Robert Duncan is a five time finalist and three time winner of the Writer's Guild of Canada Documentary screenwriting award. V6A 1N6 and Smarter than the rest of Us were both broadcast on the CTV network. Woodwards: The Competition was broadcast on CBC.
Films on which Duncan has served in a senior capacity have twice been nominated for Academy Awards (Oscars). Volcano, An Inquiry into the Life and Death of Malcolm Lowry was nominated as best feature documentary and Bravery In the Field, a dramatic film co-written by Duncan, was nominated as Best Short.
In 2005 Smarter Than The Rest Of US won Best Screenwriting in a Documentary Program or Series at the Leo Awards Film Festival.
In 2005 Woodward's: The Competition took Best Picture Editing in a Documentary Program or Series at the Leo Awards Film Festival.
In 1999 John McRae's War was nominated for Best Documentary and Best Original Music in the Canadian Film Awards.
Beaverbrook: The Various Lives of Max Aitken took Best Documentary and Best Writing in the documentary category at the British Columbia Leo Awards in 2001.
Duncan won the Writers' Guild of Canada Top Ten Award in 1998 for his documentary V6A 1N6, which was a Gemini and New York Film Festival finalist in 1997. In 1996 he received an ACE nomination as Best Documentary Director for his portrait of Ray Bradbury.
Duncan's Remembrance Day Film, Yesterday's Heroes, won the Gold Apple at the National Educational Film and Video Festival in Oakland and was nominated for best writing and best editing in the Canadian Film Awards.
The Cap, a dramatisation of a Morley Callaghan short story, which Duncan wrote and directed, was chosen as one of the year's Ten Best Children's Films by the American Library Association.
Cages, screenplay by Duncan, won the Blue Ribbon at the New York Film Festival as Best Adaptation of the Literary Work.
In 1993 Duncan won, for the second time, the Gold Plaque for Best Documentary at the Chicago Film Festival for Ellen's Story. He had previously won it in 1980 for his biographical portrait of Margaret Laurence. Also, in 1993, he wrote Space for Four which won for Best Documentary in the HOT DOC Festival in Toronto.
Robert Duncan is the only television writer in Canada to be nominated as Best Writer in both drama and documentary the same year by the Association of Canadian Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA).