Banff TV Festival to honour 'Crash' director Paul Haggis

MUMBAI: Recognising an individual who exemplifies achievement and advancement in the Canadian entertainment industry, the Banff World Television Festival has announced that director and writer Paul Haggis will be honoured with the first-ever “NBC Universal Canada Award of Distinction.”

This award, presented by NBC Universal Canada, will be bestowed during a special luncheon at the Banff World Television Festival on 12 June. Haggis directed Crash which earlier this year had won the best picture Oscar. Haggis also won an Oscar for his screenplay.

Haggis joins the growing list of esteemed guest speakers confirmed for Banff’s In Conversation With series. In these special one-hour forums, speakers are interviewed one-on-one in front of the Festival audience. The informal conversations draw unique insights from participants and are among the most popular with Banff delegates. Haggis will be at Banff to discuss The Black Donnellys, a show he is currently developing for US broadcaster NBC.

Haggis says, "Banff is a very prestigious event in the entertainment industry and I am truly honoured to be the first recipient of the NBC Universal Canada Award of Distinction.”

Haggis also wrote and produced last year’s best picture Oscar winner Million Dollar Baby becoming the only person in Oscar history to write back-to-back best picture Oscar winning films. He also recently completed writing the next James Bond movie Casino Royale and Clint Eastwood's next film Flags of Our Fathers. In addition, a small screen version of Crash is being developed for FX.

Banff CEO Robert Montgomery says, "Paul Haggis’ achievements in the industry are remarkable. He is an accomplished filmmaker who is proudly Canadian; he has raised the bar and set industry standards for others to follow. I could not think of anyone else more deserving than him to receive this inaugural award.”

NBC Universal Studios Canada senior VP says, “NBC Universal Canada is especially proud to support and partner with BANFF to honour Mr. Haggis. He exemplifies excellence in our industry and it is a true honour to bestow our first award to him at the Festival.”

The Banff World Television Festival takes place from 11 to 14 June in Banff, Alberta.

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