Playwright Leah Purcell has capped off an incredible year of recognition for her play The Drover’s Wife, taking home the top two writing honours at the Australian Writers’ Guild’s 50th Annual AWGIE Awards in Sydney last Friday August 25.
Purcell was awarded the 2017 Major Award and the David Williamson Prize for Excellence in Writing for Australian Theatre for her re-imagining of Henry Lawson’s short story “The Drover’s Wife”, as well as winning the Stage category in a competitive year for theatre.
Over 350 screen and stage writers, industry representatives and special guests gathered to celebrate the 50th year of the Australian Writers’ Guild’s AWGIE Awards, where over 25 Australian writers were recognised for their outstanding contribution to the Australian arts.
Awards were presented across 20 categories, including film, television, theatre, documentary, children’s television and interactive media.
Among the 2017 AWGIE Award winners were:
• Luke Davies of Lion, who earlier this year won the BAFTA Award for adapted screenplay, for the most outstanding script for a Feature Film Adaptation
• Andrew Knight with Robert Schenkkan, writers of Oscar-winning war epic Hacksaw Ridge, for most outstanding script for an Original Feature Film
In the television categories, winners included:
• Jacquelin Perske, for Seven Types of Ambiguity in the Series or Miniseries (of more than 4 hours duration) category
• Kris Wyld and Kym Goldsworthy, writers of Deep Water, in the Telemovie or Miniseries (of 4 hours of less duration) category
• Luke McGregor and Celia Pacquola for Rosehaven in the Comedy – Situation or Narrative category
• Faith McKinnon for Home and Away in the Television – Serial category
Winners in the theatre categories included:
• Danny Ginges with Philip Foxman for Atomic in the Music Theatre category
• 2015 David Williamson Prize-winning playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer (Where Words Once Were) in the Theatre for Young Audiences category
• Anelga Betzien for Egg in the Children’s Theatre category
• Joint winners Lachlan Philpott (Michael Swordfish) and Noëlle Janaczewska (Teacup in a Storm) in the Community and Youth Theatre category
A number of special awards were presented on the night:
Julian Morrow was awarded the Fred Parsons Award for Outstanding Contribution to Australian Comedy, recognising a prolific career as a writer and comedian as part of the satirical media empire The Chaser.
Screenwriter Kelly Lefever was recognised with the Richard Lane Award for Outstanding Service and Dedication to the Australian Writers’ Guild, and Leah Purcell was awarded the David Williamson Prize for Excellence in Writing for Australian Theatre.
Purcell will receive $20,000 as a commission for a new work while $80,000 will go to Belvoir St Theatre – the company who programmed The Drover’s Wife – to commission and program a new Australian work within the next 12 months.
The AWG also honoured Hacksaw Ridge, Rake and Jack Irish screenwriter Andrew Knight with the 2017 Australian Writers’ Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award, proudly presented by Foxtel, in recognition of his contribution to the Australian screen industry over more than 30 years. Knight was presented the Award by Foxtel’s Bruce Meagher, with tributes from Sigrid Thornton, Peter Duncan and Andrew Anastasios.
The 50th Annual AWGIE Awards are presented with the support of 50th Anniversary Partners Foxtel and Scripted Ink. and Platinum Partner Media Super.
50th Annual AWGIE Awards fullwinners list
FEATURE FILM – ORIGINAL
Hacksaw Ridge – Andrew Knight with Robert Schenkkan
FEATURE FILM – ADAPTATION Lion – Luke Davies
Creswick – Christian White and Natalie Erika James
DOCUMENTARY – PUBLIC BROADCAST OR EXHIBITION
Streets of Your Town: Episode 2 – Sally Aitken and Tim Ross
DOCUMENTARY – COMMUNITY, EDUCATIONAL AND TRAINING
Cyber Security – The Internet – Sam Meikle
TELEVISION – SERIAL
Home and Away: Episode 6510 – Faith McKinnon
TELEVISION – SERIES OR MINISERIES (OF MORE THAN 4 HOURS DURATION)
Seven Types of Ambiguity: ‘Alex’ – Jacquelin Perske
TELEVISION – TELEMOVIE OR MINISERIES (OF 4 HOURS OR LESS DURATION)
Deep Water – Kris Wyld and Kym Goldsworthy
CHILDREN’S TELEVISION – ‘P’ CLASSIFICATION (PRESCHOOL – UNDER 5 YEARS)
Guess How Much I Love You: ‘Little White Fawn’ – Melanie Alexander
CHILDREN’S TELEVISION – ‘C’ CLASSIFICATION (CHILDREN’S – 5–14 YEARS)
The Deep: ‘Beware the Sentinels’ – Thomas Duncan-Watt
COMEDY – SITUATION OR NARRATIVE
Rosehaven: Episode 6 – Luke McGregor and Celia Pacquola
COMEDY – SKETCH OR LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT
Fancy Boy: ‘Three Wishes’ – Declan Fay, Henry Stone and Anne Edmonds with John Campbell, Stuart Daulman, Greg Larsen and Jonathan Schuster
The Drover’s Wife – Leah Purcell
COMMUNITY AND YOUTH THEATRE
Michael Swordfish – Lachlan Philpott Teacup in a Storm – Noëlle Janaczewska
THEATRE FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES
Where Words Once Were – Finegan Kruckemeyer
Egg – Angela Betzien
Atomic – Danny Ginges with Philip Foxman
Ghosts of Biloela – Que Minh Luu, Christopher Burke and Anna Barnes
Counterfeit Cat: ‘Room of Panic’ – Tim Bain 2017 MAJOR AWARD
The Drover’s Wife – Leah Purcell 2017 DAVID WILLIAMSON PRIZE
Given in Celebration and Recognition of Excellence in Writing for Australian Theatre The Drover’s Wife – Leah Purcell
RICHARD LANE AWARD
For Outstanding Service and Dedication to the Australian Writers’ Guild Kelly Lefever
FRED PARSONS AWARD
For Outstanding Contribution to Australian Comedy Julian Morrow
AUSTRALIAN WRITERS’ GUILD LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Proudly Presented by Foxtel Andrew Knight