U of G prof nominated for Genie Award
University of Guelph drama professor Judith Thompson has been nominated for a Genie Award in the adapted screenplay category for Perfect Pie. The 23rd annual Genie Awards will be presented live on CBC-TV Feb. 13.
Perfect Pie, which received two other nominations, including best achievement in cinematography and best performance by an actress in a supporting role, is based on Thompson's play of the reunion of two long-estranged childhood friends, Francesca Prine (Barbara Williams) and Patsy Willets (Wendy Crewson), who confront the choices they made as adults and a traumatic event they shared as adolescents. "It's a story that women – especially middle-aged women – can connect with, whether they've walked a distance from the past or stayed," said Thompson.
The idea for the play originated from a solo monologue Thompson performed on CBC-TV in 1994. The play premiered at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto in early 2000. The film's director, Barbara Willis Sweete, considered one of Canada's pre-eminent directors of dance and music films, was keen on making the play into a feature film. "The director had always been enthusiastic about my work," said Thompson. "She felt like she was part of the story because she identifies with the character Francesca."
The film was shot north of Georgetown in fall 2001 and made its debut at the Toronto and Vancouver 2002 film festivals. It was made by Toronto-based production company Rhombus Media, known for acclaimed films The Red Violin and Thirty-two Short Films About Glenn Gould.
Thompson said although she wasn't on set, she was quite involved with the creative process of making the film. "It is very exciting to see on film the train crash and moments that on stage that have to be poetically realized," she said.
Lost and Delirious, Thompson's first feature screenplay, was also nominated for a Genie and has now been sold to almost every country in the world. "It's strange but very gratifying to know it's reaching into these homes because what it's about is communicating the story and the ideas," she said.
Perfect Pie is Thompson's sixth original drama. She is a two-time winner of the Governor General's Literary Award for Drama for The Other Side of the Dark (1989) and White Biting Dog (1984). She also received the Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Award for Lion in the Streets (1991) and I Am Yours (1987).
There will be a special screening of Perfect Pie at the Princess Cinema in Waterloo on Feb. 5 and 6 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 and include a post-film reception at the Huether Hotel. The Feb. 5 screening is a benefit in support of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Kitchener-Waterloo.
For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.