Genesis lauds pet projects


It's polar bears vs. sharks as the Humane Society of the United States announced the nominees Tuesday for its 22nd Genesis Awards.

The awards, which recognize news and entertainment media for showcasing animal protection issues, will be presented March 29 at the Beverly Hilton.

Nominated in the documentary film category are Adam Ravetch and Sarah Robertson's "Arctic Tale," which focusses on polar bears and walruses, and Rob Stewart's "Sharkwater," which looks at how sharks are killed to put shark fin soup on the menu.

"Amazing Grace," Michael Apted's portrait of English abolitionist William Wilberforce, and Mike White's offbeat romantic comedy "Year of the Dog" are competing for best feature film.

On the TV side, CBS led the other networks by placing in nine broadcast categories.

"The news and entertainment industries recognize that animal stories attract a large and devoted audience," said Beverly Kaskey, senior director of the Humane Society's Hollywood office. "The Michael Vick case gave unprecedented news coverage to dog fighting, but it also inspired a powerful episode of 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.' As for 'Boston Legal,' in which social commentary abounds, animal issues formed the basis of several Genesis-nominated story lines."

Hayden Panettiere (NBC's "Heroes") will be honored with the organization's Wyler Award for drawing attention to Japan's dolphin- and whale-harvesting practices. The award is named after Genesis Awards founder Gretchen Wyler, a Broadway star and animal activist who died last year.

"Boston Legal" will compete in the dramatic series category against the "Lying Down With Dogs" episode of "CSI" and the "A Change Is Gonna Come" episode of "Grey's Anatomy."

In the Sid Caesar Comedy Award category, the nominees are the "Guinea Pygmalion" episode of "According to Jim"; the "Aloha Raffles" episode of "The Bill Engvall Show"; and the "Offensive Foul" episode of "King of Queens."

A complete list of nominations can be found at