Degrassi creator to get special Gemini award [cbc.ca]

Linda Schuyler, co-creator and producer of the Degrassi TV franchise, has been named winner of the Academy Achievement Award from the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.

She is one of five people from Canadian television who will be presented with special awards during the Gemini Awards galas later this month.

The Degrassi franchise, which began with The Kids of Degrassi Street and now includes Degrassi: The Next Generation celebrates its 30 anniversary in 2010. The two series have won 20 Gemini Awards and two International Emmys.

Schuyler is co-founder of Epitome Pictures, which also produced Instant Star and the primetime soap Riverdale. She is a member of the Order of Canada.

The Canada Award for excellence in programming that best reflects Canada’s racial and cultural diversity goes to Reel Injun, the documentary by Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond.

Reel Injun explores the portrayal of North American aboriginal people through a century of cinema. It was produced by Rezolution Pictures and the National Film Board of Canada and broadcast on CBC’s The Passionate Eye.

The Gemini galas will also recognize screenwriter Donald Martin with the Margaret Collier Award, for his contribution to the international profile of Canadian television.

Martin began his writing career in 1988 with the groundbreaking TV movie No Blame, starring Helen Shaver, and also wrote Gemini winners such as Coming of Age and Shadow Lake.

Martin wrote and produced Dim Sum Funeral for HBO, Shackles for Sony and Never Too Late, which was nominated for a Genie Award.

Other special award winners:

* Gemini Humanitarian Award: Joy Coghill, co-founder of the Performing Arts Lodge in Vancouver.

* Outstanding Technical Achievement: Alon Marcovici, vice president of digital media at CTV for the CTVOlympics.ca/RDSolympiques.ca live stream.

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