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US Actors' Union Hosts Annual Awards Ceremony


The U.S. actors' union Screen Actors Guild held its annual awards show Sunday, despite a labor dispute that has left members without a contract since July 2008.

The movie Slumdog Millionaire, set in Mumbai, India, with a roster of actors mostly unknown to U.S. audiences, won one of the top awards, for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

Other films in the running were The Curious Case of Benjamin Button starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, Doubt starring Meryl Streep, Frost/Nixon, and Milk starring Sean Penn.

Penn won the SAG award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in A Leading Role for Milk while actress Meryl Streep won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for Doubt.

Australian actor Heath Ledger won a posthumous award for his supporting role as The Joker in The Dark Knight, and British actress Kate Winslet took home the award for Oustanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role for The Reader.

SAG members last year rejected a final offer for a new contract by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, partly because the contract did not offer actors more money for DVD sales. The contract for the Screen Actors' Guild expired June 30.

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