TORONTO - Nova Scotia filmmaker Jason Buxton has won the Claude Jutra Award for his debut feature, "Blackbird."

The award recognizes outstanding achievement by a first-time feature filmmaker.

"Blackbird" is about a troubled teen who is falsely accused of planning a Columbine-like shooting.

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, which administers the prize, calls the film "a cutting-edge and socially poignant debut."

It's been a hit on the festival circuit since debuting at the Toronto International Film Festival last September, when it was named best Canadian first feature film.

At the Vancouver International Film Festival it won best Canadian feature while the Atlantic Film Festival crowned it best Atlantic feature, and Buxton best Atlantic director and best Atlantic screenwriter.

"Blackbird" is also in the running for two Canadian Screen Awards: best original screenplay and best editing.

That bash takes place March 3 in Toronto.