'Hearts and Bones'.

Ben Lawrence and Beatrix Christian’s Hearts and Bones was named best original feature film screenplay at the Australian Writers’ Guild’s annual AWGIE Awards yesterday evening, while Shaun Grant and Harry Cripps took home the adaptation prize for Penguin Bloom.

Two of 2019’s top dramas, The Hunting, written by Niki Aken and Matthew Cormack, and Total Control (Episode 3), by Pip Karmel, were recognised in the television categories, while The Heights, lauded for its depiction of contemporary Australia, won Peter Mattessi the AWGIE in the television serial category, ending a run of 16-straight years for Neighbours and Home and Away.

Playwright Suzie Miller’s critically acclaimed one-woman play Prima Facie took out the evening’s highest honours, winning the 2020 Major Award, the David Williamson Prize for Excellence in Writing for Australian Theatre, and in the stage category.

The one-woman play holds a mirror up to the Australian legal system, exposing its failures towards women in rape, sexual assault or harassment cases.

It is the second year in a row that a female playwright has received both the Major Award and the David Williamson Prize.

Erica Glynn took home the AWGIE for children’s P programming for Little J and Big Cuz, while Magda Wozniak won in the C category for Mustangs FC.

Luke McGregor and Celia Pacquola won the comedy (situation or narrative) trophy for episode five of the fourth season of Rosehaven. Anna Barnes’ virtual comedy Content won the web series AWGIE, while Antony Webb’s Carmentis was named best short.

In documentary, Gregory Read’s jetpack tale Own The Sky won the public broadcast/exhibition category, while Christopher Burke with Distan Bach’s I Am A Hazard won in the community, educational or training category.

Thomas Duncan-Watt received his second consecutive animation award for Space Nova: ‘Ghost Station’ .

In his address, AWG President Shane Brennan commented on the year that was while pressing the importance of government and regulatory support for Australian writers as “critical for the future survival of our industry”.

AWG President Shane Brennan.

His speech ended on a note of hope for a brighter and safer 2021, and for screen and stage writers to have the opportunity to continue to tell their stories and take them to the world.

Hosted by actor, writer, and comedian Bjorn Stewart, the awards were held online due to restrictions.

Presenters included Hugo Weaving, Wayne Blair, Marta Dusseldorp, Tony McNamara, Shane Brennan, David Williamson, Tony Ayres, Kodie Bedford, Benjamin Law, Michelle Law, Alison Bell, John Leary, and Bradley Slabe.

Peter Mattessi.

The Major Award is presented to the writer of the work deemed the most excellent out of all the AWGIE Award category winners.

The David Williamson Prize for Excellence in Australian Theatre is worth $100,000, with $20,000 of the prize awarded to the playwright of the winning theatre script, and $80,000 of the prize going to the theatre company that commissioned and developed it for the stage (this year, Griffin Theatre Company), with the express purpose of the prize money being used to commission, develop and program a new Australian work.

See the full list of winners below:

MAJOR AWARD

Prima Facie – Suzie Miller

DAVID WILLIAMSON PRIZE FOR EXCELLENCE IN WRITING FOR AUSTRALIAN THEATRE

Prima Facie – Suzie Miller

FEATURE FILM – ORIGINAL

Hearts and Bones – Ben Lawrence with Beatrix Christian

FEATURE FILM – ADAPTATION

Penguin Bloom – Shaun Grant with Harry Cripps

SHORT FILM

Carmentis – Antony Webb

DOCUMENTARY – PUBLIC BROADCAST (INCLUDING VOD) OR EXHIBITION

Own the Sky – Gregory Read

DOCUMENTARY – COMMUNITY, EDUCATIONAL AND TRAINING (OR OTHERWISE COMMISSIONED TO A SPECIFIC BRIEF)

I Am A Hazard – Christopher Burke with Distan Bach

TELEVISION – SERIAL

The Heights: Season 2, Episode 7 – Peter Mattessi

TELEVISION – SERIES OR MINISERIES OF MORE THAN 4 HOURS DURATION, INCLUDING ORIGINAL AND ADAPTED WORKS

Total Control: Episode 3 – Pip Karmel

TELEVISION – TELEMOVIE OR MINISERIES OF 4 HOURS OR LESS DURATION, INCLUDING ORIGINAL AND ADAPTED WORKS

The Hunting – Matthew Cormack and Niki Aken

CHILDREN’S TELEVISION – ‘P’ CLASSIFICATION (PRESCHOOL – UNDER 5 YEARS), ORIGINAL OR ADAPTED, ANIMATED OR PERFORMED

Little J & Big Cuz: Season 2, ‘Goodbye Swooper’ – Erica Glynn

CHILDREN’S TELEVISION – ‘C’ CLASSIFICATION (CHILDREN’S – 5–14 YEARS), ORIGINAL OR ADAPTED, ANIMATED OR PERFORMED

Mustangs FC: Season 3, ‘Mustangs Forever and Ever’ – Magda Wozniak

COMEDY – SITUATION OR NARRATIVE

Rosehaven: Season 4, Episode 5 – Luke McGregor and Celia Pacquola

COMEDY – SKETCH OR LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT

The Feed: ‘Anger For Women’, ‘Chloe Shorten’s Husband’, ‘Social Media Cops’, ‘Scotophile’ and ‘Bushfire Press Release’ – Victoria Zerbst with Michael Hing, Cameron James, Alex Lee and Jenna Owen

7.30: Season 2 – Mark Humphries and Evan Williams

AUDIO

Ghosthunter – Ben Lawrence with Jess Bineth

STAGE

Prima Facie – Suzie Miller

COMMUNITY AND YOUTH THEATRE

A Hymn to the Hateful – Finegan Kruckemeyer

THEATRE FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES

Cusp – Mary Anne Butler

MUSIC THEATRE

Fangirls – Yve Blake

ANIMATION

Space Nova: ‘Ghost Station’ – Thomas Duncan-Watt

WEB SERIES AND OTHER NON-BROADCAST/NON-‘SUBSCRIPTION VIDEO ON DEMAND’ TV SHORT WORKS

Content – Anna Barnes

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