Comedy fest rewards homegrown talent

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MONTREAL - New talent was in the spotlight at the Just For Laughs comedy festival here Wednesday night as the first of two New Faces showcases and a competition of Canadian comics drew industry crowds.

Sean Lecomber won the annual Homegrown Competition of Canadian standups, with Nick Beaton coming in as the runner-up.

Lecomber convinced an industry jury and drew laughs with edgy material about favorite celebrities to have sex with and the death of chivalry. He will get to make a short film in Toronto for the broadband channel of Canada's The Comedy Network.

Beaton scored with jokes about funny T-shirts and dating rules for women.

Sheng Wang and Matt Braugner were among the New Faces creating some early buzz. Homegrown host Jon Dore, who is getting his own TV show, also earned strong reviews from industry folks.

Thursday will see the second New Faces show.

During the day, Just For Laughs gurus Gilbert Rozon and Bruce Hills, as well as Robert Montgomery of Achilles Media are expected to announce a comedy market called the "World Comedy Conference."

No further details about the event were immediately available. Achilles Media is a management organization and a producer for the Banff World Television Festival.
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