Canadian helmers honor 'Passchendaele'

Directors guild names World War I epic best feature film

TORONTO -- "Passchendaele" continued its winning ways Saturday night at the eighth annual Directors Guild of Canada Awards as it picked up the best feature film team trophy.

The Canadian war epic earlier this year picked up six trophies, including best Canadian movie and a slew of craft awards, at the Genies, Canada's film awards.

"Passchendale," inspired by the World War I trench combat, also earned a production design trophy for Carol Spier.

Spier, best known for her longtime collaboration on nine David Cronenberg films, also picked up the 2009 DGC lifetime achievement award.

Cronenberg was on hand to introduce a nervous Spier, insisting there wasn't any tension or envelope beforehand as she'd already been tapped for the tribute.

"Imagine if there was a competition for a lifetime achievement award, and you lost?" the Toronto-based director joked.

On the TV front, the CBS/CTV series "Flashpoint" picked up the best TV drama team award, a best direction award for Holly Dale and another for best TV series sound editing.

And Sturla Gunnarsson's "Air India 182," a documentary about the 1985 terrorist attack on Air India flight 182, won the inaugural Allan King Award for documentary excellence. Veteran Canadian documentary maker King, a pioneer of the cinema verite movement, in June died in Toronto after a short illness, at age 79.
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