened it to the world right away. That’s exciting.
I want the international screenwriting community to look to Toronto as the centre of screenwriting and look forward to the conversations. I want other countries to know that we recognize every country is doing something different in the world of screenwriting and that we want to talk about it.

Submit your script to this year’s Toronto Screenwriting Awards. The deadline for submissions is Monday, April 30, at midnight ET. And register now for this year’s conference.

 

 

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Anne, Alias Grace, Kim’s Convenience and Baroness von Sketch Show win big at Canadian Screen Awards gala

Alias Grace, Baroness von Sketch Show, Anne, Schitt’s Creek‘s Catherine O’Hara, Orphan Black‘s Tatiana Maslany, Cardinal‘s Billy Campbell, Kim’s Convenience‘s Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and the series itself were among the winners at this year’s Canadian Screen Awards gala on Sunday night at Toronto’s Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.

Meanwhile, Murdoch Mysteries executive producer Christina Jennings made the fans’ night by revealing that Season 12 of the top-rated series had been ordered by CBC. Production starts soon.

The Academy Icon Award was delivered to Rick Mercer Report, Peter Mansbridge was given the Lifetime Achievement Award and Clark Johnson received the Earle Grey Award. Carmilla‘s Elise Bauman captured the Audience Choice Award.

The pre-broadcast winners were:

Golden Screen Award for TV Drama or Comedy
Murdoch Mysteries, CBC

Golden Screen Award for TV Reality Show
The Amazing Race Canada, CTV

Best Reality/Competition Program or Series
The Amazing Race Canada, CTV

The main television category winners were:

Best Lead Actress, Comedy
Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek

Best Lead Actor, Comedy
Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Kim’s Convenience

Best Performance, Sketch Comedy (Individual or Ensemble)
Baroness von Sketch Show, CBC

Best Lead Actress, Drama Series
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black

Best Lead Actor, Drama Series
Alexander Ludwig, Vikings

Best Drama Series
Anne, CBC

Best Comedy Series
Kim’s Convenience, CBC

Best Lead Actor, Drama Program or Limited Series
Billy Campbell, Cardinal

Best Lead Actress, Drama Program or Limited Series
Sarah Gadon, Alias Grace

Audience Choice Award
Elise Bauman, Carmilla

Best Limited Series or Program
Alias Grace, CBC

Here’s a list of the winners from TuesdayWednesday and Thursday‘s industry awards.

What did you think of last night’s awards? Did your favourite television show, actor or actress win? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 

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Baroness Von Sketch Show, Alias Grace and Andrew Phung take home trophies during Night 2 of Canadian Screen Awards

The writers on Baroness Von Sketch Show, Letterkenny, Orphan Black, Odd Squad, and Kim’s Convenience co-star Andrew Phung and Schitt’s Creek‘s Emily Hampshire were among the winners in the Creative Fiction Storytelling categories during Night 2 of the Canadian Screen Awards.

Hosted by Kim’s Convenience‘s Andrew Phung, the non-televised celebration honoured 42 categories in the guest performance, writing, directing, photography, editing, production design, visual effects, sound, limited, variety and sketch comedy.

“On the count of three, I want you to shout out what you had for breakfast!” Phung yelled at the crowd before calling out Schitt’s Creek‘s Daniel Levy for not answering. “Now I want you to shout out your favourite Canadian production, but it cannot be your own project!” He then called his mother on his cell phone for advice on how to host the show.

“Oh my god,” she said. “You should just do your best.”

Special awards were given to the late Denis McGrath (Margaret Collier Award) and Jay Switzer (Academy Board of Directors’ Tribute Award), and Bell Let’s Talk (Humanitarian Award).

Here are the winners in several of the key categories:

Best Supporting Actor, Drama
R.H. Thomson, Anne

Best Supporting Actress, Drama
Allie MacDonald, Cardinal

Best Guest Performance, Drama Series
Steven McCarthy, Mary Kills People

Best Pre-School Program or Series
Paw Patrol, TVO Kids

Best Animated Program or Series
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, YTV

Best Children’s or Youth Fiction Program or Series
Odd Squad, TVO Kids

Best Performance, Children’s or Youth
Ella Ballentine, L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables: Fire & Dew

Best Performance, Animation
Martin Short, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Halloween

Best Writing, Variety or Sketch Comedy
Aurora Browne, Meredith MacNeill, Carolyn Taylor, Jennifer Whalen, Jennifer Goodhue, Monica Heisey, Mae Martin, Zoe Whittall — Baroness Von Sketch Show, CBC

Best Writing, Comedy
Jacob Tierney, Jared Keeso — Letterkenny, CraveTV

Best Writing, Drama Program or Limited Series
Sarah Polley — Alias Grace, CBC

Best Writing, Drama Series
Graeme Manson, Renee St. Cyr — Orphan Black, Space

Best Writing, Children’s or Youth
Adam Peltzman, Tim McKeon — Odd Squad, TVO Kids

Best Writing, Animated
Sean Jara — Mysticons, YTV

Best Supporting or Guest Actor, Comedy
Andrew Phung, Kim’s Convenience

Best Supporting or Guest Actress, Comedy
Emily Hampshire, Schitt’s Creek

Best Sketch Comedy Program or Series
Baroness Von Sketch Show, CBC

Here is the complete list of winners from Wednesday night.

 

 

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